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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)



On Tuesday 15 January 2008, Alex Mandel wrote:
> 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

Right- This was my initial plan a couple of months ago, but I cannot allocate 
time into doing it the "right" way as it is not my project. Unfortunately I 
get sucked into these things, and would like to suggest the best possible 
solution. Maybe it is time to have data librarian for the dept.

Thanks for all of the helpful comments,

Dylan

-- 
Dylan Beaudette
Soil Resource Laboratory
http://casoilresource.lawr.ucdavis.edu/
University of California at Davis
530.754.7341
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