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XLS Converters

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XLS Converters

Peter.Heintz
Hello,
After evaluation the XLS Converters a bit I came to the result, that this feature is somewhat outdated and not really usable.
The first thing is that data mapping is done via the Excel Custom formats that is imitated at leased in my Excel just to a few number of formats.

A second point is, that when I have some other data like formulas in my excel template, I get quite strange results.

Looking on the POI page I saw there are much newer components that can be used by Cocoon just by creating a xml-file.
Are there any plans to make the XLS Converters really useable, or is it me who is wrong with my evaluation results.



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Re: XLS Converters

Erik Bruchez
Administrator
[hidden email] wrote:

 > After evaluation the XLS Converters a bit I came to the result, that
 > this feature is somewhat outdated and not really usable.
 > The first thing is that data mapping is done via the Excel Custom
 > formats that is imitated at leased in my Excel just to a few number
 > of formats.
 > A second point is, that when I have some other data like formulas in
 > my excel template, I get quite strange results.
 > Looking on the POI page I saw there are much newer components that
 > can be used by Cocoon just by creating a xml-file.
 > Are there any plans to make the XLS Converters really useable, or is
 > it me who is wrong with my evaluation results.

It's not necessarily an "either-or" answer ;-)

If the question is: do we at Orbeon have a high priority plan to
update those processors, the answer is no. The current high-priorities
are finishing up the new XForms engine, and making OPS stable and
documented for the 3.0 release.

If the question is: are we happy with the current state of those
processors, the answer is no.

If the question is: would those processors benefit from an upgrade,
the answer is yes, they would.

I have no idea how much better Cocoon support for this is, BTW.

Now there are ways to change that situation, and we are interested in
helping you do that:

o You can update the existing processors, or create new processors
   yourself. It shouldn't be too hard to do, as you have pointed out,
   the hard work would be done by POI (which we use for the current
   processors, of course). OPS users including us can help you by
   answering questions on the mailing-list as you progress.

o You can commission somebody to do the work for you. We are always
   happy to do that kind of work of course, and this would ensure you
   get the feature soon.

At any rate, it would be good to have a little more details about why
the current processors don't work for you. Do you believe it is
because of a fundamental flaw in the approach (related to the way
mappings are stored in the XLS file), of do you think it's just a
question of fixing a few bugs or adding a couple of features?

-Erik




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Re: Re: XLS Converters

Peter.Heintz
Hello Erick,

Thank you Erik for your reply.

At the moment we are still evaluating OPS.

Our project as the case may be we would use OPS, is a complete reengineering of something old we have inherited from somewhere. In this old solution there is Excel used for some reasons for persistent storage. In a first step we want to switch to a proper database and we also what to replace the front-end as well. All the rest, behind the Excel we want to replace in a later step. This is why we will have a lot of data exchange between excel and the new database.

So from my point of few we can not use the XLS converter in this state just because of the limitation within excel regarding the amount of "customer number formats". But I assume that this limitation is an issue for anybody.

I also had problems when I put formulas before of after a table I wrote with the XLS converter because then the resulting XLS file did not have the right content. We do not need, as far as I know, formulas in our project but at least this behaviour makes me a bit crabby.

Up to now we have not decided to go with OPS or something else, however I like the principles behind OPS and the current XLS converter will definitely not be a kill criteria at all.

After we have decided to go with OPS I will come to you again regarding your suggestions to improve the converter a bit.



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Re: XLS Converters

Erik Bruchez
Administrator
[hidden email] wrote:
 > Hello Erick,
 >
 > Thank you Erik for your reply.
 >
 > At the moment we are still evaluating OPS.

[...]

 > Up to now we have not decided to go with OPS or something else,
 > however I like the principles behind OPS and the current XLS
 > converter will definitely not be a kill criteria at all.
 >
 > After we have decided to go with OPS I will come to you again
 > regarding your suggestions to improve the converter a bit.

Sounds wonderful. I hope you end up liking OPS :-)

-Erik




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