Need Reports In Excel Format?

Lots of you have asked for Blackstone to generate reports in Excel format. Well, this is not a promise, but it looks like you may just get your wish. Stay tuned!

12 responses to “Need Reports In Excel Format?”

  1. John Farrar Avatar
    John Farrar

    Any "Official Pricing" on Blackstone? Have they decieded what features are in what packages? I have heard good rumors and bad rumors about pricing… could you give us an insider view… heh?

  2. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    John, pricing and editioning is not being discussed publicly yet.

  3. Adrian J. Moreno Avatar
    Adrian J. Moreno

    FWIW, you can export to Excel now using Jakarta POI.
    There’s a blog entry on with code. The site’s not responding for me right now, but you can get a Google cache of it.

  4. Jason Avatar

    I don’t see how this is really new since you can already use excel by using the <cfcontent> tag and specifying the excel type.

  5. Aidan Sherrin Avatar
    Aidan Sherrin

    Hi Ben,
    I am confused a little. I heard that a few people have received e-mails to try out Blackstone Release Candidate. If that is so, is Macromedia adding last minute features. I’m assuming that’s the case since there are no promises 😉
    I’m asking because in my experience last minute features cause more issues than they solve.

  6. Some guy Avatar
    Some guy

    So why is this a big deal? What’s wrong with using the CFCONTENT tag?

  7. Ryan Avatar

    Using the CFContent tag to generate an Excel file is problematic. Why? Because you aren’t really creating an XLS file, instead, you are creating a quasi CSV using HTML tables. CF creates the tables on the fly and mass feeds them to the web browser. The browser must then understand that it needs to open Excel, Open Excel (assuming you have it installed), parse the file, etc.
    1) What if you don’t have Excel on the machine in question
    2) You want to download just the file to save it
    3) You may need encryption/security on the file, or other Excel features
    4) You want the file to be generated on the server and emailed, FTP, etc. Currently not possible as far as I know, and if so, it requires Excel to be loaded on the server, something most large corporate IT people won’t permit.
    Of course, I have yet to try this new ‘feature’ out…hope it works well!

  8. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    <CFCONTENT> is great for a simple text dump (CSV) to Excel. Heck, an HTML table works well for that too.
    The Report Writer does a whole lot more, as many of you have seen. Report bands, calculated fields, inline expressions, lots of stuff, and being able to render that as Excel was the single most requested enhancement to that functionality.

  9. Tony Weeg Avatar
    Tony Weeg

    hey ben.
    🙂 whats the word on this… does the RC have it? if so, whats the format="" for it? EXCEL and XLS do not work …
    hit me off this if its nda prot.

  10. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    I guess you’d better post your question in the beta forum.

  11. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    Dave, thanks or sharing, there are some really good code snippets there.
    I do think that the use-case for code like that is very different to what I mentioned. That code is great for manipulating Excel documents at various levels, but to render a data-driven Excel report on-the-fly that would be too much work. The reporting I mentioned will not give you the level of control that your code would, but it would be a far simpler way to generate a data-driven spreadsheet.
    Again, thanks for sharing, and good luck with the new server.

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