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Excel XLAM synchrnoize local version with network version

Posted on 2013-06-10
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Last Modified: 2013-06-11
I have several Excel add-ins (XLAMs) that I normally save as read only instances on the network to allow users to access but also allow me to update when needed without worrying about whether or not any of the users have the file open.

That all works fine.  However, I now have users who want/need to be able to have access to the XLAM addin when they are not able to connect to the office network.

So what I would like to accomplish is the following:
1 - have the ability to have a local copy of the XLAM that can reside on the user's local drive for them to utse when they are off the office network
2 - but have the ability that the XLAM can (when on the office network) check the network location to determine whether or not it is the latest available instance and if not download a copy of itself down to the local drive.
Since i expect that it might not be possible to easily download a copy of "yourself" to the local drive to overwirte "yourself" while running, I'm thinking that perhaps i need to have a separate local file whose only job is to do this comparison of the main xla to determine if a newer copy of it should be downloaded to overwrite the old one.

What is the best way to achieve tihs functionality for when i have XLAM logic that needs to be regularly updated but which users do have a need to have access to when not on the network?  Would my above approach work? and if so, does anyone have suggests as to how to best have the local copy be able to check whether 1) if the network is even available or not and 2) if it is the latest version?

Thanks for any help!
Shelly
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Question by:shellysuelll
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4 Comments
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:jkpieterse
ID: 39237043
Perhaps this gives you an idea:

www.jkp-ads.com/articles/updateanaddin.asp
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Author Comment

by:shellysuelll
ID: 39237864
Thanks for the suggestion, I've read the site and the following 2 assumptions they have listed are not the case in my fact pattern:

* - There is a html page on your website (or you render one on demand extracting the build number from a database using a query in some php or asp code) which contains nothing else than a build number (no HTML tags surrounding the number).
* - The code will create a webquery in a cell that points to that webpage. The cell is named "Available_Build".

Our users access the network location via mapped network drives; not via website pages or webqueries.

Any other thoughts?
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LVL 11

Accepted Solution

by:
jkpieterse earned 2000 total points
ID: 39239012
The site is mine actually :-)

You can simply have a tiny textfile on that shared drive holding the current version number and use a similar technique to prompt for "download", can't you?

Your situation is actually simpler then, your code should:

- Open textfile (lost of samples on Google how to do that)
- Compare version numbers
- If different, offer to update
- Save-as current xla(m) to a temporary name so it stays "operable" for the session
- Copy new version to add-ins directory
- Prompt user to re-open Excel
- Have code in new version that deletes old copie(s).
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Author Closing Comment

by:shellysuelll
ID: 39239809
awesome site - very helpful
Thanks for the ideas
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