Sabisu Publisher: Storing raw Excel data for ultimate flexibility (r11011)

This week we’ve added an array of updates to the Publisher and Sabisu platform, greatly enhancing the way you can centralise and share your MS Excel documents.

Publishing Data from Excel

Until now all data published from MS Excel has been static; a snapshot. This week we’ve moved the boundaries between end user computing and structured IT yet again.

We’ve given you a new option: Publish as Data.

publish-as-data

The gap between static snapshots and full integrated systems has been too large for too long. Moving from an end user driven, MS Excel-centred environment to structured systems which store data for trending and interrogation has traditionally been a long process, requiring significant IT development.

Now, with a single checkbox, you can start storing your MS Excel data in it’s raw format, historising it to permit trending, drill-downs, interrogation and linking.

Here are some guidelines:

  • Pictures/drawing objects aren’t supported. You’ll see a descriptive error in Sabisu Publisher client.
  • Remember if you do a ‘Save as’ or copy a spreadsheet in Explorer it’ll take the GUID document property; you should delete your custom properties if you want it to treat the copy as a fresh spreadsheet.
  • Use Grouping to hide columns rather than ‘hide’; grouping is picked up automatically by Sabisu and results in an expandable set of fields whereas ‘hide’ is ignored and the data is presented. (See video below.)
  • If you’re using Grouping, make sure you get all the data in the range; when dealing with groups it’s easy to select the row/column summary line but not all the detail rows/columns.

Table Enhancements in Sabisu

In-line with our new data publishing features in the Publisher, we’ve done some major updates this week to tables in Sabisu.

A new table component is now available in the Builder called Collapsible Table, this is the default component used when publishing data from cell ranges in Excel. This new component has a range of new features over the existing Table component in Sabisu:

  • A flat collapsible table which is different from the current nested tables.
    Use flat collapsible tables where you’re categorising tables where the data is of the same structure.
    Use nested tables where you want to drill down into data which has a different structure to the parent table.
  • Collapse both columns and rows.
  • Bring back styles from a publication / SQL query which get applied to the table cell (not the inner HTML element as it does currently).

collapsible-tableThe new CollapsibleTable component is a great fit for the new Publish as Data feature and is the default Widget Component for new Publications that use this feature. The animation above demonstrates how MS Excel row and column groupings appear in the Widget.

The following cell formatting information is processed and represented in Sabisu tables automatically:

  • background colour
  • text colour
  • tints (which are translated into background colours)
  • line breaks
  • column width
  • text rotation
  • text alignment (horizontal, vertical)

Other items related include:

  • Developers can apply cell formatting to the table via the new data-style attribute. When you pass down data, it can be wrapped in an HTML element with the new attribute and it will replicate that style to the parent table cell. When publishing from an Excel document, this is handled automatically.
  • We’ve added a new Builder option which allows you to change the header text orientation giving you more control of how you want your tables to be presented in widgets.
  • Filters now persist through refreshes so you can keep a personalised view of your data.

As always if you have any questions or suggestions, head over to our LinkedIn group and share your thoughts.

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