Spreadsheet as database?

Hello guys.

I'm working on a tool for booking for using some local assets at work (special hardware tools, scroll saw, battery drill, etc) and because I'm kind a noob at programming in general and NR also, I'm not sure how to make a proper database that could be accessed by anyone without IT knowledge or so. I mean SQL is out of discussion here.

Currently the booking is made manually by inserting data into an Excel file (name, start hour, end time, tool used, description of the job, etc) or even worse, by filling a paper table using the pencil.

Anyways, I've searched and tried something out without success, and this is why I'm calling for help from you guys.

Is there any possibility to have a node or flow to read and write into an excel file stored on a server and provide an error message if the selected time frame for booking is the same (duplicate) as another time frame that is stored into the excel file?


Hi @AndreiT, welcome to the forum.

How do you envisage using Node-red in this system? Is it a replacement for entering bookings in Excel?

If your "database" remains in Excel and anyone can access it, there is nothing to prevent them continuing to enter bookings in Excel - so your code to prevent duplicates must also be in Excel, not in Node-red.

I am not an expert in MS Office but it seems like a calendar app would be a better choice than Excel.

In addition to @jbudd's questions,

  1. How many people will be using it and how often?
  2. Will multiple people use it at the same time?

In addition to the comments from the others, I can answer directly - yes, there are indeed nodes that will read and write Excel spreadsheets.

Not too sure how useful that will be though.

Ideally, you would probably be wanting to create a simple form for booking assets. That form will need to know what assets exist - a list. And whether those assets are available at the requested time - another list.

Then in addition to the booking form, you need to be able to manage those lists.

A reasonable point. And, of course, there are dedicated resource management tools that would do all of this for you.

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