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What sort of application should I build to process data files ?

Posted on 2014-03-13
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Last Modified: 2014-03-14
Hi All,

I'm in the process of building a VBA application which will take a number of data files from different sources (.csv, .txt, Access database) and consolidate them into a single Excel worksheet. I will want to do some basic validation on each input file, depending on its source, prior to copying the data to a worksheet.

Where would you start with this ? How should I execute the VBA procedures ? From an Excel workbook itself ? If so, would you suggest a User Form interface, or a worksheet, or an event ? Or is there another way of running a VBA application ?

I'm open to ideas but my programming knowledge is limited to Excel VBA.

Regards
Toco
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Question by:Tocogroup
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by:Steve
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I think you answer your own question.
If your knowledge is limited to just excel VBA then that should be the application to use.
It is more than capable of what you need, so why go to the trouble of using something else.

Start with an excel workbook and use it to open the files.
A user form is likely not necessary.
It all depends on the tasks required.
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Expert Comment

by:aikimark
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1. you can pull data into a workbook
2. you can push data into a workbook
3. you can use VBA or VBScript to 'package' your coode
4. you can do basic file I/O or use ADO to treat the data sources as tables

I think that some of our recommendations might depend on what kind of validation you need to perform.
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Author Comment

by:Tocogroup
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Thanks Steve for your advice. It may be the most practical solution for me.

Aikimark, can you explain Pull and Push a little more please ? How would I 'package' my code ? What do you mean by 'basic file I/O ?
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by:aikimark
aikimark earned 250 total points
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Pull and push describe the flow of data.  Code can bring data into a process (pull) or push data out to a destination (push).

Writing and testing code may accomplish the task, but eventually you will need to structure your code for best flexibility and maintenance objectives.  You will also need to distribute or install the code.  All of these determines how your lines of code are 'packaged' -- how many routines and classes and executables.

VB has some basic I/O statements that allow you to read and write files.  These statements are legacy (Open, Print, Input, Line Input, Input(), Write, Close, etc.).  Newer methods were introduced through the scripting.FileSystemObject.  In the VBScript environment, you only have the FSO methods.
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Steve earned 250 total points
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Well, I would say that you should plan your process requirements a little further.
Produce a flow chart with all inputs, outputs and processes. (who, what, where, when)
This flow chart will establish the boundaries and scope of the application.
Once you have this in place you could make it generic (remove sensitive stuff) and then post it here for a more tailored answer.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Tocogroup
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Thanks for your help.
It's given me something to think about and research further into.
And yes I shall revisit this site when I have scoped the project.
Regards
Toco
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