[xsl] Re: Producing Excel spreadsheet from XML data

Subject: [xsl] Re: Producing Excel spreadsheet from XML data
From: "MacEwan, James (Information Services)" <James.MacEwan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 09:58:40 -0500
Thanks to all for your comments.  I have summarized the responses (so far)

Peter Flynn suggested output to CSV files and then importing into Excel.  

John Putman suggested using the http://www.hallogram.com/formulaone/ product
or the new Excel 2002 product (as was one idea in my original note).

Paul Clapham also suggested the CSV approach.  As another approach he
suggested producing HTML and then using the import function in Excel 2000.

Thomas Passin also suggested producing HTML and then importing into Excel
(97+).  His second idea was to write script inside Excel to call the XML

My thoughts:
I don't think that any non-Excel centric approach will work very well
because of my "pretty" requirement.  i.e. the Excel spreadsheet has been
professionally designed and I need to retain all the fonts, colours and
layout.  Importing the CSV is going to give the data, but not all the fancy
presentation.  Similarly importing the HTML is going to give the data and
perhaps most of the presentation, but not all of it perfectly.

I have come to the realization that life will be easier if I take an Excel
centric approach (which has nothing to do with XSL -- sorry to list readers,
you are getting this note to close off this thread) either through Excel
script or by calling Excel's COM interface (say from VB).  Excel was not
originally designed to separate data from presentation, so why fight it?

My solution will probably be as follows:  (1) no XSL transformation occurs
on Unix (2) FTP the XML document to NT (3) write a VB program that traverses
the XML and writes interesting bits of data into the right spots into the
Excel (COM that calls MSXML3 and Excel's automation interfaces).

I will revisit how Excel 2002 uses XML to solve this problem at some future
time, but it is not an option that is presently available to me.

Thanks all,

James MacEwan
Software Developer
Investors Group Inc.
v: (204) 956-8515
f: (204) 943-3540

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