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Review of the book "Open XML - Guide to development"

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Always realized by Emanuele Mattei, the public, with your permission, the review of the book "Open XML - Guide to development"


Card of the book:

Price: Euro 22.00
P. 256 - 15 × 21 bn

year of publication 2008
Edition number 1
Topic: Computers
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In this review we will see the book Open XML Development Guide, written by Gianni Giaccaglini for Edizioni FAG Milano, this manual on programming Office is dedicated to a very timely topic: the Open XML (OOXML) used by Microsoft Word 2007 , Microsoft Excel 2007 and PowerPoint 2008, including their counterparts included in Office 2008 for Mac. The Open XML format has recently become an ISO standard.

As the name suggests is based on XML and Open XML is essentially a textual format with "tags" that define both the content and the formatting and structure. The author is Gianni Giaccaglini expert among other things, Microsoft Office macros and VBA (Visual Basic Application Edition), is well known for numerous books and articles on the Microsoft Office programs, particularly Microsoft Excel.

The author denies his vocation, with this latest effort aimed at the Open XML Word 2007 and Excel 2007, in fact much of the book, clear and user-friendly, contains practical examples and applications in VBA language, though not lack of significant openings to other worlds, such as VSTO (Visual Studio Tools for Office) and the new library Openxml.dll.

Despite the controversies that have involved this format as opposed to the ODF format is also based on XML and ISO standards, there is nothing more immediate than using Word and / or Excel to query and extract information from Word documents or Excel 2007 L 'author puts great emphasis on the right and ability to run several more queries and desk research, concerned mainly the content.

Through several application examples, he provides specific code to extract an entire worksheet or Word document, or side or the other (tables or formulas), with word searches that lead to the creation of hyperlinks of the documents containing them, to cite one case simple but challenging. Giaccaglini another interesting discovery, namely the fact that such things are also possible on previous editions of Word and Excel as well as within Openxml.dll + VSTO.

The text is presented as a veritable laboratory for understanding and penetrating in the new Open XML formats, which are well described and treated through code. The occasion is captured for effective recall of XML is both OOXML and the means to treat them: DOM and XPath, which are also illustrated as it experienced users.

Programmers are not neglected "pro" (how many of them knew the OOXML or the same XML?) And shows ways to migrate from VBA to VB. NET is providing an introduction with some examples all'Opennxml. Dll with its powerful language recently dedicated by Microsoft OOXML.

But we see in detail the various chapters that make up this book.

Open XML in the experience of a Microsoft manager.

The book opens with a foreword written by Andrea Valbona, technology officer of Microsoft Italy and promoter of Open XML, followed by the introduction of the book.

Chapter 1: Here begins the adventure Office Open XML

The first chapter begins to explore OOXML file manually, then we will see the creation of the first macro to the recovery of the entire text of a Word document. Other operations will be displayed on the document: the modification and the search for a text; details preview: syntax nodes, fathers & sons, trees, premiered on the open format of Excel and signaled the binary Excel 2007, recovery of the entire text of spreadsheet Excel and VBA routines to extract the parts of a file OOXML concludes the chapter with the guide DOM in VBA field.

Chapter 2: XML and XPath: Using VBA

In the second chapter switches to two typical examples of XML files and some nods to the XPath, XPath query main filters operated with VBA + Sun. We will see the property NodeValue, not to be confused with Text, special questions, the curious property NextNode and the Attributes property, how and when to use it. Read on to see the existence of control nodes and lists errors at run-time. XPath indices with square brackets and discussions on the DOM document that resides on RAM, the search for a word in a document.xml Word, and the passage of an argument to a query with quotes. The final section of the chapter, you will see the edit and save an XML file and adding and removing nodes through parentNode. Save an OOXML package from a folder to a file Office 2007.

Chapter 3: Open XML Architecture: the case of Word

The third chapter deals with the architecture of Open XML in general, the structure of an archive WordprocessingML. Word document minimum and its essential parts, and namespace nodes document.xml components, auxiliary parts, but basic: [Content_types]. Xml and relationships. File of reports, change of name, location and relationship document.xml, routines to find and access the nodes based startup part of a document: paragraphs, run and texts. Exploring the Visual Basic Application (VBA) of a document without tables, the rebuilding of a document with VBA without tables. How are the tables in Microsoft Word, exploration and reconstruction of tables in Word. At this point, the author provides an interesting technical interoperability between Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word in the recovery of Word tables in Excel. Conflicts numeric format between Word and Excel, very useful to the reader to avoid problems when using Excel with Microsoft Word.

Chapter 4: Excel and Open XML, with exercises preview

By the fourth chapter, we will see a spreadsheet to explore the small parts Workbook.xml and access to cell data. All techniques directed to Microsoft Excel, continuing for the chapter are to examine the strings shared (sharedStrings.xml) recovery of values from one part sheet1.xml and the direct management of XML files in Excel 2007. Add up all the figures of a sheet1.xml mapped, the mapping of an Excel XML file and its use, the creation of an XML schema staff. VBA to open and manage files and XML maps, the sum of an area of some sheet1.xml mapped in the guest sheet.

Chapter 5: Excel and Open XML, with examples of basic general

In the fifth and penultimate chapter explains Excel and Open XML in its generality with examples of base: The package SpreadsheetML and the elimination of a worksheet. Manual test of elimination of a sheet a first solution: routine "flat", a second solution: common routine called thrice. Procedures for extraction and reconstruction of Open XML file, we will also use VSTO and the new SDK for Open XML file handling, removal of a piece with the API OpenXml.dll. Adding a node to sharedStrings.sml, the typical structure of a sheet1.xml and the construction of only the values and strings. Adding formulas to the spreadsheet and management of sensitive data and formulas loaded when the spreadsheet, run a structured table in Excel 2007 VBA. Display a sheet with the Text property.

Chapter 6: Miscellaneous other applications

In the final chapter the author provides the reader with a miscellany of other applications, such as the function to sum the values in a range disk, managing references to cells in a range even without Excel. The search for a word in multiple Word documents with hyperlinks and create folder extraction / restoration is created on the fly. Since Excel has the ability to create graphs, we will see how to rebuild one (sheet) graph, the removal API OpenXml.dll sheet with a brief reference in handling the papers and the cells with the API OpenXml.dll. A simple example of the invoice to see the personal use of XML schemas, manage in VBA with an invoice schema staff. An exercise conclusive sums on multiple 3D Excel file. The appendix on XPath, see typical examples XPath, advanced features and the classic XML file Bookstore.

Examples attachments

This volume is not annexed any cd-rom, but the files of the examples discussed in the book are available online on the author's personal blog and Gianni Giaccaglini.


In this review we have seen a good book on a topic little treated but very important for developers of Microsoft Office Suite 2007. The first book in Italian language to address this important topic.

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