Chapter 6. Working with XML Data in Excel Spreadsheets

Microsoft Office Excel 2003 offers two rather different kinds of XML functionality. Excel (in the Professional and Enterprise editions) allows users to build spreadsheets that load data from XML files, making it easy to analyze information sent from various sources using the same spreadsheet. The data that a spreadsheet analyzes can be separated from the logic used to analyze it very easily this way, making it simpler to create spreadsheets that work more like ordinary applications. Excel 2003 (and XP) also offer the ability to save and open spreadsheets which are themselves saved in Excel’s own XML format; these features will be explored in Chapter 7.


The features described in this chapter are available only to users of the Professional or Enterprise editions of Microsoft Office Excel. Sadly, the Standard edition does not include these capabilities. If you have problems finding the XML features in your copy of Excel, check to see which edition you’re using. (The Small Business Edition appears to include the Standard, not the Professional, version.)

Separating Data and Logic

When spreadsheets first appeared, they brilliantly blurred the distinction between programming and information. Spreadsheet users could enter their data and work on it without having to do things like “programming.” All the information could reside in a single file, readily shared, and copy and paste functionality along with a few basic functions ...

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