Updating Excel file in Intuiface - Notify users of potential broken links

I ran into a pretty major bug when building an asset collection of buttons generated from a spreadsheet. I had gotten all my butten image states in place, text for the buttons importing from a spreadsheet, and the buttons we’re toggling perfectly. Took me about an hour, but was satisfied with the result.

I then realized I didn’t like the name of the Excel Sheet and wanted to change it to be more accurate to what that sheet of data was for. This happened to be the sheet I had just been working with to build my asset collection of buttons. To my surprise, when I alt tabbed back to Intuiface, everything in the asset collection was gone. No amount of Undo would bring it back.

Obviously this was shocking and frustrating. I ended up rebuilding the whole thing and going forward I will avoid changing Excel sheet names, albeit sometimes that will create more confusion down the road if the sheet is named perfectly. Is this a known issue and is there a fix on the way? The amount of work that can be lost from this simple action is pretty significant.

Hi @brian1… I suggest you try reaching to our support team. if you haven’t yet.

I think we all went through the pain of rebuilding XLS actions once we renamed a tab or a column. It’s one of those lessons that are hard to forget as they are so time consuming. Some ideas:

  • Keep the original XLS tab names fairly generic, and rename them in the Intuiface UI (which you can change any time without harm).
  • Duplicate the XLS tab that you wish to have named differently and name it correctly. Save and close the XLS. Go back to your actions and switch the references to the new XLS tab. Once you have migrated those scripts to the new tab, you are safe to remove the old one.
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Hi tosolini,

You’re right having this happen makes it easy not to forget. These are great suggestions. We’ll be sure to follow those steps going forward. I appreciate your response, thank you!

Hi @brian1,

Paolo’s technique is indeed the one I use myself. One would consider a bug or a missing feature or an architecture design question.

To make a parallel with development work I used to do several years ago:

  • guy A sets a database, name the tables and fields
  • guy B develops a program, getting info from the database using SQL queries. Everything works.
  • guy A decides to rename a table without notifying guy B. It doesn’t work anymore, everyone blames guy B, while he didn’t do much in breaking what was working.
  • guy B has to update his SQL queries, based on the info guy A gives him (if he does), since he can’t guess the new name of the table in the database.

database = Excel
program = Intuiface
We’re both guy A & B :slight_smile:

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Hi Seb,

That makes sense. So it’s not so much of a bug as it is a potential feature. Point taken. That said, given that Intuiface has large appeal amongst non-developers, they are likely not to have that development background and understanding. For many it’s likely a pitfall they don’t see coming and unfortunately results in a negative user experience. Thus I would offer the following as a potential product improvement:

I could imagine a feature addition being something to the effect of Intuiface prompting a warning message letting the user know that it can no longer find the referenced spreadsheet “Name of Spreadsheet Here” and suggest the user to verify the name wasn’t changed as well as a warning that all references to the sheet in the project will be deleted if they do not correct the issue. The options presented to the user would then be, “Try Again” (which users would use after using this warning to correct their Excel spreadsheet naming) or “Ok, delete all references”.

I suspect offering users this warning would prevent significant user confusion, frustration, and loss of work. Ultimately transforming a negative product experience to a positive one. I’m no developer, but this approach seems to me it would be relatively simple to implement without major product re-work. To be clear, I love the product and I genuinely want to see it get even better. Thoughts?

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Fellow non-developer here! I think that is a great idea. I also came across this the hard way and when someone (can’t remember if it was here on the boards, or support) pointed it out, I thought, “Wait! What…?” A prompt like that would definitely help a newbie out, or even those of us who have been using it for a bit.

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@brian1, it’s an excellent suggestion, and if that’s ok for you, I’ll move this thread to our #wishlist category and rename the title to match your idea. I’ll also forward it directly to our product team, as I think they already have this idea listed somewhere in their backlog, but adding a +1 from the community always help.
Sounds good?

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That would be great. Thanks!

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