DataPoint is an interfacing product that links PowerPoint to database sources opening up many new possibilities for developing dynamic, data-driven presentations.
There’s no one better than Kurt Dupont who heads PresentatonPoint, creators of DataPoint to tell us more about the features and possibilities of the product.
Geetesh: Tell us more about the new DataPoint enhancements and how can users benefit from them.
Kurt: DataPoint is our Microsoft PowerPoint add-in that links your presentation to dynamic and external data sources like databases and Microsoft Excel worksheets. It can be used as an information board or to keep your sales presentations really up-to-date.
Our customers are happy with its functionality but sometimes they come up with a suggestion for new functionality that we didn’t think of. Based on this user feedback we assemble a wish list. Now we made time to implement the 2 most wanted functionalities; multiple data scrolling on 1 slide and slide master linking.
Data scrolling already existed in previous versions. You add 1 slide to your presentation, add a text shape, connect it to a database and activate data scrolling. As a result, DataPoint will display each database value for a given time until all data (returned from the data connection) is displayed. It actually creates different virtual pages for all data. This feature can be used e.g. in a school where you display classroom information. You can put 5 classes on 1 slide but when you have 10 records of information in your database, DataPoint will display the first 5 records and afterward the following 5 records, with 1 physical slide only.
Now the data scrolling enhancement becomes active when you have a second data scrolling connection in use on the same slide. E.g. you want to add announcements to your slide. So first you specify that the classroom information is the master connection while the announcement connection is a slave connection. DataPoint will now continue to alternate all text shapes but now it will be able to detect when to jump to the next slide (when the last record of the master connection was shown on the screen).
A second most requested feature was slide master linking. Users wanted to place a dynamically linked text shape or just a simple live clock on the slide master so that it would appear on every slide in the presentation. This feature saves time as before the user had to create this text shape on every slide.
Geetesh: How do your other products integrate with DataPoint.
Kurt: First of all we have our MessagePoint; a screen saver solution that runs a PowerPoint presentation when the computer is idle. In combination with DataPoint you can have live production figures of a factory on the director’s desktop.
Secondly we have OutlookPoint which is an add-on for Microsoft Outlook. It copies all selected folders and items to a database such as email messages and appointments from your calendar. DataPoint will visualize this information in your PowerPoint presentation. With this scenario, you actually use OutlookPoint as a data entry application or content management system to feed your PowerPoint presentations. You can use a public calendar to enter appointments or announcements. When it nears the start time of the appointment, DataPoint will display the subject of that appointment on your monitor. Companies are using the mechanism to e.g. welcome people at the reception desk.
Finally we have NewsPoint. It retrieves RSS news feeds from the internet and inserts this information into a database. DataPoint technology is then used to add live business or sports news to your information system, next to the other data. The big advantage here is that with live news you get more attention from your audience where before only ‘boring’ company information was shown.
In the near future we will release TickerPoint; a database-driven scrolling text and image banner for Microsoft PowerPoint. It already includes the DataPoint kernel.
Thank you, Kurt. Check out DataPoint and other PresentationPoint products on their site — there are trial versions available for all products.