Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm considering using some free web file space hosting service. Do you have any experience with them? I would particularly like to share Excel files, so people will be able to work on them simultaneously.

You can suggest any service that:

  • offers free hosting (even with limited storage size)
  • allows me to work with it as seamlessly as possible (without installing additional software if possible)
  • that will support Excel worksheet sharing/collaboration

I was thinking of checking out several services (hopefully you'll comment on these):

  • Google spreadsheets - no support for in-cell dropdowns to select from a NamedRange values is nowadays one of the superbly working alternative to Microsoft Excel which surpases it in simultaneous collaboration/editing
  • EditGrid spreadsheets - same problem as with Google Spreadsheets - no dropdowns
  • Box.net - doesn't seem to support WebDAV or is not working for me and requires separate installation
  • myDisk.se - keep getting file disconnected errors
  • getDropBox.com - requires separate installation not just mapping of network drive
  • iDrive.com - probably more backup than sharing

EDIT
I would also like to point out, that I'm considering only those services that allow me to open the same file (shared workbook) on different machines at the same time and work on them. I'm not just talking about a repository, that you download your file and work on the local copy and then publish it back. I want the capability of a network drive.

(Pre)Final Decision
WebDAV doesn't support concurrent work on Excel files. It does work as single user write access, others read-only which isn't sufficient since users are forced to frequently close/re-open the file. The only way to do this is by sharing files on a network share. I don't think there's a service on the internet that provides this capability in any way shape or form. Am I wrong?

Final Decision

It seems that Google Drive Sheets are the best possible tool to replace Excel. It supports

  • in-cell dropdowns,
  • vast selection of formulas,
  • since 2014 it's very very fast even on large sheets,
  • since 2014 (with changed and upgraded interface that also supports text styling in 2015) supports formulas in cell formatting
  • has superb live collaboration capabilities
  • not to even mention sharing, privacy and publishing

I admit I tried to stay away from Microsoft's Office package for the last 3 years or so and I must gladly admit that I really don't need it. For all that Google Drive offers I'm covered. I don't do complex documents, drawings or presentations so their capabilities are more than sufficient. But I do very complex spreadsheets and I'm particularly pleased with how Sheets evolved over the years and are now a very very mature product.

Note: I've changed accepted answer in 2015 as Google's product really offers everything I require in a very intuitive and performant product.

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by masegaloeh, kasperd, Jenny D, Katherine Villyard, EEAA Apr 25 at 3:13

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
It was a bad thing to close this question, it should have been migrated to SU or to softwarecs SE. It was especially bad thing after 6 years. –  peterh Apr 26 at 23:24
    
@peterh It still wouldn't fit their content as these kind of suggestions (as this specific question proves very very clearly) tend to shift over time. Products evolve, die or in general don't stay as they were. –  Robert Koritnik Apr 27 at 5:10
1  
@peterh SE doesn't permit migration once a question has reached a certain age. This question is way past that age. Whether the question would even be on topic for those alternative sites is unknown to me. –  kasperd Apr 27 at 7:25

6 Answers 6

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Google Docs is a great choice. You might want to actually look into Google Apps and host your own Google Docs off your own domain and admin your users that way. It can also seamlessly integrate with your "Google Mail" for your domain as well.

share|improve this answer
    
Yes. This was my primary choice, because it has great collaboration functionality. BUT. One thing I WANT is selecting cell values using drop downs based on NamedRanges. I was astonished to find out that Google doesn't support this rather basic functionality. –  Robert Koritnik Aug 11 '09 at 8:30
    
Couldn't you build a form in the spreadsheet that does that? –  David Rickman Aug 11 '09 at 8:31
    
@freedom_is_chaos: A form would only help you when entering new rows into your spreadsheet. It won't help you edit existing rows. Or maybe I haven't tested it enough. –  Robert Koritnik Aug 11 '09 at 8:36
    
groups.google.com/group/How-to-Documents/browse_thread/thread/… They mentioned in here when I googled for it. I guess it would really depend on how you doing it. I found an example that uses a google spreadsheet as a back end here: spreadsheets.google.com/… I'm not advocating for Google services, just rather making sure you can get a good, free service that fills all your requirements except one. –  David Rickman Aug 11 '09 at 9:06
    
Otherwise it looks like your own suggestion of EditGrid does the trick nicely. –  David Rickman Aug 11 '09 at 9:08

I use dropbox daily and have for over a year for file synchronization across multiple computers and it works great for me.

share|improve this answer
    
@Keith: Does DropBox use WebDAV? Seems like you have to install their software. And check my "EDIT" before answering this. –  Robert Koritnik Aug 11 '09 at 13:04

If you're looking for LOTS of space, I can recommend

http://www.adrive.com/

50 GB free.

Update:: According to this their basic plan is indeed for Individual Use Only, but it does include File Sharing and even an Zoho Editor to edit word processing documents and spreadsheets online.

share|improve this answer
    
Correct me if I'm wrong but unfortunately it's only free if you use it as ONE single user. I want to share and collaborate on Excel spreadsheets. WebDAV will give me this functionality, won't it? but getting WebDAV need you to get on paid subscription. –  Robert Koritnik Aug 11 '09 at 8:39

What about Zoho Sheets?

share|improve this answer
    
AFAIK Zoho also doesn't support in-cell drop down lists to select from a named range values as Excel does, does it? I've looked into it, but haven't found a way of doing it. –  Robert Koritnik Aug 11 '09 at 11:07

I use GetDropBox extensively, and so long as you turn on the option within Excel to allow co-editing of workbooks, then multiple people editing the same Excel file works fine. This does not extend to other file formats however.

share|improve this answer
    
Where can I find this setting within Excel 2007? –  Robert Koritnik Aug 11 '09 at 11:09
    
On the 'Review' tab, click 'Share Workbook' and a window should pop up - tick 'Allow changes by more than one user at the same time. This also allows workbook merging.' on the 'Edit' tab and set the update parameters on the 'Advanced' tab. –  Moo Aug 11 '09 at 11:16
    
Great. The only problem I have now is that I keep getting "You are no longer connected to this file..." when I try to save my shared file. –  Robert Koritnik Aug 11 '09 at 12:58

No solution that covers all requirements

WebDAV doesn't support concurrent work on Excel files. It does work as single user write access, others read-only which isn't sufficient since users are forced to frequently close/re-open the file. The only way to do this is by sharing files on a network share. I don't think there's a service on the internet that provides this capability in any way shape or form.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.