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Main Idea

Following a quote of the proposal sent to JBoye as a demo case.
What are most apps at their core? Data or Content. How do most people interact with data? Spreadsheets. Hence we decided to build a Magnolia App to create Apps from Spreadsheets. This allows any business user to simply use existing spreadsheets (or create ones from scratch) and turn them into a Magnolia App that then is accessible through Magnolia, and as such runs on both tablets and desktop computers. Of course the data gets imported as well.
Excel is the organization man's database. But – how to you distribute your spreadsheet? (fileserver? Email? Dropbox?). How do you share it between users, and sync updates? And how can you make such data available (and editable!) on tablets as well? This is the case that we solve. Upload you Excel into Magnolia, and it is automagically turned into a Magnolia App. Now everybody who has access to the App (via Magnolia App provisioning) will be able to read or write data to it with an easy to use user interface. No longer do you need to ask for the latest version of the "sick days" tracking excel or the project cost calculations. Expense Management? Inventory tracking? What Spreadsheet do you use in your organization to keep track of important data? WIth Magnolia, turn it into an App, and turn the nightmare of keeping excel files in sync into the joy of using your tablet or desktop to update such data.


  • (A) (Epic) As a user I can create a content app based on an Excel sheet, so that I and other users can manage the content in a shared and safe environment
    • (A) As a user I can upload an Excel sheet so that I don't need a developer to create an content app
    • (A) As a user I can define column names in the header row which are used for the creation of the detail form so that I don't have to create the form field's labels
    • (A) As a user I can define the column data type using standard Excel column data types text, date, long and boolean so that I don't need to explicitly define column types
    • (A) As a user I can provide an initial data set in the uploaded sheet which gets imported so that I don't have to enter the data manually
    • (B) As a user I can select the columns which are shown in the list view
    • (B) As a user I can select the role that can access the content app so that not every user can use the app
    • (D) As a user I can define if the app supports folders so that I can protect and manage the folders individually by using ACLs
    • (D) As a user I can define the help text of each field so that I can guide people when filling in the form
  • (C) (Epic) As a user I can generate an independent survey app to collect data from users so that I can collect responses safely and that I don't have to grant access to the content app
    • (C) As a user I can select the role who can fill in the  form so that I can control who can participate in the survey.
      • (D) As a user I can provision the app for the anonymous role so that I can make public serveys
    • (D) As an author I can publish a the survey form on a page so that I can collect answers from the public
  • (A) As a user I can download the content or a folder's content an Excel sheet so that I can use the data externally of Magnolia CMS
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  1. what do you mean with excel sheet? which file format, csv, xls, xlsx? it would be also nice to make an app from a xml webservice, possible another app. how do you manage multiple hirarchies in excel?

    It would be nice if i can create a form in the frontend which saves the data completly automatic in my defined app, it should be als possible to send this data via email. this could be a form processor.

    1. Marvin – the initial AppBuilder will be very limited in scope, as you can see from the stories above. But it solves one issue: it provides business users with the ability to create Content Apps. Yes, the types of columns will be fairly limited, and there is no support for anything beyond type definitions and source-data. But let's see what people do with it and how it gets extended over time. I could imagine to turn this into a fully generic AppBuilder App eventually, that uses pretty much anything as a source (for instance, screen-scrape a web page (table!). It could also include a graphical UI builder, although that might best be left to another App. We'll see. Release & iterate.

  2. as a user i can export an excel with all contents from this app

    • as a user i can edit this excel and reimport it into the app