ExcelWriter V4 Review
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by Andrew Mooney
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Version 4 New Features

ExcelWriter Version 4 includes SoftArtisans exclusive HotCell Technology, which provides users the ability to revise a data source on the server directly from the spreadsheet report on the end user´s PC.

One of the code samples provided allows you to access an updateable spreadsheet from a database. The sample uses a page with ASP script to load a database query into a template spreadsheet and open it in the client´s Web browser. Then, when a cell is changed, VBA code in the spreadsheet on the client detects this and sends it to a destination page with ASP script that, in turn, updates the database. The HotCell sample is a valuable tool that can be easily reused to make updateable reports based on database tables or queries. Here is how to reuse the sample. First, change the database table and connection information in the ASP script of the page that loads the template spreadsheet. Next, change the URL of the destination page, table name and primary key in the template spreadsheet´s initialize module and add a column for each column in your database table or query that you want to display. The primary key has to be one of the columns that you use for updates to work. Finally, add all of the column names to the array in the destination page´s ASP script.

Multilingual environments can easily be supported using ExcelWriter methods to translate characters from Ansi to Unicode and Unicode to Ansi between server and client. This is a perfect fit for reporting environments having a server using one language and some of the clients using a different language. ExcelWriter would be a top choice for a global enterprise with clients using multiple languages.

Top New Features in Version 4

  • HotCell Technology allows you to update a server-side data source directly from client-side Microsoft Excel.
  • ExcelWriter Assistant provides an upload/download control that makes your Microsoft Excel uploading and downloading simple and pain free.
  • The Ansi To Unicode and the Unicode To Ansi methods provide improved support for multiple language environments.

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