A question we sometimes get is “Can this web application work offline?”. The short answer to that is “Unfortunately, no.”. Web applications, by design, obviously require a stable internet connection at all times. And offline working is essentially out of the question, as all calculations, authentication, and events are handled by the server. However, since the SpreadsheetWeb platform relies on spreadsheet files as a starting point, we introduced a similar approach to this problem with 6.19 version: Importing records using an Excel file.
Before this feature, the only way to import data into an application was by uploading the data in the same format as it appears in the application database. Although a powerful feature, this isn’t the most user-friendly approach since the users might have no idea what column is called what. With the new ‘Import from Excel’ feature, you can now utilize whatever user interface you can create in an Excel file, have your users fill out that document instead, and upload them into your application’s database. All that matters is that the named ranges used in the web application match those in your workbook.
This feature really shines when used in combination with the Excel Export Processes, where you can use the underlying workbook, or a trimmed-down version of it by keeping the named ranges and removing the formulas, data, or any other sensitive information. All that the end user needs to do is to enter their data into the corresponding fields with the named range mappings.
When using the ‘Import from Excel file’ feature, you can create a new record with the uploaded data or overwrite the data in an existing record. To create a new record, press the Import from Excel file button on the top of the Data page. To update an existing record, press the Import from Excel file icon next to that record, under the Actions column. Then, select your file from the Data File field and press Import from Excel. Note that the Record ID field will show the ID of the record you are about to update. You will not see this value if you used the button on the top of the Data page and are creating a new record.
That’s all! The system will then match all named ranges from the uploaded workbook with those in the application, and enter the information. You will receive a success message once the system finishes uploading the file.
When updating an existing record, the system will overwrite all information in the existing record with what is in the imported file. This also means that empty fields in the uploaded file will remove or revert values to their defaults in the saved record.
Another exciting feature added in this version is the Reset Event. Instead of refreshing a record, you can now add a Reset Event into Action Buttons to trigger a reset to default values on specific pages, or the entire application.
In addition to several bug fixes and performance improvements, we also added the ability to cut-and-paste control in the user interface designer. Designing the user interface of your web applications is now going to be even easier. We hope that you’ll like these new features as much as we do! For a full list of changes and new features, please see the change log.
Remember to sign up for a 30-day free account to convert your Excel processes into web applications with no coding whatsoever.