Using V3 FlexCelGrid with V5 FlexCel

Howdy all,

I thought I'd take this opportunity to share with you how I was able to get V5 Flexcel working with the V3 FlexCelGrid.

During this process I had invaluable help from Adrian and just shows why I have been a TMS user since the very early days.

Anyway, enough of the fan boy stuff. I needed to get to the extended colors and formulas that V5 introduced but was concerned that I would have to part company with FlexCelGrid. I know that V5 has a previewer etc. but changing something this fundamental would have been a bit of a vexation for the users.

Speaking with Adrian he pointed out the various benefits in V5 and what I would have to loose making the change.

In a nutshell I would have to update to XE from 2010 (I had the software but just never got around to making the jump) and would have to move most of my spreadsheet creation to the V5 stuff.

Fair enough I thought and I went ahead and did it. 

The beauty of the new version is that it is happy to play with others and will tolerate V3 co-existing. What I found of course was that they couldn't really exist in the same unit but there was no problem with them working in different units in the same program.

And that was the key.

Adrian warned me that I wouldn't be able to use the full colour pallet and I'm sure there are other things that V3 FlexCelGrid can't do but my needs were pretty nominal so this wasn't a major concern.

What I did was encapsulate the actual V5 spreadsheet creation in a unit that formatted the sheet and built it.

I then saved the spreadsheet to a temporary file. I passed the spreadsheet file path back to the V3 FlexCelGrid and then deleted the temporary file after it was loaded into the FlexCelGrid. This happens instantly and is transparent to the user.

The temporary file has a time and date stamp in the file name so multiple users could be working at the same time without any clashes. So far we've been using this approach for three weeks on a number of very busy systems with not one hick-up and no rubbish files being left.

Of course, once its in FlexCelGrid you can do what ever you would normally do and save it accordingly out of the grid. We've only been using the grids as a view medium so haven't had to contend with editing issues.

The colours, whilst not the true colours from Excel are more than acceptable and when a spreadsheet is saved and opened in Excel are perfect.

Adrian has mentioned that TMS is looking at upgrading FlexCelGrid but this approach has completely removed any drastic need for us.

I'm sure their are better ways to do this but this has worked for us in a very high use project, perhaps this might help others.