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Author Topic: Creating content in Xmetal through MS Excel for Version 5.0  (Read 2205 times)
manish.bvc
Member

Posts: 3


« on: April 26, 2011, 12:21:56 PM »

Hello All

I have been using Xmetal 5.0, I need to create huge contents and it is a cumbersome task for me, Creating the content again and again. Is there any way to create the content through MS Excel so that I can run the Macro through Excel and I can interact with the interface of Xmetal and Create the content

any other suggestions are mostly welcome!

Thanks
Manish
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Derek Read
Program Manager (XMetaL)
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Posts: 2570



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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2011, 02:46:42 PM »

Not exactly sure what you need to do so I will make a few suggestions. There are far more possibilities than those I list below.

As a start you may wish to have a look at the Microsoft documentation for your version of Excel regarding its APIs. You might accomplish everything you need to do directly within that product's scripting interface. However, because Excel allows COM scripting control (just like XMetaL) you could also control it externally (from XMetaL or another tool with scripting support or via a VB application, etc).

1) Create a script that runs in Excel using its APIs to obtain information from an Excel file. Then instantiate XMetaL (from the same scripts running in Excel) and use the XMetaL APIs to create content there using the XMetaL APIs. This would require Excel to be installed.
2) Basically the reverse of #1: Create a script (macro) that runs in XMetaL that obtains information from Excel and uses it to create content in an open document in XMetaL or in a new document in XMetaL. This would require Excel to be installed.
3) Either of the above but write information to another location, as a file on disk etc, using yet another control (such as the File System Object). This would require Excel to be installed.
4) Use a completely different scripting method or programming language to control one or both of the applications using their COM interfaces. This would require Excel to be installed.
5) Use the Excel features for exporting to XML and save directly into the format you need your data to be in. This would require Excel to be installed.
6) Use ODBC to interact with your Excel files. This does not require Excel to be installed but will require the "Excel ODBC Driver" to be installed (many systems will have this already and if your's does not have it you may obtain it from Microsoft, or you may find similar functionality in 3rd party software). A script that uses this method could be run from XMetaL Author or another tool that supports scripting or you might write an application (in VB, etc).
7) If you wish to have some interaction exposed (give the user some control over the information that is extracted) you may wish to use the XMetaL "DBImport" control documented in the XMetaL Developer Programmers Guide. Documentation is minimal so it is best to view the examples of what it is capable of doing included with the Journalist demo that ships with XMetaL Author. This also uses ODBC so Excel is not needed, however Microsoft's "MDAC" is needed.
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