integrating Excel with omnis
every once in a while I get asked about exporting to excel from omnis. So I thought I’d put together a quick note that can live in the archives for a few reasons:
1) in case people wanted to know ‘can omnis export to excel’ — the answer is yes. its very easy – we’ve been doing it for 7 years
2) to make it easier to find the info.
3) to prompt people into thinking about omnis and open source contributions for these kinds of things.
re Open source and why to contribute????
Other languages have a vibrant open source community – for some of the smaller things that lots of apps can use. In the example of the Excel Library, we have 2 contributors, Mark Woods (64 bit windows 6.1) and Kelly Burgess (64 bit studio 8.1 mac and windows) Many thanks to both of them — yet contributing is not quite as entrenched in our omnis world as it is in other languages – mostly because (I think) the process of contributing to a git repository is kind of a foreign concept.
Where is the Excel Xcomp repository????
you can get the entire source of the xcomp from github.com/artsman <github.com/artsman> if you want to do anythig with it. it does’t have mark or kelly’s contributions since neither we nor they have had time to push up the changes to the github repository. But at least the comunity knows where the source is if it needs to go forward.
Meantime: where are samples????
We have a download a sample library and all externals at www2.artsman.com/Software/Omnis/Omnis-XL3.72AndDemo.zip <www2.artsman.com/Software/Omnis/Omnis-XL3.72AndDemo.zip> Ideally, this would be on git hub. But I too…. need to get myself accustomed to doing this as well. For now, the above library will have:
– 32 bit Studio 5 version against libxl 2.2
– 64 bit windows studio 6.1 compiled by Mark Wood compiled against libxl 2.3 (I think)
– 64 bit mac/windows studio 8.1 compiled by Kelly Burgess against libxl 3.72
what is the Excel xComp based on?
the base excel library comes from www.libxl.com/home.html <www.libxl.com/home.html> and we put the original xcomp wrapper around. Libxl keeps on getting improved and I see it is now version libxl 3.8.1. Not to worry for studio 5.2 users. Libxl 2.2 which is part of the original comp many years ago does excel .xls and .xlsx format pretty reliably.
Whats is the Demo and what about licensing?
so, what works in the demo – everything to a point. it is limited by number or rows until you buy a licence for libxl from www.libxl.com/purchase.html <www.libxl.com/purchase.html> and its pretty inexpensive ($199 for mac, $199 for windows) and that entitles you to unlimited distribution.
note: this licence is for the developer of the libxl libraries. They are pretty good — and we think he should stay in business to keep on making them better.
what is free: the xcomp wrapper that we put in place exposes all the methods of libxl so you can do pretty much everything that you want in the library (bolding sells, saving with calcs, exporting a list directly to excel in a couple of lines of omnis code.) thats all in the demo.
so, feel free to use the xcomp and the demo of libxl to try it out. if you want to use it without restriction, its a very small fee to the original libXl developer that I think he deserves.
by the way, what do we use this for in Theatre Manager?
every headed list in our application has a context menu that exports the data to excel. Customers love that
every report – each field on the screen adds a column to and excel document as the report is being produced so that the user can export the report to excel. They like that too.
and we have interfaces with other applications like accounting software where excel is the mode of data exchange.
all were easy to do with the xcomp.
see you at the third annual users conference
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