What is the next step for an Excel database?

Tags:
Application development
Microsoft Excel
I have been developing Excel applications for 6 years. Creating Scheduling, Invoicing, Estimating, HR & CRM applications with Excel exclusively. As my applications and customer needs get larger i have been running into some headaches with Excel as a database. Customers want to share workbooks and simultaneos changes, however as many of us know Excel's Shared Workbook feature leaves a lot to be desired, especially with applications congaing a lot of vba coding (no protect/protection, no advanced filters, no merge/unmerging of cells, No VBA Access while in protection mode, etc). Shared workbook is also causing data loss for some of my customers. While I'm slightly familiar with external databases, I am hesitant to use this as I need a simple solution for my customers and future development of my applications. What is the best way to go in this instance? What skills should I learn to get to the next level of application development? Thanks so much for your feedback. Randy


Software/Hardware used:
Microsoft Excel
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  • Subhendu Sen
    As you have an exclusive knowledge in excel, it is better to go for vb.net with access/ sql server as a back end. Knowledge of vba code helps you a lot to quick cop up with vb. You can go for other language also like Java, but as you are working on MS softwares, rest depends on you.
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  • ToddN2000
    I agree with Subhendu, the VB / .NET would be the way to go based on your current knowledge. Excel is nice and has some good features but it sounds like to a pushing it to it limits. The external SQL server database would most likely solve you data sharing needs.
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  • Excel4Business
    Thanks very much. I will definitely take both of your advice. I think for some customers SQL would be fine, however as you know its a bit cumbersome for regular customers. Hard to keep things simple and scale at the same time. :)
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  • Subhendu Sen
    If you are looking typical commercial customize front-end, you can consider only vb 6 with sql server/ access or even mysql database (only client-server concept). While vb.net basically for web based applications,(three tire concept) although it can produce commercial package/ data screen interface also. In my company, we are running several in-house package based on vb6 & sql sever. But vb & sql server/ access all are expensive, while java/mysql is almost free.
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