.Net, ASP.NET, Excel, Excel 2003, Excel 2007, Excel 2010, IIS, IIS6, MS Office, Outlook, Security, Web Development, Web Server, WebForms

Configuring a Web Server to Allow Excel File Creation via the Interop.Excel Namespace

In an earlier article I covered how to generate Excel reports on the fly using the Interop.Excel Namespace.

This is a really handy technique that also gives you full control over the minutia of the document you are creating. However the catch in using this technique is that you will need to update the configuration of your Web server to allow Web users to trigger Excel on your Web server. This can mean some pretty drastic security changes and possible loopholes in your Web server’s security so you should do a risk analysis before choosing this method.

In this article I will review the Web server security updates that need to be made to allow using the Interop.Excel Namespace to generate Excel documents for your Web site.

Please note that since I am developing this site for an Intranet, I am not as concerned with locking down the server. If you are working with a server that is exposed to the Web then you will want to review these security changes much more thoroughly.

Continue reading “Configuring a Web Server to Allow Excel File Creation via the Interop.Excel Namespace”

.Net, ADO.NET, ASP.NET, Excel, Excel 2003, Excel 2007, Excel 2010, MS Office, Programming, VB.NET, WebForms

ASP.NET – Generating an Excel Report on the Fly Using the Interop.Excel Namespace

As a developer, a commonly requested feature is the ability to export data from the Web into MS Excel.

Choosing the best way to export your data from an ASP.NET Web page to Excel for your users is never an easy task. There are several ways to generate your reports, with each way having its pros and cons. For starters you’ll have to take into consideration if you are developing a Web based application that needs to enforce strong security, or a more permissive Web-based application that will allow you to write temporary files to your server’s hard drive.

In an earlier article I covered one of the more common ways: how to take an existing report that has already been generated as an HTML table and stream it as Excel to the client browser. This is a great technique, but leaves it up to Excel to interpret the HTML that you are sending its way. Furthermore, Microsoft seems to be deprecating the markup that was previously so amazingly convenient when formatting HTML streamed to Excel. The article also goes into depth about what markup commands are still useful and what markup has been deprecated. It’s definitely worth reading this article if you are considering streaming HTML as an Excel document using the command: Response.ContentType = “application/ms-excel”

Before I go into further details on using the Interop.Excel namespace to generate Excel files, I’d like to point out that I am providing a fully functional example at the end of this article. If you are primarily interested in the code, then you can skip to the bottom of this article and you can copy and paste the code sample into a Visual Studio project where it should run without any problems.

Continue reading “ASP.NET – Generating an Excel Report on the Fly Using the Interop.Excel Namespace”

MS Office, Outlook, Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Software

Microsoft’s New Outlook.com and Why You Should Care

So with all of the hype surrounding Microsoft’s new Outlook.com webmail system, one has to ask oneself exactly what the benefits are to this new system. Is Outlook.com just another online email service just like the rest? Or is there something unique that distinguishes it from similar systems by Google or Yahoo?

Keep in mind that these are just my personal opinions and I’m sure many would strongly disagree. However, from what I can see there are a few key features which really make Outlook.com stand out from the crowd: Continue reading “Microsoft’s New Outlook.com and Why You Should Care”