This manual is in pilot operation.

The application areas of [Excel-Link] and forms overlap. How should you choose between them?

The answer depends on the situation, but below are some guidelines to consider as a starting point.

If you’re new to fusion_place…​

For reports and input screens…​

We recommend [Excel-Link]. With [Excel-Link], you need less knowledge to get started compared to using forms, and you can immediately access fusion_place data using the familiar Excel. You can freely customize the layout using Excel’s features.

For reports primarily used for data verification, we also recommend simple forms. You can easily display all necessary data by arranging dimensions on the vertical and horizontal axes (with [Excel-Link], if there are omissions in the keys specified for columns or rows, data related to those keys will not be displayed, so care is needed when using it for data verification).

As a means to import data from other systems into fusion_place…​

We recommend simple forms. Data from other systems can also be imported using [Excel-Link], but creating a simple form is easier than creating such a sheet. Moreover, compared to [Excel-Link], simple forms have the following advantages:

  • If the original data is modified, you will need to re-import the data. In this case, using forms for data import means previously imported data is automatically erased ⚠. With [Excel-Link], if there is no data for the keys imported last time, you need to create zero or blank values for them (this is the same for data import features provided by many other tools besides fusion_place).

  • Code transformation using translation tables is possible.

⚠To be precise, when using forms for data import, values in cells that can be input from the [Browser] screen are first erased. Normally, data imported last time is initially displayed on the screen, so it will be erased. Then, data from the current import target file is written to each cell.

As you become more experienced…​

For reports and input screens, consider using full-featured forms. In the long run, forms tend to require less maintenance effort than Excel sheets. The maintenance effort typically goes in the order: regular Excel sheets > sheets using [Excel-Link] > forms.

There are things that only [Excel-Link] or forms can do, as shown below, but most other types of screens or reports can be created with either. For such purposes, we recommend considering forms.

Things that can only be done with [Excel-Link]
(Examples) …

・ Reports with various fonts and lines used in detail

・ Sheets containing complex formulas
(Many formulas can also be handled by forms)

Things that can only be done with forms
(Examples) …

・ Data imports involving complex code transformations

・ Creation of "maintenance-free" screens and reports where changes in the dimension member tree are automatically reflected
(With Excel-Link, it’s possible to use template processing to vary the order of items on the vertical axis, but forms allow much more flexible control of the order)

・ Navigation between screens via drill-down

Not only in terms of maintenance effort but also once you get a bit familiar with the form designer, creating with forms becomes easier. In Excel, even if you need to copy the same formula across dozens of rows, with the form designer, you only need to enter a formula once, reducing the chance of errors.