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  1. #1
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    Sortable Excel spreadsheet on the web
    I've been assigned the task of getting some of our spreadsheets and logs onto our intranet and one is rather large, so a simple PDF is out of the question. My boss would also like it to be sortable... I've tried saving the excel file as a web page w/ the autofilter on, but can't seem to get it to work... I'll keep playing w/ that, but what I would really like to have is a mini database, but I don't know where to start...

    Say there are 800 some odd rows and 30 columns of data and 10 divisions will need to pull up their own data w/out having to sift thru all the other garbage... Keep in mind that this spreadsheet is updated frequently and I'd be responsible for uploading the changes one or two times a week.

    What I was thinking is converting the spreadsheet into a comma delimited file and finding a small ASP script to display the information and create links at the top for the different divisions... Can anyone point me in the right direction or help me out otherwise? I haven't worked w/ ASP in years and rarely work directly w/ databases, so there's a huge learning curve...

    Thanks in advance!
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  2. #2
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    I see there's a program called kdcalc that claims it can do this.

  3. #3
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    PHP may be better than ASP
    I think I have done most of what you want a while back for a small wine distributor company.

    We got him to kep an Excel spreadsheet which is then exported to the web as a CSV file.

    The file is then read read using php builtin function fgetcsv
    and the list is filtered for each individual page catageory e.g French , Chilean etc.

    Then he wanted the list on the page sorted so I simply changed the code to filter into an array as an intermediate step and used php function usort to get the right sort seqeunce.

    I gues you can try using ASP but PHP is so mauch better as it has a really rich builtin functionality.

    Celicaphile: If you want more info then PM me and I can point you to the site and maybe send some code snippet to get you going. If I send you the whole lot it might be difficult to see the wood for the trees.

  4. #4
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    Celicaphile,

    I've done this a few times on our intranet. Since it's an "intranet", if all the users use IE and have Excel loaded on their computers you can load any excel worksheet through a web page by changing the content in the HTML header. You do this with ASP or JSP with:

    response.setContentType("application/vnd.ms-excel")

    IE will then load Excel into the browser and you'll have full Excel support. Let me know if more explaination is needed. Hope this helps!

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the great responses!

    websiteideas,
    I searched for it and it looks to be a bit much for what we need... thanks though

    websmith,
    unfortunately, no PHP... I was hoping to find something ready made, but came up short on hotscripts.com. Thanks for the offer

    DHolland,
    does this method allow others to be able to edit the data? It needs to be secure and locked since we're in budgets & the logs are to show status for things the other divisions requested... Also, is updating as easy as uploading the new Excel file?
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  6. #6
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    Celicaphile,

    It will allow updating but only the users local copy. You can assure this also by making the server copy read-only. There are at least three ways to do it. Probably more though.

    1) provide a link (<a>) with href pointing to the excel file.

    2) Build a <table> structure of the data and use: response.setContentType("application/vnd.ms-excel") to set content type

    3) Set all the information in the HTML headers
    resp.setContentType("application/vnd.ms-excel");
    resp.setHeader("Content-Disposition","inline; filename=" + filepath);

    I would google ContentType("application/vnd.ms-excel") and you'll probably get a ton explainations better than mine. In my case we've chosen the build an HTML table approach as the data is dynamic.

  7. #7
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    April 2nd, 2006
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    i did it a lot using perl scripts.
    all you need is to put current xls in right place in right time ..

    - use excel-parse module to read data from xls file
    - save as csv or any convenient format (faster than xls parse)
    - work with current csv and print to web
    - auto crontab or update manually your xls file when changed
    that's it.. it's easy!

  8. #8
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    DHolland,
    From what I've found that does the opposite of what I want... This is creating the data in HTML and allowing others to view/save an Excel file from the browser... unless I'm missing something...

    manigate,
    I'm not clear about a lot of that, but just to see what would happen I saved the log as a csv & most of the column titles got changed to either "Add" or "Delete" ...I don't know what else got changed at first glance, but I tried it w/ Autofilter on & off.

    ...

    I need to take an existing spreadsheet, display the data nice & neat & not allow any changes. I'm able to save it as a web page from Excel, but it doesn't look that good... but it works (font too large, have to scroll a lot). What I was hoping for is a simple table that I can define the style of w/ the column titles as links that will sort, or even a drop down list of the divisions that will display only those results.

    Another problem I came across is that if there are any blank rows, the autofilter doesn't work. If I go the save as a web page route, I need to go through the whole thing each time and delete blank rows. Kind of a pain, but I'm not the one who maintains the log...

    Thanks again everyone
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celicaphile
    Thanks for the great responses!

    websiteideas,
    I searched for it and it looks to be a bit much for what we need... thanks though

    websmith,
    unfortunately, no PHP... I was hoping to find something ready made, but came up short on hotscripts.com. Thanks for the offer

    DHolland,
    does this method allow others to be able to edit the data? It needs to be secure and locked since we're in budgets & the logs are to show status for things the other divisions requested... Also, is updating as easy as uploading the new Excel file?
    How about setting the NTFS permissions to read only, except for those who need another setting. From your Intranet homepage just use a UNC or http link to the file \\myserver\myshare\myspreadsheet.xls or http://....

    I know you don't want to program, but if you do end up doing that you could use asp.net, since you have asp skills and are familiar with visual basic script. Sounds like you have NT servers and just may need to update the framework (use 2.0). You might feel more comfortable with VB.NET.

    You can also get a nice free developer from MS now Visual Web Developer Express on http://www.asp.net. There is a lot of nice drag and drop that could do what you need, but there is a learning curve. it will not be easy, but it will not be daunting. There are videos to train you with basic stuff here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/asp.net/reference/multimedia/

    It would help you in the long run unless this is a one time project.

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