Thursday, December 22, 2005

Excel as interchange format

I really like the concept Dion Almaer outlines here. If your users already have a flexible data entry tool that they are experts at using, why not allow them to use that as the data entry tool for your system? To me this is real re-use, and despite Dion's claim that it isn't sexy, I find it rather attractive.

To me this is the essence of what is wrong with letting the Enterprise Architects dictate user experience. James McGovern, an enterprise architect whose book I really like, has been going on and on about how "web 2.0" is not something that architects should be thinking about. [see his 2006 predictions post for an example] I really think it is something that they should be focusing on- improving the user experience. I think if you think that way, you build an Excel import function. If you think the bad way, you build a complex user application that is buzzword compliant ESB, SOA, EBI, etc. forgetting that the spreadsheet is the application whose usability and flexibility drove the adoption of the PC (and that your corporate developers probably aren't as good as the people at Microsoft that wrote Excel).


Anonymous said...

ESRI showcased native support for XLS files with their ArcGIS 9.2 release at their conference. The business community repeatedly asked for this and most users had way too much trouble translating data - they lost information.