Why spend a fortune re-creating Business Systems and Databases, or
expensive Data-analysis and Reporting tools?
(Explore a powerful yet
relatively inexpensive method of developing and integrating information
Most businesses already own a programmable suite of Office applications
but, instead of leveraging it, spend large sums on additional
development-tools and custom programs to (almost) replicate what they
already have. Many avoid tapping the vast benefits of Office-automation
due to a lack of awareness of this relatively inexpensive approach, or a
perception that it is too ‘inexpensive’ to do the job properly. An
indication of the capability and power can be found in SAP BEX®. If SAP
(one of the largest data systems in the world) can use Excel® as its
front-end to fiscal-reporting and analysis then it must be good enough.
The ‘inexpensive’ argument doesn’t hold water either. It cost more to
develop most popular Office technologies than any company could afford
to spend on custom software.
Through scales-of-economy and
mass-marketing you already own some of the most sophisticated and well
tested software available; all you have to do is use it. One widely used
Office suite has a common programming language (VBA) that allows all
members of the suite (i.e. Word, Excel, Outlook, Access, PowerPoint
etc.) to communicate with, and utilise, each other’s intrinsic strengths
and programmability. They can also communicate with, or use, the
object-models of all other products from the same manufacturer (i.e.
Project; SQL Server etc.), as well as many third-party applications. VBA
is the same language as Visual Basic; used by millions of developers
around the world.
Some examples of applications
of this technology are:
Connect spreadsheets to almost any database,
allowing very powerful reporting and what-if analysis of financial and
production data. The sorting, pivot-table and goal-seek tools are
excellent and provide an invaluable source of business intelligence
through data mining.
Complex quoting-systems (input forms) based on spreadsheets containing
advanced formulae, navigation-control and conditional calculations
linked to databases for storage of look-up tables and data.
Automated e-mailing using data from any
database, Or the reverse; automated processing, filing and notification
of inbound e-mail.
Web publishing of reports and documents. (Most Office products can
generate HTML or XML output for immediate web viewing and processing).
Extend project-management software by tapping
into the data-schema or through VBA-controlled graphical extensions.
Access (bundled with Office Professional) is far more powerful and
user-friendly than many more-expensive database-systems, and it is fully
VBA programmable. If you suddenly find you have billions of records to
store, use Access as a front-end to a much larger database system e.g.
SQL Server – they are designed to work together and use each other’s
There are as many applications of the
technology as there are requirements - get with the program and ‘save
is usually very straightforward – most users already have the platform
so remote maintenance is simple, with rapid turn-around times.
Before you let someone talk you into a horrendously expensive custom
solution, which will probably have less functionality and life-span than
your existing Office programs, get a second opinion – why re-invent the
wheel at your expense?
VBA DATA SERVICES specialises in the
automation and programming of Microsoft products.