Wednesday, August 23, 2006

InfoPath example

OK I promised some InfoPath info. It was a lot more difficult than I thought. I did some searching and came up with a bunch of fairly useful resources
The following is very much in a note form as I played with these resources

I would recommend downloading the documents suggested if you are remotely interested in this.

Egghead Folder listing

Only for gurus

Here is an example of tech geek speak that doesn’t even make sense to a newbie.
Does this mean you have to be an oracle expert first? Sure hope not. I don’t even know what a BPEL is!

Download this document!
Lab 1 is just for gurus also
I think I need to find something more basic!

Aha - Lab 2 in this document - step by step - good stuff - and no weird server geek speak.

This is good. (Note: Office 2003 and Info Path 2003 used for this lab)
I learnt how to create a basic form and it worked.
Note: I had to skip the bit about connecting to the Contosa database as it didn’t exist on my install.
I saved the form and emailed it to myself.
Then I completed the form and saved it.
I did a second one also.

Here is a simple top 10 FAQ type web page for InfoPath

That’s some basic InfoPath stuff.

I can really see how useful this would be for accountants. Especially if you have recalcitrant employees that getting expense claim reports from is next to impossible, or maybe for completing leave requests or some other basic form: petty cash for example.
However you need an IT degree (almost) to install and setup the Info Path servers. I can't wait to try the new versions (office 2007 and the 2007 servers)

Office 2007 XML and Infopath

I have been doing some research on Office 2003 XML and Info path along with the coming upgrade to Office 2007 and SharePoint server 2007.

Here is the link to Bill Gate's keynote speech titled "Remarks by Bill Gates, Chairman & Chief Software Architect, Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft Office System Developers Conference 2006: "It's More Than You Think"
Redmond, Washington March 21, 2006"

There is a lot of useful information in there from the point of view of getting started understanding just what some of the changes coming in Office 2007 will entail, and why.

The hardest part I have found so far is where to start the research. There is so much out there already at a technical level that presupposes a level of understanding and skills that a newbie just does not have. As this is an area I am a relative newbie I am going to try and deliver some of the information that I discover in an easy 1-2-3 sort of format - introducing XML, and how it can be used to alter how you do business now, and increase your productivity.

Here are some good starting places for Office 2003 (Microsoft 11) and Info Path

Coming soon, I will present a step by step of creating an XML schema in a excel file, and then creating an info path form that uses that schema.

Recent Excel Reading

Methods in Excel Resizing list boxes

Key Excel MVP Websites
Missing Bob Phillips xlDynamic website- who does some work for me - and he is great!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Round up of Recent Excel News

First apologies for a small hiatus here - mostly due to travelling away recently and on dialup. I hope to rectify this shortly with some great new tips and also some info and reviews on Office 2007.
In the meantime here are some links to what others are aying and doing in the Excelverse.

Doug Klippert from Unofficial Microsoft Office Stuff links to Laurent Longres Addin that you can download for free. It has 65 functions in it including:
CHBASE - converts a value from a base into another base.
EASTERDATE - date of Easter Sunday for a given year
FORMULATEXT - returns the formula of a cell
MMAX - returns the N highest numbers of a range or an array
NBTEXT - converts a positive number into spelled-out text (supports 13 languages)
UNIQUEVALUES - returns the unique items of a range or an array

Heres his link to Ed Ferrero has a number of sample Excel charts and tools. One he calls a Wind Rose. Unfortunately the charting page on Ed's site is broken. However there is a bunch of other resources there you may find useful including some VBA code.

Change tab names automatically
A wee bit of code to assist with sheet tab automatic name changes.

From J-Walk - a link to where Jensen Harris has a look at the new Office 2007 icons.
The Office 2007 Icons Are Here!