[Rd] xlsReadWrite Pro and embedding objects and files in Excel worksheets

Hans-Peter gchappi at gmail.com
Mon Feb 12 00:59:12 CET 2007

Hi Mark,

Sorry to not reply earlier, I was away this week.

> Hans-Peter and other R developers,
> How are you? Have you made any progess with embedding Url's in Excel?

Yes, but I started with the update of the free version and got delayed
there (not that I didn't know that paying customers should be
prefered...) - I'll update the pro version right now and you should
have it until Wednesday, maybe tomorrow. Another person asked to write
formulas directly, it will be included also.

> I am cc'ing R-devel to see if any of
> those guys have ideas as well.

Good idea.

Regarding your post about your needs (report generation, container, ...):

I think the suggestion from Gabor with controlling Excel from within R
is an excellent way. xlsReadWritePro could be an option which has some
advantages and some disadvantages.

- you can do everything that Excel supports
- this comes at a price: the interface from R is a bit technical. (the
suggestion with VBA and Macro recorder is a good one imho. Reading
about the Excel Object Model may also help)
- it's more free (what a statement for an excel-based dependency...)
- dependencies (installed Excel, RDCOMClient (probably a non-issue at
your situation))
- more Excelversions are supported

- you can only do what is currently implemented
- the interface (should) let you program on a higher level and tries
to shield you from technical details. One of the goals was to give an
easy to use, well tested and well documented interface that feels
- no dependencies (Perl/DCOM/Excel/Java)
- it is native, i.e. works directly on the file.
- (at least potentially) it could be ported to Linux
- currently only Excel v97 - 2003. Excel 2007 is planned to follow
(~end of 07, no promises).

It depends on your situation. ActiveX was not an option for us as we
needed to work on the plain file. Otherwise we have pratically the
same requirements a you (just with other data).

I could potentially implement almost the whole Excel object model
functionality within xlsReadWritePro. But to be honest, it is costly
and I don't think many people would need that.

We basically implemented in the pro version what we needed ourself
internally. Upon request I try to add features if they fit well in the
existing interface and if I have time (or if it is payed for) but I
cannot give any promises.

Best regards,

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