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Very complex study: shortcuts, excel special?

The situation is that I have to rebuild a very complicated study in OC. It has more than 2000 items, some very complicated response options, a bunch of repeating fields, similar fields / responses across CRFs, etc. etc. It's going to be a very large job, there will inevitably be revisions and call for additions etc.

So, my ultimate need for for a simplification or streamlining of this process. Any ideas or advice?

In the absence of better ideas, I've been scripting a CRF generator that takes a single formatted text file of data (in YAML) and uses it to generate the Excel CRFs. That way I get to keep all the study details in one place, can re-use response definitions across CRFs, make it easier to keep everything formatted the same with the same language. But this raises two questions:

* Is there anything special about the OC CRF Excel spreadsheets? So long as the sheets and columns are named correctly, will OC accept it?

* Can a CRF Excel sheet list sections and groups that it doesn't use or does that cause an error?
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