[kwlug-disc] What's the simple next level beyond OpenOffice Base?

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Sat Nov 27 11:07:55 EST 2010

Exactly! Case in point ...

With PCs, and spreadsheets, users could do many things better (number
crunching locally, what if, ...etc.). But then there were the side effects:
outside of a disciplined development process, these things just evolve. They
become a critical piece of IT that is not managed within IT's processes,
budgets, backups, change control, testing, ...etc.

And such a spreadsheet, if it contains Excel specific features, may mean
that you are locked to Windows and Excel. It may also make upgrading hard,
and switching to Open Office impossible too.

Treat "applications" as living organisms: they need care and feeding. They
are not static.

On Sat, Nov 27, 2010 at 10:43 AM, Insurance Squared Inc. <
gcooke at insurancesquared.com> wrote:

> Excellent point, and not something most of us would think through at the
> spreadsheet level.
> I worked in the pricing department of an insurance company back in the
> nineties doing technical pricing work.  I created a couple of Excel
> spreadsheets for the underwriters to use to assist them with their pricing
> work.  5+ years after I'd left the company an underwriter thanked me for the
> spreadsheets - they were still using them.  As far as I know, they're still
> using them today, well over a decade after I've left.
>  This is the start of "code sprawl". Instead of spreadsheets being just
>> data,
>> they contain code (business logic) in them, and in effect, you have an
>> "application".
>> An application is something you have to maintain for many years to come:
>> debug, modify, extend, ...etc. They have a life of their own, and require
>> time and effort to continue to exist. Application development is not a one
>> time thing. It is an on going effort.
>> So, whatever you decide to replace that with, take this into account. For
>> better or for worse, you have an application that needs to be maintained
>> for the foreseeable future.
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Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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