Replacement for DW2XLS for exporting DWs to formatted Excel

I'm wondering whether any of the PB experts here have ever considered trying to do a product that does what DW2XLS does, but better? I expect you’re familiar with it, but in case you aren’t, it’s at http://desta.com.ua/dw2xls/ - it exports DWs to nicely formatted XLS representations.

 

Unfortunately, it is pretty imperfect for at all complex DWs, and although there is some evidence that they are doing minimal maintenance on it, they have pretty much stopped answering support questions on it, and the last responses I got to problems I raised were along the lines of “sorry, we aren’t going to fix that”.

 

I really think there might be quite a good market among PB programmers for a product that did this well and was being maintained to fix problems. It would have to deal with a lot of complexity obviously, because of the way you can use expressions for so many DW properties – which is where DW2XLS tends to fall down.

 

Maybe they’d even sell the product to someone as a starting point. (That’s just a hope – no special reason to assume it’s true, given I can’t even get them to answer any emails recently.)

 

I for one would contribute to a crowd-sourcing campaign to fund development of a good product for this! I really need it for the PB applications I sell (including a bookkeeping program), and get a lot of complaints about the imperfections in the existing exporting to formatted Excel that I do with DW2XLS.

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Answers

Matt Balent replied

I wish Appeon would buy it and incorporate it's functionality into PB.

Roland Smith replied

If you save the DataWindow as HTMLTable to a file named .xls, you can open it in Excel. Excel will display a message that the format is invalid. Then click the Yes button and it will load.

The HTMLGen and HTMLTable properties can be tweekedto increase the quality of the HTML.

David Peace replied

I have thought about this before and it  would be extremely difficult to come up with a generic solution that works for everyone. The DW2XLS is quite basic which is why everyone says "it almost nearly very good".

I must admit that we write this ourselves manipulating Excel directly adding the data and formatting that is required for the specific job. It's a bit long winded but the end result is very professional. I know that the DW is much easier to code, but really the DW output is for print and Excel is usually for further data manipulation. I guess you pay your money and makes your choice... cheap and cheerful of expensive quality.

It's not high on my priority list for Appeon development.

Eduardo G. replied

Dan, here's the solution I have:
                 
1º) Apply CSS to datawindow:
dwDatos.Modify("DataWindow.HTMLTable.GenerateCSS='1'")
dwDatos.Modify("DataWindow.HTMLTable.border='0'")
dwDatos.Modify("DataWindow.HTMLTable.nowrap='1'")

2º) Save the .xls file
dwDatos.SaveAs( 'C:\Report.xls', HTMLTable!, TRUE )

3º) Edit file: C:\Report.xls

4º) Add the following in your first line of content: <!DOCTYPE html>

5º) Search: '{;' and replace it with: '{'

6º) If there is "visibility: hidden" replace its value with spaces. Excel does not support it and displays it:
        Example: <TD NOWRAP CLASS=htmldw9C370 Style='visibility:hidden;'>0202002003</TD>
                 <TD NOWRAP CLASS=htmldw9C370 Style='visibility:hidden;'>          </TD>