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Following the Sample Code


In the downloadable, there is a completed template file located in CompleteFinancialReport/templates/Part1_Financial_Template.xlsx.

Getting Started

In this tutorial ExcelTemplate is being used to populate data and ExcelApplication is being used to apply some formatting and merge workbooks together. This part of the tutorial will demonstrate how to use of data marker modifiers and ordinal syntax in ExcelWriter templates. 


This example assumes an understanding of ExcelTemplate. If you are not familiar with how to set up an Excel template with data markers, please go through the Simple Expense Summary first.

Setting Up the Template

Using Ordinal Syntax

Here is the starting template:
The next few steps will show the process of using ordinal syntax.

ExcelTemplate normally requires the data marker for a column of data to specify the data set and the column name (e.g. %%=DataSource.ColumnName). In the event that the column name or data source name is unknown, ExcelWriter supports the use of ordinal numbering based on the data source column.

Instead of binding to to a specific column name, "%%=Assets.Q1", the column name can be replaced with ordinal syntax, "%%=Assets.#2". This denotes the second column in the 'Assets' data set. The data set name can also be replaced, "%%=#3.#2", which denotes the second column from the third data source bound to the template.

However, in this example, we will only change the column name, as shown below:

Using Data Marker Modifiers

In addition to ordinal syntax, ExcelWriter supports data marker modifiers, which are tags that change how and what data is imported into the file. This template uses two different data marker modifiers - fieldname and optional. Modifiers are added in parentheses at the end of a data marker.

The fieldname modifier shows the field name of the column being bound. The syntax is as follows:

The optional modifier allows the data marker to be ignored if there is no data corresponding with that column. This is just an ignore - the column itself will still exist, but the data marker will be skipped. Here is a usage example:

In the above, the "Division" column will be ignored if no division data is available.

After the modifiers are added, the template should resemble this:

Adding an ExcelWriter Reference in Visual Studio

Following the Sample Code


In the sample code, the reference to SoftArtisans.OfficeWriter.ExcelWriter.dll has already been added to the CompleteFinancialReport project.

Create a .NET project and add a reference to the ExcelWriter library.

  1. Open Visual Studio and create a .NET project.
    • The sample code uses a web application.
  2. Add a reference to SoftArtisans.OfficeWriter.ExcelWriter.dll
    • SoftArtisans.OfficeWriter.ExcelWriter.dll is located under Program Files > SoftArtisans > OfficeWriter > dotnet > bin

Writing the Code

1. Include the SoftArtisans.OfficeWriter.ExcelWriter namespace in the code behind

2.  In the method that will run the report, instantiate the ExcelTemplate object.

3. Open the template file with the ExcelTemplate.Open method.

4. Create a DataBindingProperties object. None of the binding properties will be changed for this tutorial, but DataBindingProperties is a required parameter in ExcelTemplate data binding methods.

Data Binding

Following the Sample


In the sample project, we are parsing CSV files with query results, rather than querying a live database. The CSV files are available under the data directory. There is a copy of the CSV parser, GenericParsing.dll in the bin directory of the project GetCSVData is defined in Part1.aspx.cs in a region marked Utility Methods.

If you are following in your own project and would like to parse the CSV files as well, you will need to:

  • Add a reference to GenericParsing.dll
  • Include GeneringParsing at the top of your code.
  • Add the GetCSVData method that can be found in the sample code.

1.Get the data for the Assets, Losses, and Other datasets

These calls are to a helper method GetCSVData that parses the CSV files and returns a DataTable with the values.

2. Create the datasets for the header row. Recall the optional modifier for the "Division" tag. This tutorial will not bind any data for that tag to demonstrate the function.

3. Use ExcelTemplate.BindData to bind the data for the Assets, Losses, and Other data sets.

4. Use the ExcelTemplate.BindRowData method to bind the header data to the data markers in the template file (i.e. %%=Header.FiscalYear).

5. Call ExcelTemplate.Process() to import all data into the file.

6. Call  ExcelTemplate.Save() to save the final output

The final output should look something like this:

Final Code


You can download the code for the Financial Report here.

Next Steps

Continue to Part 2: Using Styles and Formatting

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