Importing data from Excel - Help users

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Hi all,

I decided to create this post to share a pattern that has huge impact on usability when importing data from Excel files to your OutSystems Application.
Too often we supply users with Excel import functionalities that cause enormous annoyance when the file contains incorrect data. Error messages like "There's an error in line 57." are not enough to provide adequate usability to a data import mechanism.

In the attached eSpace you can see an example where a detailed list of the errors found is shown to the user, allowing him to act on them. He can correct them directly on the list and submit them without leaving the screen or download an Excel file with whole thing, correct it, and then repeat the import process.
This is a just a simple example but it shows how we can make the user’s life a lot easier.
 
Regards,
Tiago.
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Can you include v6.0 version?  Thanks!

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Hi Tiago,

Firstly, I want to congratulate you for this initiative that might help many beginners in the OutSystems Platform.
Looking at this kind of posts, let me think that it would make sense if we had a specific area with how-to's in our Network (could even pass a pre-validation from Outsystems before they were published, in order to validate the sense and avoid duplicates).
Hope that someone from the Outsystems Community can read this suggestion and give his opinion.

Best Regard,
Gonçalo Martins
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Gonçalo Martins wrote:
Looking at this kind of posts, let me think that it would make sense if we had a specific area with how-to's in our Network (could even pass a pre-validation from Outsystems before they were published, in order to validate the sense and avoid duplicates).
Hope that someone from the Outsystems Community can read this suggestion and give his opinion.
 
Hi Gonçalo,

We keep discussing if we should have things like a FAQ, or a tips-n-tricks repository, but we always end up with the problem of usefulness of feature versus feature growth in the Community site. One more "silo" to maintain always has a negative impact on maintenance and even visibility when people are looking for information.

So far, I have been unconvinced that having this in the forums, where people can comment and contribute with suggestions/alternate versions for the tips, is not a good enough solution. We could consider implementing a read-only forum where interesting posts such as this would be moved, but even that will require a curating effort that may end up being counter-productive.

Still, I would be happy to hear what you and everyone else feels on this matter.

Cheers,


Miguel
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Hi Miguel,

I obviously have to agree with your explanations because they make sense (now that I had some more time to reflect).
Certainly when we have a lot of scattered information, users will need to make more clicks to get what they're looking for. Having the
information more centralized makes this task more quickly and effectively.
In terms of maintenance impact, it would be also an extra work, without much added value. It is preferable improve the search algorithm during the time (add some new search filters, improve its performance,..) than have to handle large amounts of information.

Best Regards,
Gonçalo Martins
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thanks for the example. it helped me out in how to import from an excel file. 

it is easier than you think!