Excel Data Mapping to Update Existing Documents

Excel began life as a simple spreadsheet tool. Over time, support for rich text styling options, built-in charts, and copy and paste formatting features has led many enterprises to create reports in Excel documents. This can cause difficulty when data changes and existing documents need to be manually updated for distribution to a wide audience in the familiar report style.

Altova MapForce, the award-winning, graphical data mapping tool for any-to-any conversion and integration, supports Excel data mapping to convert data to existing Excel documents while preserving styles and formulas in the original.

This feature lets you write directly to nicely formatted Excel files to update data at runtime: any designated worksheets, rows, and cells from the specified file will be replaced with data from the mapping and all formatting in the existing file will be preserved as-is. To protect functionality in the existing spreadsheet, cells with formulas are not overwritten.

Let’s look at an example of how to map Excel data.

Financial pros using XBRL
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API Data Mapping

Web service data integration with MapForce is a popular and proven strategy to capture timely information for analysis or generation of user-friendly reports. In an earlier post we demonstrated API data mapping in 5-day weather forecasts for busy cargo shipping ports by reading Web service data in JSON format and mapping to richly formatted Excel spreadsheets. The weather API we used  is hosted by OpenWeather, a provider of historical, current, and weather forecast data.

But integrating data from any API is not a set-it-and-forget-it task. When you build a solution based on external data, you have to react quickly when the data structure changes. Since our original integration project OpenWeather revised the data delivered by their API. The API now includes wind gust predictions in a JSON property separate from wind speed. Since wind gusts are suspected as a cause of the recent Suez Canal blockage the new data is very relevant to our application! Fortunately, both the MapForce data mapping and the Excel spreadsheet are easily revised to add new data.

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Web Service Data Integration

In a previous post we wrote that every data integration and reporting task needs to start with a clear understanding of the source data. Using grid view in XMLSpy, the industry-leading XML and JSON editor, we analyzed JSON data for 5-day weather forecasts retrieved from a Web service.

Continuing with our earlier scenario, we’ll use MapForce, the award-winning, graphical data mapping tool for any-to-any conversion and integration, to map the forecasts for a series of major cargo shipping ports into nicely formatted Excel documents. We’ll want to highlight any predicted high winds or heavy rainfall that could cause delays by interfering with cranes loading and unloading containers, or slowing ships entering and exiting the harbors.

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