Version 1 was a test
Because we couldn’t find a similar product for Excel like Virtual Forms, we needed to find out if there is an interest in something like this, something like Access is having for their users.
The Virtual Forms project is developed for years but is publicly available for just a few months.
The original plan
If you don’t know, the Virtual Forms project was publicly released on 25.08.2016. in a Beta version.
The Change Log testifies that we are working on improvements and changes daily.
The interest in the project was more than we expected.
In few months, without any advertising and only a few facebook posts about how to create Virtual Forms in few clicks, to be able to completely turn Excel into full database application with CRUD (create, read, update and delete) forms with filtering and professional look and to be able to connect (read-write) to workbooks, Access Databases, MySQL and MS SSQL there were 1.800+ likes and a few hundreds of subscribers to the mailing list.
We also asked users to fill out a survey with 3 questions.
If you didn’t, you can fill out the survey here.
In the survey ca. 80% of people has responded that the main problem is the nonexisting 64-bit Excel support.
On 15. February, the day after Valentine’s Day (and my wedding anniversary 🙂 ), while we were skyping (drinking coffee through skype) in the morning, I said to guys that we will withdraw Virtual Forms from public circulation till we create the version that will work with 32-bit and 64-bit version of Excel.
The team mumbled, but at the end they agreed.
The challenge was here
As the Microsoft also admits, the majority of ActiveX control works only in the 32-bit version of Excel and there are only a few of them, globally, that works in 32 & 64bit version of Office.
So, the challenge was here, to adapt the control to work in 32 & 64bit of Excel and to be able to access all the controls placed on Virtual Forms regardless if in 32 or 64bit of Excel.
From normal situation to chaos
I wrote a nice newsletter where I explained to our testers and fans that we intend to withdraw Virtual Forms project till we get the 32-bit and 64-bit version working.
The main reason was that the code base for communication between VBA and virtual form will drastically change.
The newsletter was sent on Monday, 20. February. The open rate for the newsletter was decent, at that time it was about 40%.
And 198 subscribers to newsletter, so there must be obviously maximum 100 testers that test the Virtual Forms (I thought).
The end of Beta testing was scheduled on 28. February. Till 01.March there was no emails complaints on the temporary withdrawal.
But then, oh man.
Emails did’t stop coming. So after a week we decided to change the approach and extended the beta testing and downloads of version 1.
We have to leave existing properties, methods, and events so that the existing solutions with minimal intervention can customize this large modification such as a completely new approach to communication in VBA that was needed to support the 32-bit and 64-bit version of Excel.
When the Version 2 of Virtual Form for Excel will be out?
Soon, we will release the new Version 2 of the Virtual Forms. (Still fixing Virtual Forms Designer)
And writing documentation.
If you love the idea of VF project, motivate us, let us know (our facebook page or here in the comment), and do please spread the word about it.
Would you like to test it? Leave a comment on our facebook page.
With Love, Davor