Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Concerning Yourself with the End User
What about beta testing?
Software manufacturers typically have a rigorous testing cycle for new products. After extensive
internal testing, the pre-release product is usually sent to a group of interested users for beta
testing. This phase often uncovers additional problems that are usually corrected before the
product’s final release.
If you’re developing an Excel application that more than a few people will use, you may want to
consider a beta test. This test enables your intended users to use your application in its intended
setting on different hardware (usually).
The beta period should begin after you’ve completed all your own testing and you feel that the
application is ready to distribute. You’ll need to identify a group of users to help you. The
process works best if you distribute everything that will ultimately be included in your application:
user documentation, the installation program, help, and so on. You can evaluate the beta test in
a number of ways, including face-to-face discussions, questionnaires, and phone calls.
You almost always become aware of problems that you need to correct or improvements that
you need to make before you undertake a widespread distribution of the application. Of course,
a beta testing phase takes additional time, and not all projects can afford that luxury.
Obviously, you can easily see why you need to add some protection when users — especially
novices — will be using your worksheets. Excel provides several techniques for protecting
worksheets and parts of worksheets:
h Lock specific cells: You can lock specific cells (by using the Protection tab in the Format
Cells dialog box) so that users can’t change them. Locking takes effect only when the
document is protected with the Review➜Changes➜Protect Sheet command. The Protect
Sheet dialog box has options that allow you to specify which actions users can perform
on a protected sheet (see Figure 6-5).
Figure 6-5: Using the Protect Sheet dialog box to specify what users can and can’t do .