See Also: The Kurt Dupont Interview
Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
Date Created: November 25th 2003
Last Updated: February 25th 2009
PowerPoint is omnipresent and everywhere - and there are even people out there who compare it to death! So, why has this program escaped all this while from some sort of integration with databases?
It would probably be wrong to say that there has been no use of PowerPoint with databases in the past. I myself am aware of many custom solutions built by PowerPoint and database consultants that have explored amazing uses of the two application flows together. However, no such solution has been made available to a mainstream audience - in fact, many mainstream PowerPoint users probably don't expect any database integration of any sort for PowerPoint slides. And then comes along DataPoint and tries to change attitudes. Will this concept succeed? Let's find answers...
DataPoint is a PowerPoint add-in created by PresentationPoint, a Belgium based company that was founded in 1998 with a goal is to build products and consultancy for the aviation market (more airports than airlines). PresentationPoint builds AODB and FIDS systems.
AODB stands for Airports Operational Database. It collects, distributes and validates airport information such as flight info, check ins, gates, etc.
FIDS stands for Flight information Display Systems. This is a system that you as a passenger see at every airport - they show your flight information, boarding status, advertising, etc. This is also used by staff to know which luggage is going to which aircraft, flight tracking and delays.
PresentationPoint is headed by Kurt Dupont, Director who was also my contact for this review. Thank you, Kurt.
For more information, visit the PresentationPoint site...
I asked Kurt about how DataPoint evolved:
"For several years I was hoping that Microsoft would include database connectivity into PowerPoint. They did not so I took the challenge. After 2 years of investigations and development, DataPoint has been released. Some testers have been using the system already for several months."
I also asked Kurt about application areas for Datapoint and he provided some extensive info. Since most of this is so valuable, I'm reproducing the entire list here:
- A music hall is using DataPoint to display
the play list of bands, singers together with the schedule. Next
to this online presentation, they use PowerPoint and DataPoint
to generate flyers.
- Inform your personnel on the work floor about
the current status of a project/product
- Display the random numbers of a bingo event.
- Someone has collected information in Excel or
Access but his or her boss wants to have a PowerPoint presentation
- Score board for games, elections and votes.
- To maintain a companys product list, prices
and stock information.
- An overview presentation with the status of
all ongoing projects in a company. The information is collected from
a Microsoft Project database.
- To welcome visitors at the reception desk.
The screenshots above show Datapoint working behind the scenes to output dynamic data driven PowerPoint presentations that deliver airport flight schedules (left) and weather forecast reports (right).