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Four Ways to Use Excel as an Internet Reporting Tool : Page 3

You probably already own one of the most powerful charting tools ever created. Learn to leverage the extensive charting capabilities of Excel to fulfill your Internet reporting needs.


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3. Excel Web Publishing with Interactivity
This is Excel's solution to professional looking interactive charting and reporting. The Excel team at Microsoft has put together an excellent suite of functionality to help you publish and report on the Web. There are a few drawbacks, which is why I generally prefer the first 2 methods listed in this article. Pros:

  • You don't need to write code to use this solution.
Cons:
  • Client-side software requirements: This requires that users have Internet Explorer 4 or higher and MS Office Web Components. MS Office Web Components comes with Office 2000, but often isn't installed, which may mean that your user loses interest long before he or she finds an Office 2k CD and goes through the installation process.
  • Live data issues: This will only work with live data through what is called an interactive pivot list. This means that you may not get your data published in the format that you'd like it to be. Also, live data will only refresh if the data source is a database query (ODBC or other data sources) to which Excel has direct access.
  • Limited interactivity: Unless your reporting is very simple in nature, this solution may not be sufficiently flexible for your needs.
I won't go into too much depth here, largely because Excel's help under this topic is quite extensive. For more information, please refer to the Excel help topic "Putting Microsoft Excel data on the Web".



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