We were having a conversation about how many people think the spreadsheet tables of #COBie are too complicated. Many people think it should all be populated from an application, but the reality is that just does not happen. You probably have the skeleton data come from an application, but the rest is getting data from a base of users where excel (other spreadsheet programs available) is as sophisticated as it gets. In Excel it is possible to create a forms-based interface but still many organisations ban the use of macros.
So, what are the lowest cost options if you only use the Cobie workbook? Here is a list of things we are doing to prepare a view of the workbook for the audience in the hope they can be successful.
Hide sheets that aren’t relevant. We have had Cobie sheets deleted by companies so teach them to hide not delete.
Hide not delete the columns that are not relevant. Again, some people think it’s OK to delete columns because they are getting in the way.
Add conditional formatting to Col A to prevent duplicates (Zone, System, Attribute being the exception).
Add an email validation to Contact Col A. This guide will show you how
Add a range name to Contact Col A so that you can easily create list combo for everywhere it is referenced using the data validation tools. This is especially important in the Type Manufacturer field! Put this validation anywhere that references Contact Email.
My last tip is to teach people how to enable Data Form in excel so they can edit and create records in a vertical form format. The data form does not do the list boxes but it’s better than nothing.