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

Raul Suarez rarsa at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 27 11:32:18 EST 2010


I'll add that being in the IT side of an insurance company, we've sometimes taken those underwriting spreadsheets as part of the specifications for a new system. I mean. what's a better specification that working algorithms?

I've also seen End user spreadsheets that are full blown applications and that's where I draw the line. I don't see some of these tools for professional development but as personal, end user tools where users can hack something based on their domain expertise. The results are usually amazing.


--- On Sat, 11/27/10, 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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Raul Suarez

Technology consultant
Software, Hardware and Practices
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