Consuming (parsing) EXCEL documents into BizTalk - Using Farpoint Spread
When I attended the SOA and BP conference in OCT in Redmond, I stopped by the FarPoint http://www.fpoint.com/ booth to checkout their new EXCEL parsing adapter they had developed for BizTalk 2006. Essentially its a dissasembler component that consumes XLS documents and maps them to a predefined XML schema. It looked pretty good!
EXCEL parsing is actually a common topic of conversation here in Australia. Many companies have processes in place that require their trading partners or agencies to send EXCEL spreadsheets to them and that data is often re-keyed into enterprise systems. Whoa... talk about error prone. Anyway...that's why I stopped by at the farpoint booth as it captured my attention.
They have called this FarPoint Spread for Microsoft® BizTalk® Server 2006 http://www.fpoint.com/biztalk/default.aspx and you can download a trial version. I have not had the chance to use it yet, but I will plan to try it in the coming weeks.
Anyway, Tom Canter emailed me recently to highlight that farpoint have their first official case study http://www.fpoint.com/company/studies/CaseStudy-FpSpreadBizTalk-GCS.pdf - worth a read.