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Automatic submission into Excel

By benm ·
Is there a way to post a form on my companies website which when submitted automatically goes into an excel spreadsheet? I work for a non-profit so I don't have a budget to do this with.

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by Toivo Talikka In reply to Automatic submission into ...

If your website is part of an intranet, depending on the type of the web server you run, you would have more options to link files produced by server-side scripts with your internal accounting and administrative system.

If your company's website is accessible to the public, it is usually separated from your internal servers, either by hosting the site at an ISP's server farm or by segregating the server box into the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in your network infrastructure, with limited and closely monitored communications with your internal servers.

You need to be conscious of the security of the website, non-profit or not. The backend code needs to check each entry in the form by validating numeric fields to make sure they are numeric and eliminating special characters, by doing range and other logic checks. The purpose of this is to stop code injection and other tricks by hackers.

If your server runs Apache and PHP, the code can produce a comma delimited CSV or TXT file from the form input which can then be sent as an attachment or the body in an email message to your internal mail server. Depending on the functions available in your mail server, it may be possible to set a rule where the attachment is saved to a particular directory using a standard name. This spreadsheet can then be imported to the main spreadsheet at a click of a button.

If your web server collects information from visitors, the normal way is to store the information in a database, like MySQL which you can install free of charge. You can either use the MySQL Administrator or write PHP code to export the data from the tables.

On the other hand, if the data is stored in a database, you could copy the whole database or replicate it from the web server to your internal server and produce reports from the data directly, rather than introducing a potential for human error with a spreadsheet application like Excel.

If you are interested in a solution like this, I have a time

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by Toivo Talikka In reply to

If you are interested in a PHP - MySQL solution, I have a timesheet and reporting application which I am hoping to release into the public domain.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to Automatic submission into ...

i would use this approach:
configure the form to output to a delimited txt file located on the webserver. then simple have Excel open the file. most web design packages (such as microsoft front page) can do this.
we'll need more details about exactly how you wish to use this data to help better

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