Knowledge is spread all over the company and hidden inside excel files. During the development of new products it is crucial to have a state of the art of what has been already done to save money.
The context and some contraints
- Engineering department
- Each engineer manages its own formatted list of product datas using excel
- The headers may have different names (example : list 1 refers to temperature as “Max Temperature” while list 2 refers as “T”)
- The values may be in expressed in different units (exemple : list 1 expresses the temperature in °C while list 2 in Kelvin)
- No extra work for the engineers
- Using a scheduled task, the different excel lists are uploaded from the windows file system onto the company server
- Using a server scheduled task (cron), the excel files are converted into sql format
- A conversion sql database helps to uniform the parameters designations and units
- The result is quite powerful
With this method, we authorise the engineers to work with their own excel files and still provide a solution to search among all the different files.
- Make sure that there is an unique identifier for each excel lines so that any project can make reference to it.
- Auto update the sql databases structure to match structure changes in the excel files.