With DataPoint, the user can add new functionality to Microsoft PowerPoint for data driven presentations and update their content when the user open the presentation and while running the slide show. With PowerPoint and DataPoint combined, the user can have some kind of information screen or message board where the user can display messages, news and announcements and update the content from remote. Microsoft Access is mostly used for databases. The user can easily create a new database, design the database structure, add data, set up queries to filter out information, join multiple tables, enter the data via forms etc. Put this database on a file server and the user can let DataPoint connect to this database in order to read out the data for the presentation. First install PowerPoint and DataPoint on the machine and start PowerPoint. Set up a new presentation based on an empty template or the default company template.
First we will set up a data connection to the Microsoft Access database. Click DataPoint in the PowerPoint menu.
Then click the List button of the Connections group.
Position on the Microsoft Access node in the provider tree and click Add connection.
Click the Browse button, navigate to the Microsoft Access database that the user wants to use. In this example, we will connect to the Northwind demo database of Microsoft Access.
Click OK to establish a link to the database. Rename the connection to a meaningful name by clicking on the label. The text will be selected and the user can type in another name. Press Enter key to commit.
Add table or query
Now with this data connection selected, click Add query. The user will get a list of all the tables and queries that are created in the database. For this example select the Orders table.
Data refresh options
Set the Data refresh rate to Continuous updating and change the interval to a desired value. The default here is 5 seconds. So DataPoint will go back to the database and check for new data. When no updates are detected, DataPoint will not update the data on the slides but whenever new data is detected DataPoint will update the text boxes and tables at once with the new content. Now click OK to add the query to the connection.
In the connections overview the user will now see a preview of the data that is available now for the presentation. Click OK to close.
Now back on the slide the user can add text boxes to the slide and link the text box to a given cell of the data. The user data is presented like a spreadsheet with rows and columns. The columns have a specific meaning like name, birth date, address etc. The rows represents the occurrences of the table. So for the employees table the user will have one row that represents all the data of one employee.
Text box linking
Add a new text box on the slide and click DataPoint and then Text box in the Shapes group. This will bring up the properties of a dynamic text box.
First of all the user can select a data connection from the list. All columns of the chosen connection are now listed in the columns combobox. Select the column that the user wants to display in the text box and change the row number when necessary.
Click OK to bind the data connection information to that text box. As of now the user don’t need to enter a text manually anymore at the text box. The text box will update the content with the data of the linked data cell of the Microsoft Access database. Now add more text boxes to the slide and link them all to other columns of the connection.
Microsoft Access slide show
Start the slide show and DataPoint will check for data updates and update the slide content continuously. The user can have the information screen or message board running and display the slide show now in full screen. Someone can open the database on another computer, add or modify data, and commit the changes back to the database. The information screen will be updated automatically within the refresh rate interval.