Many applications that process XML do it as an intermediate step in creating documents. Many of those documents are created with Microsoft Office by users who are more familiar with the Office tools than with angle brackets. Because Microsoft Office products are some of the most commonly used applications for working with documents, it makes sense that Microsoft added XML processing to these applications. Although it attempts to hide the angle brackets more often than an XML purist may like, Office makes creating and processing XML documents easy for average users. This chapter looks at creating and editing XML with the most commonly used Office tools. In addition, the newer alternatives of Office 2007 and Open Office are shown.
While any editions of Office 2003 (or Office 2007) can be used to save XML, only the Professional and Enterprise editions provide the advanced XML features.
Microsoft Excel is one of the most commonly used applications in business. Although it is a spreadsheet application, designed for calculations, Excel files may store more data for business than any other data format.
Excel 2003 added the capability to save workbooks as XML, using a format Microsoft calls SpreadsheetML. Spreadsheet can now be transmitted as text, rather than in the default binary format. You can now use tools such as XSLT or XQuery on the resulting XML files. The SpreadsheetML format ensures ...