August 18, 2008
Generating Native Excel Files in Perl
Over the years, I've probably created thousands of reports for customers and co-workers. Usually, I have a web-based program that generates reports in either html or comma-separated format. The html format is a lot prettier and usually gives the user what they want. The comma-separated format allows the user to easily import the results into Excel, or into Open Office in the case of my more enlightened users. From there, they add formatting to the raw data and send the resulting report to whereever it's going. All this formating is done manually by customers who tend to want the same report periodically, so this results in a lot of re-work on their part. Most of the time, they're just happy to get the data and don't complain about having to pretty it up a bit. But there is a better way.