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Multi-User Excel?

Posted on 2013-06-05
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Last Modified: 2013-06-07
(I have googled this but thought I would ask the experts too)

Is it still true that only one user can work on one workbook at any one time?

If there are now multi-user facilities ... does that mean two users can use on WORKSHEET ?  Or can two users use one WORKBOOK?

What are the limitations of multiuser Excel (if, indeed it exists).?
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Question by:Patrick O'Dea
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by:Kent Dyer
Kent Dyer earned 75 total points
ID: 39223691
First question is why?  Sure, you could theoretically do this, but you are having to "band-aid" a solution..  Let me explain..  I am reminded of the Access database that was shared between several people when I worked at a previous company.  We had to use WRKGADM (part of Access) to manage permissions..  And sure you can link an Excel file to an Access Database too.  However, Access is not that good either as we had to constantly repair and shrink the Access database..  I know you are probably working with a small company that may not have much if any IT budget.  You should take some time and get your Excel file imported at least in to a SQL Engine (which is free, BTW)..  However, it is limited too - no searches, etc.  But, is lightyears better than Acess or Excel.  The, you could create a couple of ASP files to do the updates, deletes, etc.

Another way that you do this is to use SharePoint - where you can have users check in and check out the Excel file.

HTH,

Kent
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by:
[ fanpages ] earned 325 total points
ID: 39223767
Hi,

Is it still true that only one user can work on one workbook at any one time?

No.

If there are now multi-user facilities ... does that mean two users can use on WORKSHEET ?  Or can two users use one WORKBOOK?

Multiple users can use one worksheet, or many worksheets, in one workbook concurrently.

This is not a new feature.

What are the limitations of multiuser Excel (if, indeed it exists).?

Historically, "Shared Workbooks" have not been very stable/robust, & the data contents were prone to "corrupt" resulting in data loss, or workbooks would remain "locked" when all users had closed them (meaning filing system operations [such as copy, move, & delete] could not be performed).

You will find many "Experts" offering advice/recommendations not to use "Shared Workbooks" because of the stability issues.

BFN,

fp.
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by:Patrick Matthews
Patrick Matthews earned 100 total points
ID: 39223797
Echoing fp's comments...

Count me in the "stay away from shared workbooks" chorus.  They are just too unstable to be trusted for anything important.  It is only a slight exaggeration to say that there are only two kinds of shared workbooks: those that have been corrupted, and those that soon will be.

Seriously, the only use I can endorse for shared workbooks is to enable the "track changes" feature, and even then I would only allow one user in the file at a time.
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by:[ fanpages ]
ID: 39223808
...It is only a slight exaggeration to say that there are only two kinds of shared workbooks: those that have been corrupted, and those that soon will be.

:)
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by:[ fanpages ]
[ fanpages ] earned 325 total points
ID: 39223859
Comments I made in January 2006:

[ http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Office_Productivity/Office_Suites/MS_Office/Excel/Q_21693234.html#a15677466 ]
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I agree with Kevin in that shared workbooks are too prone to error & should be avoided where possible.

However... "I tried using the Shared Workbook and worksheet functions, however, we keep running into the issue of her or my changes not be there the next time we access the worksheet"...

If another user makes a change in a shared workbook & saves their open copy, the changes will not be reflected in another shared users workbook until they save their open copy as well.

That is, a shared workbook allows multiple (concurrent) users on a network to view and make changes at the same time.
Each user who saves the workbook sees the changes made by other users.

Please ensure that before you wish to review any changes made by another (concurrent) user of the same workbook, that you save your open copy also.
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Expert Comment

by:psmitty
ID: 39223980
http://docs.google.com/

You can use google docs and collaborate in real time.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Patrick O'Dea
ID: 39227030
THANKS!!
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by:[ fanpages ]
ID: 39228298
You're welcome.
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