We have a template that we are using to allow people to enter data in Excel, we then export that data to add to a database.
We need to use Excel for this because we have tens of thousands of users that use Excel and won't use a different program.
Another element is that we have an account number that is 20 characters long, so we are setting the column to string to avoid rounding, and then converting the string to an integer afterwards.
The issue is that there is so much metadata and so many special characters that we get errors on export. We were using a CSV file which is good because we don't get all the extra junk, but with the CSV we can't preset a column to string (our users are low-tech and are constantly changing, so either they refuse to manually change the column to string or the education to teach every person that churns is more than we can manage - so this must be preset somehow).
How can we set up a template that can handle being able to preset a column as a string, and has NO metadata, or alternately is there a filetype that works with excel that would allow us to denote that a column is string.