You'll need to have Excel installed for it to work. To
save a copy simply right-click the link above and select
"Save Target As..."
Depending on what your web site offers, it
can often be helpful to your visitors if you offer
your content in formats other then HTML.
One of the more popular formats for sites that
deal with numerical data, stocks, money, etc. is that of
a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Excel is a pretty widely
used spreadsheet program and there's even a free viewer
available for users that don't have Excel installed.
There are a few different ways to deal with Excel from an ASP
The first is to use Excel as an ADO data source (which we cover
in our Excel Data sample). This
offers a great deal of functionality, but can be a real
pain and does not scale very well since Excel was not
originally designed to be used in this manner.
You can also use the Excel objects from your ASP scripts on the
server (ie. objSheet = CreateObject("Excel.Sheet")) and manipulate
an Excel document that way, but that requires Excel be installed
on the server and scales even more poorly then using Excel as a data source.
Excel 2000 and later include the Office Web Components
interface which is much better in terms of usability and scalability.
If you use this approach, be sure
to use OWC.Spreadsheet and not Excel.whatever. For more
info on this check out
Creating Excel Spreadsheets with Office Web Components
over at 4GuysFromRolla.)
The option this sample illustrates is much simpler than the two listed above.
Unfortunately, this simplicity is a double-edged sword. While this
extremely easy to implement and scales gracefully, you are somewhat
limited in terms of functionality. It works great for transfering basic data
(from any data source you want) into an Excel sheet, but anything beyond basic
formulas can become quite troublesome. But... if this option will do everything
you want, it's probably the best way to go.
While I'm on the topic of Excel... those of you who need to do
more complex things then this solution allows might want to
check out some of the third party components available
for working with Excel from ASP. There are probably a lot more,
but these are the ones that come to mind: