Now, as it normally happens in these situations, a good tool may become a bad choice if we are using it in a way it wasn't designed for. Personally, I've seen people trying to use ExcelToCI to run complex data loading resulting in unexpected delays due to the need to build ad-hoc tools for conversion.
What are the most significant ExcelToCI limitations? You may find others, but from my experience, these are quite important:
- ExcelToCI does not allow to determine the order in which fields are loaded into the application. The order is determined by the tab order defined at the page level in Application Designer.
- Loading large data volumes becomes unpractical for performance reasons. Excel could easily hang when manipulating spreadsheets with over 10,000 rows.
- Excel becomes nearly blocked when executing the load. It's difficult to perform any other action on the same workstation, and particularly to load several files in parallel.
- Can only run in Add or Update mode, but there is not hybrid option to first try to Add and then Update is the row was present.
- Lets you choose in which order you want fields to be loaded.
- Loads from CSV files or database tables, which are much easier to handle than Excel files.
- Lets you load different files in parallel. Processing is done at the server level, without capturing your local resources.
- Includes a Hybrid load option, which only adds the rows that were not present before the load and updates the remaining ones.
What have been your experiences with ExcelToCI? Have you used it for massive data loading?