I am trying to create a data entry "app" to collect daily readings across our site. Here are the three biggest constraints:

  • Software - ideally, we would use some software within the Microsoft 365 Suite, mainly because those are the only approved apps on site. It may be possible to use open source software, but that might raise some flags in terms of security. So my thoughts are to use either Excel or Access.
  • Cost - ideally, we do not want purchase any additional software licenses. I would try and create something with Power Apps, but we do not have the licensing for an Azure or SQL server to store the data. I could be missing something here though.
  • Mobile-Friendly - finally, it needs to work on an Android tablet. Currently, we collect readings using pen and paper. The whole idea of this is to move towards using a tablet.

The easiest approach would be to create an Excel spreadsheet, save it on OneDrive, and edit the spreadsheet. I don't love this option because we are collecting 100's of data points each day. This would end up with a very wide spreadsheet that will be cumbersome to navigate.

The other option I looked into was creating an Access database and accompanying form and storing it on SharePoint. However, it seems Microsoft has stopped supporting Access databases on SharePoint.

I have created data entry forms using VBA, similar to this, but these do not work on mobile.

Is it possible to create a data entry form in Excel that also works on the Android version of Excel? Are there other alternatives I am not thinking of?

  • I'd recommend ODK opendatakit.org/software but it is open source and it could be used with Google Drive and it seems you want a Microsoft solution.
    – Nelson
    Feb 10, 2020 at 3:25
  • Hi - did you eplore the ODK suggestion by @Nelson?
    – Z Z
    Jan 28, 2022 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


You might consider using Office Add-ins, which you can code in Java Script.

This is the MS recommended way of programming Office 365.

Use the Office Add-ins platform to build solutions that extend Office applications and interact with content in Office documents. With Office Add-ins, you can use familiar web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build solutions that can run in Office on Windows, Mac, iPad, and on the web.

There is extensive on-line documentation, including code examples.

  • 1
    I think this option could work, but now I have to run it by the IT department. Currently, Office Add-ins are not enabled in our Office 365 suite.
    – setty
    Jan 9, 2020 at 19:40
  • Please let us know how it works out. I can't think of a better way to do it.
    – Mawg
    Jan 10, 2020 at 6:02
  • I have not forgotten you! I haven't had time to work on it! I will update when I do
    – setty
    Jan 17, 2020 at 21:43

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