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Re: COMP:Linking Spreadsheets to external databases

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Lorenzo -

We use a Lotus spreadsheet for most of our calcs, including steel beams.  I
have incorporated the relevant portions of the steel tables (I and S) directly
into the spreadsheet so that I don't have to read from an external database.
The spreadsheet calcs the beam for moment and deflection and then picks the
lightest beam within the family (W12x, etc.) that you specify.  We also have a
version that calcs tubes and pipes.  Even with a good chunk of the steel table
actually in the spreadsheet, the file size in still relatively small (36Kb).
For the record, I did not enter all the steel properties by hand, but got a
database of them on disk from AISC.  The database includes, I think, every
property and dimension for every steel shape that is in the AISC manual.  I,
of course, hacked away at this to only keep the pieces I needed for my beam
design.

I embedded everything in the spreadsheet because the first version of this
spreadsheet was written for Lotus for DOS about 10 years ago when "linking"
was not even a remote option.  Anyway, I still use the spreadsheet today with
only minor modifications through the years, running Lotus for DOS through a
Win95 environment.  The rest of my office, though, has upgraded to Lotus for
Windows and it runs fine there, too.  If you translate it to Quattropro you
may lose some of the macro formatting.

Let me know if this helps, or if you want to see a copy of the spreadsheet.

Bruce Resnick, SE
Parker Resnick Str. Eng.
parkerres(--nospam--at)aol.com