XML and Excel

To show one of the advantages of using of standardized e-business documents in XML format, we propose a simple tool developed through Microsoft Excel.
The spreadsheet contains some "macro" that allows to retrieve information from a list of XML business documents.

This spreadsheet can be useful for enterprises that have no tools to elaborate XML files but that want to obtain a personalized synthetic view of the received XML documents.

The spreadsheet application has been developed, for demonstration purpose, relatively to two document types of Moda-ML/TexWeave and UBL:

  • MODA-ML Textile Order status report;
  • UBL Order

The resulting Excel file (Instance Parser.xls) is a simple application that elaborates, automatically and fastly, the XML data.
If the received XML documents are valid against their own XML Schema the users have the guarantee that the applications developed to retrieve the XML data will work coherently.

The "Instance Parser.xls" spreadsheet is freely available for Downloading (you must be registered to download)
Furthermore, a package of XML instances, business documents for the supported types is available, for Downloading (you must be registered to download)

We briefly describe the tool:

  • 0. Opening Excel, before the use of application, check the settings to allow the macro execution in the spreadsheet:
    • select from main menu: Tools > Protection > Protect Sheet
    • check the protection level, select a level to execute the macro of the spreadsheet (after the use turn back the value for the system security).
  • 1. at "Instance Parser.xls starting, there is the "MAIN" spreadsheet, which allows to select the input folder that contains the input XML files;
  • 2. the "START" button starts the elaboration, the tool loads the XML files found in the specified directory; if the XML root of the document is recognized the document is elaborated, otherwise it is discarded (see the second Excel spreadsheet named "KnownXML");
  • 3. two new spreadsheets are generated, one for each supported XML document type:
    • Yarn_Order_Status;
    • UBL_Order;
  • 4. each new spreadsheet contains a summary table of the data retrieved from XML documents, related to the two types, so it is possible to get an automatic data result and then it is possible to do others elaborations on that data.