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I work as a test engineer at a big company. In my department people create a lot of measurement data all the time. Usually it's in the form of xy-data like an acceleration vs time series. It can also be something like x,y,z,t or so. All this data is generated with a proprietary measurement software and stored in project files. So over time we have tons of different projects from this software which are scattered over all the computers of my colleagues.

If someone wants to access a measurment, usually the data is opened in the proprietary software and copied by hand in an excel chart. Usually it then gets presented using PowerPoint.

As I find this approach rather burdensome I would like to change that and store the data in a central, structured database of some kind. Therefor I need a recommendation on how to do that? Via VBA I can use ActiveX to access the files of the proprietary measurment software and automatically import them into Excel. Now I don't know what to do further. My colleagues eventually want to use the data in Microsoft Office.

How can I store all this data in a structured way while still making it easy for my colleagues to access the data and work with them in Office? Would Microsoft Access be a good tool for that?

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  • After more reading it seems that using Access with BLOB could work. I store the xy-data via VBA in a Collection or in a 2D-array. Then I store the Collection or the Array in a BLOB-field in an Access table. – Matthias La May 17 '19 at 9:58
  • Or skip Access completely for storage, and "upsize" an Access "application" to use a MSSQL server. Not being a fan of proprietary software, I'd instead parse out your data to CSV files and import to a MySQL or MariaDB server, provide direct querying via a web interface, as well as export to CSV to bring it back to work with in Excel, pull a few columns into R, etc – ivanivan May 17 '19 at 11:45
  • Thank you for the recommendations! Parsing out to csv-files should work. As I understand I would then need to set up a server of some kind which runs the database. Then I need a web-interface which accesses that server. Can you provide a nice, easy interface for that? I don't see myself coding one from scratch. – Matthias La May 17 '19 at 12:31
  • A simple "dump data to screen in table format" is super simple. if you just want to run queries on the data, then either phpMyAdmin (web based) or MySQL Workbench (use SSH tunnel to get to the SQL server) will let you do all the normal DB Admin stuff including running queries, exporting to CSV, etc. – ivanivan May 17 '19 at 15:06

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