Exchange data with other applications by using DDE


Starting with Windows Vista, Microsoft no longer supports DDE on a network; however, you can create DDE links on a local computer.

DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange) is a protocol common to many computer applications that lets you exchange data between Minitab and other applications. Especially useful in macros, DDE offers command-based, automatic methods for tasks usually performed manually. For example, with DDE you can do the following:
  • "Hot link" columns in a spreadsheet like Excel with columns in a Minitab worksheet, so that when values change in Excel, they are automatically updated in Minitab. In addition, you can hot link columns from Minitab to Excel, so that when they change in Minitab, they are automatically updated in Excel.
  • "Hot link" columns in Minitab to other columns within the same worksheet, so that when data in the specified columns change, Minitab automatically recalculates data in the linked columns. For example, use a DDE link to automatically update the height/weight ratio column when the height or weight column changes.
  • In a one-time data transfer, extract data from Excel, conduct statistical analyses in Minitab, and then return the data to a different spreadsheet in Excel.
  • Send commands from Minitab to other Windows applications. For example, after the Excel spreadsheet updates with data from Minitab, command Excel to save the spreadsheet.

DDE works through a special link between a client application and a server application. You create the link in the client application. The link asks the server for data, then accepts data from the server whenever the data in the server change. Some applications can only be DDE clients, some only servers, and some, like Minitab, can be both. Choose Edit > Worksheet Links > [DDE option] to use DDE.

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