Chapter 11. The Python Package Tracker

In this chapter, we will create a typical business application that downloads data from the internet and stores it in a database before visualizing it in Excel. This will help you understand what role xlwings plays in such an application and allows you to see how easy it is to connect to external systems with Python. In an attempt to build a project that is close to a real-world application yet relatively simple to follow, I have come up with the Python Package Tracker, an Excel tool that shows the number of releases per year for a given Python package. Despite being a case study, you might actually find the tool useful to understand if a certain Python package is being actively developed or not.

After getting acquainted with the application, we’ll go through a few topics that we need to understand to be able to follow its code: we’ll see how we can download data from the internet and how we can interact with databases before we learn about exception handling in Python, an important concept when it comes to application development. Once we’re done with these preliminaries, we’ll go through the components of the Python Package Tracker to see how everything fits together. To wrap this chapter up, we’ll look into how debugging xlwings code works. Like the last two chapters, this chapter requires you to have an installation of Microsoft Excel on either Windows or macOS. Let’s get started by taking the Python Package Tracker for a test drive! ...

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