Jump to content

Featured Articles

Check out the latest featured articles.

File Library

Check out the latest downloads available in the File Library.

New Article

Product Viscosity vs. Shear

Featured File

Vertical Tank Selection

New Blog Entry

Low Flow in Pipes- posted in Ankur's blog

Development Of Engineering Solutions By Using Microsoft Office ...

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
2 replies to this topic
Share this topic:
| More

#1 engware


    Gold Member

  • Members
  • 154 posts

Posted 11 August 2006 - 06:37 PM

To All:

Presently, Microsoft (MS) Office applications (PowerPoint, Excel, Access and Word) are available worldwide and are becoming a standard set of tools for the basic computer work.

MS Office creates a unique opportunity of providing a platform for basic engineering e-solutions that can be quickly developed and distributed over the Internet on the worldwide basis.

For example, by using MS Excel one can in a spreadsheet type environment get done basic Visual BASIC programming and get plots ready for a template type of engineering calculations. The user can by changing input values get output values and plots indicating the corresponding engineering problem trends. In the past, something similar was almost impossible to get done and such analysis would take hours of hard work.

MS Access provides a good working environment when more powerful software development is required.

MS PowerPoint allows quick and easy development of slide shows for the purpose of presenting the engineering results and plots.

MS Office comes with a powerful equation and symbol editor what makes it nice when presenting the engineering models.

I would like to invite both Forum members and visitors to start a discussion on the Development of Engineering e-Solutions by Using MS Office Applications -- ask questions of interest, share knowledge and experience related to the Development of Engineering e-Solutions by Using MS Office Applications.

Also, everybody is welcome to contribute to the Development of Engineering e-Solutions by Using MS Office Applications topic.



Below are a few plots dealing with the Brayton Cycle (Gas Turbine) -- the plots have been generated by using developed MS Office engineering e-solutions.

#2 Adriaan


    Gold Member

  • Members
  • 118 posts

Posted 13 August 2006 - 10:38 AM

While Excel is extremely useful for developing / prototyping (engineering) software applications it also has some serious limitations and problems:

1.) for simple small applications Excel itself is a big overhead (having to run Excel, find the file etcetera, system and memory requirements that can be a problem on lower power PC's)

2.) there are some graphing limitations (no scrolling through a line chart while displaying only a section of it with fixed resolution; the more data you add the more squeezed togeteher the graph becomes)

3.) data and software are usually stored as ONE file, data and configuration both part of the "sheet" which makes transfer of data to and from other systems a right pain

4.) not everybody has the same Excel version so there are transferrability issues

5.) no multi level access to settings (you either have a user level access or a developer level access) which makes it impossible to have separate rights for different users (e.g. for changing factors)

So prototyping, YES, platform for solutions ..... NO.

I prefer to use Rapid Q (a lot like VB but with some limitations and some big advantages, first and foremost the ability to produce a single compact EXE file with everything needed contained in it) to quickly produce a program. The main advantage are that I can have levels of users (password system), separate programs and data files and task specific screen setups.

#3 engware


    Gold Member

  • Members
  • 154 posts

Posted 13 August 2006 - 10:59 AM


I do appreciate your feedback and comments.

I have to indicate that my primary reference to MS Excel was for template type engineering calculations and perhaps "prototype" engineering work.

I do understand that regular type of engineering software development work needs to be done in a better programming environment and MS Office suite of applications may not be the one. However, MS Access provides a nice working environment when developing powerful engineering applications.

Adriaan, you are absolutely right when you start listing limitations of MS Excel, but it does not mean that MS Excel cannot be used and has no value to the engineering community. Let me tell you that when I went to school of engineering some twenty five (25) years ago, there was no software package like MS Office. Everything was done either by hand, handheld calculator or on the mainframe. In my opinion, the MS Office tools are pretty good in spite of their limitations.

I do hope that we will get a few more inputs on the subject matter so that both Cheresources.com members and visitors can benefit from such a valuable and fruitful engineering exchange of opinion and experience.



Similar Topics