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RE: COMP:Linking Spreadsheets to external databases

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There are two fairly easy ways to do this without getting into programing.

1) Place your shape database in a spreadsheet workbook.  Next create a
separate worksheet as a template for each type of analysis you wish to do.
Reference the worksheet containing the database from the analysis worksheet
using Lookup functions.
The downside - you embed the full database and copy it each time you create
a new project. This is not to bad since the steel database is not all that
2) This is essentially the same as the first with one exception. The
database is in a separate workbook. Use the same Lookup function except you
will cut and paste the ranges from one workbook into the analysis workbook.
The trick here is to create a template of the analysis workbook and keep the
database workbook in the same directory.
I suggest turning off automatic recalculation if you want to move the
analysis workbook around without the database. The last saved recalculation
will always show.
3) You can also create a separate comma delimited format database. I'm a bit
fuzzy on this but know it can easily be done - just never personally did
this. You can access the external database through the spreadsheet program
using Visual Basic READ and WRITE commands.
The advantage to this is that you can access the database with other
programs as well - such as MathCad.
4) Mathcad 7.0 uses a new interface called MathConnex which allows you to
link Mathcad, spreadsheets and databases as though they were all components
in the same mathmatical model. The interface looks something like a
flowchart where you graphically show it how to direct input and output from
each component. Using Microsofts new OLE/2 feature (a replacment to DDE) you
can add other components such as AutoCad. This works somewhat well is you
need to change beams and columns in your drawing based upon revisions of
your analysis. Each process can be automated.
Unfortunately, there is little good documentation explaining how to use the
feature to it's fullest.

Hope this leads you down the right path.


Dennis Wish PE
La Quinta, California
ICQ# 6110557

"Silence is the virtue of fools."
Francis Bacon

|-----Original Message-----
|From: lsmith(--nospam--at) [mailto:lsmith(--nospam--at)]
|Sent: Friday, March 27, 1998 5:43 AM
|To: seaoc(--nospam--at)
|Subject: COMP:Linking Spreadsheets to external databases
|OK, here's a question that I would Love someone to be able to answer:  does
|anyone know how to link a spreadsheet to an external database?
|Specifically, we use Quattro Pro spreadsheets to do alot of calculations.
|We have wanted to be able to type a steel shape size and have the
|spreadsheet access an external database of section properties and "pull in"
|the desired properties to the spreadsheet into specific cell addresses for
|design.  If someone has experience with this and could explain how it is
|done, I would greatly appreciate it.  If anyone has an example, even
|better!  The manual is not very clear on this subject.
|Thank you!