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Working with Excel spreadsheets


From:

ColdFusion 9 New Features

with Daniel Short

Video: Working with Excel spreadsheets

In ColdFusion 8, it was fairly trivial to create a very simple Excel spreadsheet. You could generate a plain old HTML table. And then tell cf content to tell the browser it was an Excel spreadsheet. Excel would open it just fine and it would be on your way. But doing anything more advanced than that was difficult and often required third-party components or software installed on the server, and let's forget about trying to read Excel spreadsheets. Cold fusion 9 changes that by giving us deep access to spreadsheets, allowing us to add new worksheets, create, edit and read the results or formulas, format rows and columns, and on and on.
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  1. 4m 30s
    1. Welcome
      53s
    2. Using the exercise files
      3m 37s
  2. 7m 49s
    1. Adding managing and comparing servers
      5m 26s
    2. Monitoring server health
      2m 23s
  3. 22m 10s
    1. Setting the default data source and SMTP
      5m 6s
    2. Getting programmatic debugging and exception handling
      5m 54s
    3. Reviewing the new onCFCRequest method
      5m 29s
    4. Using ApplicationStop()
      2m 24s
    5. Working with Server.cfc and onServerStart
      3m 17s
  4. 17m 45s
    1. Using ternary and chained operations
      5m 46s
    2. Using New and Import
      4m 2s
    3. Reviewing CFScript enhancements
      7m 57s
  5. 20m 23s
    1. Building with implicit getters and setters
      4m 26s
    2. Working with LOCAL scope in functions
      4m 35s
    3. Serializing objects
      6m 6s
    4. Writing components in CFScript
      5m 16s
  6. 19m 27s
    1. Getting started with ORM
      5m 51s
    2. Logging ORM activity
      2m 13s
    3. Saving objects to the database
      6m 10s
    4. Defining table relationships
      5m 13s
  7. 16m 59s
    1. Caching page fragments
      5m 29s
    2. Managing the cache
      4m 48s
    3. Working with in-memory files using VFS (RAM disks)
      6m 42s
  8. 12m 39s
    1. Working with Excel spreadsheets
      4m 56s
    2. Working with Word documents
      4m 4s
    3. Working with PowerPoint presentations
      3m 39s
  9. 28m 59s
    1. Loading Google maps with markers onto a page
      4m 53s
    2. Adding a Flash movie with the built-in FLV player
      2m 14s
    3. Using multi-file upload control
      6m 7s
    4. Building a progress indicator
      3m 37s
    5. Working with accordion layouts
      3m 19s
    6. Showing information with data grid enhancements
      5m 1s
    7. Informing users with Confirm Alert and Prompt dialog boxes
      3m 48s
  10. 9m 8s
    1. Accessing IMAP accounts
      6m 31s
    2. Working with the new array functions
      2m 37s
  11. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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Watch the Online Video Course ColdFusion 9 New Features
2h 40m Intermediate Oct 05, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In ColdFusion 9 New Features, author and developer Dan Short has gathered together the important updates and improvements in this dynamic web application. Dan showcases the new ColdFusion Builder application throughout the course, using it to work through the new language and CFScript enhancements in this release. He shows how to use the new Server Manager to compare servers and create server groups, as well as monitor server health through notifications. He also explains the new integration with Office applications, building Excel, Word, and even PowerPoint files on the fly from ColdFusion. Finally, he covers the important new Object Relational Mapping feature and how to use the built-in Flash Player. Exercise files accompany this course.

Topics include:
  • Using new implicit Getters and Setters in ColdFusion Builder
  • Utilizing RAM disks using VFS
  • Managing the system cache to boost site/application performance
  • Learning the new ternary and chained operations
  • Loading detailed Google maps with markers and notations onto a web page
Subjects:
Developer Web
Software:
ColdFusion
Author:
Daniel Short

Working with Excel spreadsheets

In ColdFusion 8, it was fairly trivial to create a very simple Excel spreadsheet. You could generate a plain old HTML table. And then tell cf content to tell the browser it was an Excel spreadsheet. Excel would open it just fine and it would be on your way. But doing anything more advanced than that was difficult and often required third-party components or software installed on the server, and let's forget about trying to read Excel spreadsheets. Cold fusion 9 changes that by giving us deep access to spreadsheets, allowing us to add new worksheets, create, edit and read the results or formulas, format rows and columns, and on and on.

There are over 30 new functions for working with spreadsheets in ColdFusion 9. In this video, we are going to cover reading and writing spreadsheets and just give you a basic introduction to using Excel with ColdFusion. So to get started in Chapter7, let's open excel.cfm. Now, the only thing I have in here is our tried and true query from Chapter 3. I am just pulling out all of the artists and their individual art pieces. And let's go ahead and preview this and see how it looks. I am just querying the database and then dumping everything out.

If I want to send this data to a third party, it would be far easier to provide it in some common format that everybody has. So I am going to dump this out to an Excel spreadsheet. Let's go back to our source code. And I am going to do, cfspreadsheet action = "write", filename = "Artists.xls" and query = "rsArtists". Now let's preview that in Safari.

I don't see any feedback that anything has happened, but if I go back over to my Chapter 7 folder and refresh, I now see that I have an Artist.xls file. I will double click that. It opens up in Excel and I have everything in here with the columns in my query as the headers in each column here, and every individual row has all of my data from my query. And it is just that easy. So that's great for writing Excel spreadsheets, but if I want two way communication in between Excel and Cold fusion, I have a little more work to do.

So let's take our Excel spread sheet and change some data in here. For example, let's assume that Jeff Baclawaski had a fantastic day at the art show and we sold all of his artwork. So, I am going to set everything in here to true. So I will save my Excel spreadsheet. Let's go and close Excel. Go back to our source code here, and now I am going to read my Artist.xls file. The file name to src and the query attribute to name.

And we will put this into NewArtistsData variable. So let's delete our query up at the top, because we don't need that anymore. And then we will dump out NewArtistsData. If I look at that in the browser, we now see that I have a number of rows and my sheet names that are in there. I have the sheet numbers and all of the summery info from the Excel file. So if I had who last edited the file, who the manager was, if there were more than one sheet, if there was the title for the particular Excel spreadsheet.

All that information will be available here in this spreadsheet info that I have dumped out. That's fine if I just want to know about the spreadsheet, but I need to know what data is in there. So if we go back to our source code and change "name" to "query", then the results from my Excel file will actually give me all of the rows as a query. So go back to Safari, and here we have all of our rows, and if we take a look, I have one problem. It's put my headers in Row 1, so if I go back to my source code I can specify header row = 1 and then we will preview that file again.

So now I have the header up here as my column names but it's still returning them all as one of my rows. So to get rid of that, we go back to our source code again and I can specify which rows I wanted to bring in. So I can say rows = "2-1000". So it's going to start at row number 2 and give me everything after row 1. So we will go back to Safari again and there we have all of our records, all of Jeff Baclawaski's artwork shows as being sold, and we have now read and written an Excel spreadsheet.

So now that you know how to read and write spreadsheets, you are ready to start doing some serious exploration about the wonderful new functions for working with spreadsheets. As I said earlier there are over 30 new functions for formatting, performing calculations and slicing and dicing your spreadsheets. There's really no easier way to get data into and out of Excel than using the new ColdFusion 9 spreadsheet tools.

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