Keep your xls file untouched while using it as a database

Using Excel as a solid ground for making database driven application is not very common. On the other hand, using Excel in everyday data manipulation process is extremely popular. It is surprising how many people use Excel to collect and share data. In most cases they use Dropbox, Google Docs or e-mail communication to send empty or partially filled Excel files in order to populate or exchange data.

It is also very common to have more than one sheet in a workbook filled with data and graphs interacting with each other. Interacting between Excel sheets is actually usual praxis that makes Excel so popular and efficient. So far, using Excel files as a database file, usually meant that system will, one way or the other, extract data from your excel file and copy them to some SQL database. Although some systems offer to "reverse the process” but in order to enable download of populated xls(x), they actually generate another Excel file that’s far from original structure and formatting.

With dbBee Excel file structure remains untouched. Actually we are using the very file you uploaded, and we do not modify it in any way. This means that you can have Excel workbook with couple of sheets organized in any way. They can interact with each other, you can use graphs and everything else that Excel allows.

There are only few things that you should be aware of:

1. Do not password protect your file that you are using with dbBee
dbBee is a safe system. We protect your data by industry standards and we do not allow unauthorized access to your data, so they are protected as any other information stored on cloud based systems.

2. The part of Excel file (sheet) that will be used to add or publish your data must be prepared to work with dbBee (you can create one sheet/tab only for dbBee if you wish)
To learn how to prepare Excel file please read this article or view this video

3. You can use your Excel file to collect data online but no relations or charts will be automatically applied online. To process these information you must download Excel workbook using database manager and open the file, and at that point Excel will process all your chats and relations, including data recently added online.

Let’s create one example to practically show how simple is to use your original file and dbBee.

First we need a database (Excel workbook file) that has more than one sheet and has some interaction between sheets. Bellow you can see the screenshot of Excel workbook with 3 sheets, "Database”, "Branch chart” and "Gender chart”. First sheet, named "Database” contains the actual data.

Database, Branch chart, Gender chart

Sheet number 2, named "Branch chart” contains chart that counts rows (records, people) in the sheet "Database” by branch ("Food and Fitness”, "Arts and Design”, "Computers and IT”, etc.)

Count of Branch

Finally, "Gender chart” sheet presents gender structure of people in the database.

Count of Gender

Now, you can use either collect data wizard to make form that will let your web site visitors add additional data records to "Database” sheet or you can make password protected administration page that will enable you and other authorized users to add and modify data. There are numerous blogs and examples on our page how to create collect data form or administration pages so, if you don’t know how to do that, please read our blog section or check "How to” video section.

For this example we will use collect data form to add new record (new person) to our "Database” sheet. We will add Mary Poppins, which is female working in the Art and Design branch.

Mary Poppins
To get the populated Excel file we will use dbBee "Manage databases” system (you can read here how to find and use Manage databases). After we download the file we will open it with Excel.
Mary Poppins is added to the list at last place

As you can see on a "Database” sheet we Mary Poppins is added to the list at last place. As shown below, when we click Branch or Gender chart sheet, the graphs will be automatically modified, and we will have both numeric and graphic presentation of "Female” and "Graphic and Art” changed to the new values.

Arts and Design 20

Female 49
If you have any questions or need help with our product please do not hesitate to contact us at