has anyone deployed an XP’s which have an excel sheet which is updated remotely? If so I wondered if you could share your approach and how you achieved it. I know there have been suggestions of hosting the XP on dropbox but I also read that support for dropbox is being withdrawn (or did i imagine that)
I know some of our customers are using Mirror folders to sync an excel file between a “box/drive” account configured on the machine and the IntuiFace folder.
You read correctly about Dropbox support.
Thanks Seb. I will research that. i’ve not used AWS but is that an option?
@GazM: If you find a tool to sync your AWS bucket with the windows drive, I guess you could
To throw in my two cents here, I’m having some success with something called Appsheet. (www.appsheet.com)
It’s literally a software that reads your excel file, and creates an web interface to update it, even as a mobile app.
But let me warn you, this software can get pretty in depth with different excel-like functions and expressions. However, I’ve successfully used it with a simple XP, sync’d the excel sheet through OneDrive to my Intuiface player, and used MirrorFolders to copy the excel file into Intuiface backend. I was able to update a directory board from the cloud account in a matter of seconds. You can also permit only certain users to access the app and make updates.
Later this year when I get my process smoothed out, I plan on releasing a nice description in this community so others can follow. But at least you can take an early look. Good luck!
thanks so much for taking the time to respond with some really useful information. I will have a look into it!
I know this is from two years ago, but I’m trying to figure out the best way to remotely update an Excel spreadsheet for broadcast television. Do you still use this method, or do you use something new? Also, if the computers are connected to their own network, does this method change or remain the same? Thanks in advance!
Hi Megan, apologies for the delayed response. I don’t actively use this method too much anymore, but it did work, and worked well when I needed it.
I used Appsheet, which connected to an online Excel doc. Then created a OneDrive account at the PC, so the excel file would sync quickly after any updates. Then I used MirrorFolder to sync the excel file from the OneDrive folder directly into the Intuiface XP file system.
So when you updated from Appsheet, it would sync within seconds down to the PC. However, I want to issue a few words of caution:
- Appsheet was difficult to learn at that time. Maybe updates have made it easier nowadays, but it took a lot of reading and testing to set it up correctly.
- You will have an issue of ‘versioning’…meaning you need to keep in mind that your composer XP does not contain the same excel data that your deployed XP has. So if you deploy an updated XP, you will overwrite your excel data at the player end, and you will need to re-publish in appsheet so the excel file rewrites the new stuff down again.
- Also, it’s difficult to set this method up and test it. There’s a bit of chicken or the egg problem. Appsheet in some ways will dictate how you set up your excel file. But since the excel file from Appsheet is sync’d with your composer file, there’s a lot of back and forth between tweaking excel in composer and tweaking excel in Appsheet so that the fields match up perfectly. You’ll understand what I mean if you start using this method.
Hope that helps shed a little light. I stopped using this method because it was difficult to maintain. I’m patiently waiting for Intuiface to figure out the offline caching piece so that API explorer can be used offline. That will hopefully solve most of these scenarios.
No worries! Thanks for getting back to me.
What is your current method since you said you don’t use this anymore?
I’m working with an IT guy here to figure this out, but like I always say, it’s better to have too much information than too little!
If it helps, here is what we’re thinking about doing:
I made a football XP for a local TV station. Inside are buttons for each week of the local football season. When a button is pressed, groupings of each match for that weekend come up. The anchor is able to then select one of the two logos and that logo will have its background turn green, meaning it won, the other will turn red. Unfortunately, there are upwards of 35 matches for most of the weeks. He would like to have it only show a selection of the week’s matches. But the catch! (there’s always one, isn’t there? ) He would like to be able to have a producer off screen dynamically add any team at will during a call-in section. I was envisioning having the producer copy/paste the info for the call-in match into the Excel, which would make it “magically” show up in the list, at the bottom. Do you think just using the MirrorFolder would work since everything will be run through a local intranet? Am I approaching this wrong? Thank you Master Yoda.
Hmmm. If they are going to be on the same network, you may want to try mapping a shared network folder. (you may need to do some googling, I’m pretty sure it’s easy to do in Windows) The excel doc would live in that folder, accessible to both the producer and the Player PC. The producer would open the excel doc on his PC…(or anyone with access to the folder could as well), make changes, then save. The Player PC will automatically see the change since it references the same file, and you’d use MirrorFolder to sync it directly into the IF files.
Awesome! That doesn’t sound quite as cumbersome as the solution with AppSheet… I’ll pass this along to the IT guy and give you an update later.
You might want to have a look at this article section as well, about using Excel & shared folders.
Thanks @Seb! Our IT guy is asking me lots of questions, and I don’t necessarily have the answer to all of them yet as we work through all the details. I’ll send this his way.
If you are working off an intranet, then its alot more easier, put the entire XP into a shared folder, and to make it easier to find the excel, put a short cut in the root folder that will be easy to find. Your IT guy will then just need to setup that shared folder (with everything in it) and give access to the one updating the sheet. The person updating can then just run the excel from the shortcut and update.
Thanks! I’ll keep that in mind.