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Lean Tools, Training, and Systems

Alternative User Interfaces

for your Lean Continuous Improvement Portal

Alternative User Interfaces

If you're going to develop and support your own Custom User Interfaces,
then here's what you need to know...

When Excel is launched programmatically from any third-party application...

such as SharePoint, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, PDF, etc....

then Excel is designed to NOT load add-ins

Solution 1: Use any of the standard ways to find and open your Systems2win templates

(All of the standard methods described on that training page work flawlessly)

Solution 2: Follow our guidelines on this page
for how to open your Systems2win templates from your own custom user interfaces

Link to Systems2win templates
from any existing user interface

such as perhaps your existing library of non-Systems2win templates
on your WAN server, Intranet server, or SharePoint server

What you DON'T want to do
is scatter duplicate copies of your master Systems2win templates in multiple places.

We suggest that you store your Systems2win master templates in (only) 1 place organized in the standard S2winPortal folder
leaving all the sub-folders and files within that folder organized in the default way so that your future upgrades are as simple as possible

If your alternate user interface is a WAN or LAN server...
(wide area network, or local area network...)

... then you can simply create shortcuts that link directly to the Systems2win master templates, which are stored in the one standard centralized S2winPortal folder.

If your alternate user interface is an intranet server...

... then you can simply create hyperlinks that link directly to the Systems2win master templates, which are stored in the one standard centralized S2winPortal folder.

If your alternate user interface is a SharePoint server or ANY other application...
(such as a Word document, PowerPoint, PDF, etc.)...

... then you need to know that when Excel is launched programmatically from a third-party application, Excel is designed to NOT load third-party add-ins.


So you need to TRAIN your users how to use YOUR chosen user interfaces...

following the guidelines on this page.

If your alternate user interface is SharePoint or an Intranet server...

...then you need to teach every one of your users how to open Excel files from a SharePoint or a web server...

They should right-click > Save Target As

(or right-click Save Link As if using Firefox or Google Chrome)

and then open the file that has been saved to their local PC.

This will open Excel "the normal way" with add-ins enabled.

If your alternate user interface is any other application...
(such as Word, PowerPoint, PDF, etc)

...then you need to teach every one of your users that before clicking a link to open an Excel file from any other application, Excel must already be open.

They can't simply click a link from the application to launch Excel because add-ins will not be enabled.

In addition to personally training each of your users...
it is helpful to provide succinct instructions right along with the link(s) in the Word or PowerPoint or whatever document that contains the link to your Excel document.

Your instruction would be something like...

First open Excel, then click this link

If your alternate user interface(s) follow the above guidelines,
then your upgrades are extremely easy...

If you personalize your Systems2win template you replace the master template in the one and only place that Systems2win master templates are stored.

When you upgrade — you send us the entire folder full of legacy master templates so that our standard Personalization Upgrade Utility can automatically find and transfer your personalizations to your new upgraded templates, and then when you replace the entire S2winPortal folder full of master templates all incoming links will automatically link to your new updated master template.

Advanced tip: In this same way, you can have incoming links from multiple existing user interfaces. Perhaps multiple SharePoint sites for your different divisions or continents. Perhaps multiple (non-SharePoint) servers. The possibilities are endless. The flexibility is endless. And everything still remains blissfully simple — even as you continue to upgrade your Systems2win templates over the years.

testimonial quote

Why re-invent?

Why would you want to pay your valuable lean leaders and IT staff to re-invent systems?

The hard way

It is especially ironic to see so much non-value-add time wasted trying to re-invent standardized ways of distributing your templates and training materials that are used for standardizing your processes.

When you're ready to stop slogging through the "do-it-yourself" mud, and are ready to start floating downstream in the deep water, then schedule a free consultation to see how other industry leaders are doing things.