Personal Blog of Thomas Hampel - Creative Mythbusting in Development and Collaboration

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Dont bug me with XLS

Thomas Hampel
 6 August 2012

Lots of new communication methods came up the last couple of years. Social business is considered to be the next big thing, offering even more cool & trendy features to your day in a life to provide more productivity and flexibility.
Why are some people still sticking with old fashioned thinking and keep sending files via mail?
Especially files of type XLS which -as some might know- I dont like to work with.

Information is static - you never know if the file you've got is the latest one or if there's a new template with updated macro's or updated content available.
For sure people could share this file via IBM Connections files or other products like QuickR, but thats not the point.

In a fast living IT business, its simply not acceptable for putting dynamic information into a static XLS file.
One example I've received today, where someone requested to put the DB size (of one single Domino application) into an XLS file.

The following template was used, listing one row that shows an example - since the NSF file had 10 Gbyte, I've entered a rounded number 10.000 assuming the example would clearly indicate that the column value must be MB(yte).
Image:Dont bug me with XLS
I had to return the file in a mail - actually I proposed uploading it to IBM Connections, but my counterpart did not accept any other form of delivery other than mail.
Unfortunately my assumption about the DB size wasnt correct. The recipient of the file turned back to me and asked...
"Current DB size - 10000 what? KB, MB?"


Just returning the clarification "MByte" which is 5 characters via mail or chat was not an acceptable form of reply. I was told the only allowed method would be an (updated) file, with an updated file name. And you know how this is supposed to look like..."Version XYZ from DATE.xls". Since I was already fed up with the originators bureaucracy, I couldnt stop myself submitting this:
Image:Dont bug me with XLS
...so what :)

Next time: Please read the email netiquette leave me alone with boring XLS files and either use an apropriate workflow application (Hint: Domino is an excellent platform for rapid application development) or at least put files into a central repository like IBM Connections, Quickr or if you really have no other option even use other products, but DONT send XLS files in a mail!!
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