Solutions for large, interactive Web database with reporting

I need to take a very large Excel spreadsheet (17,000+ rows by 100+ columns) and turn it into a very user-friendly, searchable, sortable, filterable online database that can generate reports. This would be pulled into pages on a Wordpress site I’m hosting here on DH.

Users should be able to quickly run queries and narrow down to a subset of the data they are interested in, and export it to common file formats (.csv, .xlsx, etc.) or print nicely formatted reports.

Sounds like a lot of data and it is – totally should not be in Excel! But seems fairly straightforward as far as a Web application goes.

I just don’t have experience building large Web databases like this. I could migrate the data into a MySQL database and build a custom UI, but with my (low) level of skill that would take a long time. I have to believe a canned solution would get me 80% of the way very quickly.

Excellent data security is an absolute requirement, which makes me think I should host the data with a solution provider who will guarantee security & accept liability for any problems. (Client will pay for this.) Where privacy and data access is concerned, we want a “big boy” solution rather than something cobbled together.

But here’s the kicker: I also need to be able to create a clean, customized UI with great usability and modern Web standards (HTML5, CSS3, responsive.) This is my area of specialty. I want a solution that will let me apply my own CSS, tweak the markup as needed, and so on.

Know of any solutions out there that I could evaluate?

So far I’ve found a few services but the Web UI’s are terrible and I can’t customize them easily. (Inline CSS, hello? It’s 2011, right?) It seems everything I’ve looked at was “designed by developers” with little thought to providing flexibility for a Web UI designer. A big differentiator for this product will be user experience and ease of use.

Any ideas? Thanks!

Wondering if you had any luck finding a “canned” solution.

I have a very similar project that has started with an excel file ( more rows, less columns) but the same need. I basically just need a query engine within a webpage to access the data. Security is not such a large concern.

Any feedback would be appreciated as I am not a web developer, just a small business owner with a need to share data with customers.


I’m not a web developer, but I play one on TV. The simplest way to share a database without any programming is use something like Google Doc’s spreadsheet and stick it there. There are ways to customise and embed it. Once you start needing ways to specify what can be used as a query and how to format the results, then I’m pretty sure you’ll need to have some custom code. I, too, have been looking for very simple ways of sharing a database, but I can’t find any that doesn’t require writing some code.

If you are willing to write some, you could try Yii which will write a lot of it for you based on your database. You’ll still need to write some, but it will give you a lot of the outlines you need, much more than any other framework that I’ve looked into.