Using BizTalk to integrate to Excel spreadsheets - Part I

by eliasen 10. November 2008 22:49

Hi all

So, I finally decided to try out the FarPoint BizTalk adapter for Excel spreadsheets. It's always nice to have tried as many adapters as possible, so I can use this knowledge when talking to customers.

This post is the first of a series of posts about this product. The first post is about installation and the basic functionality. The next posts will go deeper into separate functionality.

Let me just make one thing clear before I begin: I am not in any way affiliated with FarPoint Technologies, nor are they paying me anything to write these posts.

So, to begin; The installation was easy. Just a next-next-finish wizard. All the information needed from you is the product code, a serial number, and the installation folder, if you want to change that.

After installation, I have the functionality I would expect from this kind of product:

  1. Pipeline components to use in pipelines
    excel_disassembler_component excel_assembler_component
  2. Schema extension for the schemas
    image
  3. Wizard to help me create the schemas
    add_schema
  4. Documentation
    spread_documentation

So, to sum up:

  1. The installation is easy.
  2. The architecture of the solution seems to be exactly what I would expect, ie. pipeline components, schema extensions and a wizard.

My next post in the series will take a deeper look at the wizard for creating schemas for use by the pipeline disassembler and assembler.

--
eliasen

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Comments (2) -

Mark Brimble
Mark Brimble
11/12/2008 7:42:43 AM #

I am looking forward to your next part. I am working on a project that uses the FarPoint adapter at the moment. I would be very interested to see how you create and manage schemas for spreadsheets with multiple worksheets. I have situation where I can have up to four different types of worksheets on the same spreadsheet. Sometimes i have one worksheet and sometimes I have two worksheets and sometimes I have four worksheets. I have tried to use just one schema that has a node for each worksheets type. I set the minimum occurs to 0 on some of the nodes to allow for the case where the worksheet is missing. I could not get this to work if the missing worksheets was one the middle nodes of the schema. I ended up creating schemas for each of the psooible combinations of worksheets. Do you know of a better way to do this?

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Jan Eliasen
Jan Eliasen
11/12/2008 10:35:09 AM #

Hi

Right now I can't help you, as I have just started learning the spread component my self. But I have taken your question and put it into my "Spread To Do"-list, and I will get back to it, if I find any answers during my blog post series.

--
eliasen

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About the author

Jan Eliasen is 37 years old, divorced and has 2 sons, Andreas (July 2004) and Emil (July 2006).

Jan has a masters degree in computer science and is currently employed at Logica Denmark as an IT architect.

Jan is a 6 times Microsoft MVP in BizTalk Server (not currently an MVP) and proud co-author of the BizTalk 2010 Unleashed book.

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6 times: July 2004, July 2008, July 2009, July 2010, July 2011, and July 2012. Not currently an MVP.

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