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MS Excel Add-in for Building Custom Reports

An MS Excel add-in designed to generate configurable reports with customizable data extraction from Autodesk Buzzsaw data service.

Autodesk Buzzsaw software-as-a-service stores all company and project member information in a central repository. The customer requested a solution for creating updateable reports from the Buzzsaw data storage service. The application had to include the following features:

  • customizable reports (with customizable data sources and data fields)
  • configurable result presentation
  • automated data formats parser
  • one-click data updates

The first challenge Altoros faced when designing this Excel add-in was building the automatic data format parser for different (unlimited and uncategorized) report types. The application had to extract various data types form different fields in different documents and compile them in a single custom report.

The second challenge we faced was extracting data from similar report types to create custom reports and save their data mappings to enable easy report updates.

Our .NET development team decided to combine the automatic parser with an auto/manual solution for most frequently used report types. This provided a possibility to manually configure the solution, in case the automatic parser delivered fields and values with errors. The team created several tags and templates to avoid such mistakes.

The extended report analysis mechanism was implemented to detect similarities and configure the output format. The solution can analyze all data logs in the Buzzsaw data storage, extract the required data into a custom report, and save this data mapping to enable report updates.

The solution enables generating updatable custom reports with any type of data from Autodesk Buzzsaw data service. The user creates a report template only once and connects it with data sources. They can open this report later and update it with one click.

Technology Stack

Client Platform/Application Server

MS Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7

Technologies

MS .NET 2.0, MS Visual Studio 2008, MS Office Excel, WebDAV protocol

Programming Language

C#

Development Environment

MS Visual Studio 2008

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