Excel Add-In Task Pane to create XL Clipboard
One of the largest pain points of going to any event is the registration or checkin lineup.
One of the main problems is that the registration people have to flip through reams of paper trying to find the person's name. While the event may be organized, the anti-pattern that happens is when the event organizers try to print out the spreadsheet of their guests/attendees.
Reconciling paper is tedious and error-prone.
Event Organizers can try to share it via the Share function for Excel. But smartphones and tablets were not really meant for Excel spreadsheet. . It's also difficult for staff/users to search and update records.
What organizers really need is some sort of way to share the spreadsheet, maintain control but allow maximum efficiency and collaboration. Like the tools that exists for sharing images (imgur.com) or links (bit.ly), but designed for spreadsheets and tabular information.
What it does
This Excel Add-in as a task pane allows the user to share their spreadsheet as an "XL Clipboard". Once created, the user is given an XL Clipboard web address (like a shortcut) with all their data.
You can set fields to not only be hidden but if you want your helpers to collaborate (i.e. update/fill in missing information) you can mark fields as editable or read-only.
You can also set a
summary field, this specifies which fields XL Clipboard will search. This will help staff to quickly find people but you can limit it based on what you want them to see.
Once created, the shared web address is also password locked so only people who know the address and the password may access it.
Your staff can lookup people, update their information, and check them in.
This is a true way to collaborate on a spreadsheet without the need to build a database or any complicated mobile/web application.
How I built it
This is an Office 365 Excel Add-in using the Excel API to parse the current active worksheet. It uses angularjs in the Task Pane and Polymer in the viewer. This allows for maximum portability and device compatibility.
Challenges I ran into
Getting everything to synchronize properly.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Speed of building this add-in.
What I learned
Office-365 Add-Ins are not that difficult, but the Excel API, particularly getting the Context object to synchronize is a bit tricky.
What's next for XL Clipboard
Pricing and add-in submission to the Microsoft Store.