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Re: [vox-tech] collaborative data storage (of excel files)
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Re: [vox-tech] collaborative data storage (of excel files)



Dylan Beaudette wrote:
Hi,

some of the people in my lab are interested in collaboratively compiling a large quantity of environmental data- each user appending several hundred measurements of several variables every week.

They are currently emailing around a spread sheet file and there have been numerous data accidents. Now they are asking to put the file onto a shared drive, so that they can access it remotely. This sounds like a terrible idea to me- even worse than the previous attempt.

The data are essentially rows and cols of numbers that are added to and edited weekly.

At first I thought subversion might be helpful, but revision control doesn't work so well with binary data (excel files)... unless there is something I don't know about. It would be hard to detect conflicts, or to merge data. However, it would allow for timestamps and revision numbers to provide some level of authority.

Designing some kind of database-driven system seems like a logical choice, but I do not have the time to do this. Perhaps there is already something out there.

Does anyone have some insight into how to solve this data management nighmare?

Cheers,

Dylan


While it might seem like a lot of work for a database, it might be less work than teaching all of them to use svn. If you make a DB table then you can just create an OpenOffice and or Access database that contains a linked table via the proper odbc driver(so postgres, mysql, whatever you want), they would all see the same table at the same time and if they're just doing appends it should work out ok.

This way no new software to learn or install for most, just need to configure the odbc connection once.

Alex
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