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A research project, CSV Input and Excel Output

Carlos Andrade

Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Posts: 4

This is my first post here. I heard this is a great community related to java,and I had hope you would share a bit of your knowledge with me.

Here is the context:

I learned Java on a subject last semester, and currently I have a research going on related to a Lab Programming subject. We apply surveys to two groups every semester. We use Limesurvey to do that.

This is my 1st input: Limesurvey exports on csv format.

Among other data we collect, we have an Issue Tracker where people post the group work issues, errors, etc along the group work iterations. We use Google Code for issue tracking.

This is my 2nd input: Google Code exports on csv format.


So far, those are my two inputs. Until now I've been helping my professor adding each data I saw on the survey and the Google Code on an Excel Sheet. Figures, this take a huge amount of time a big load of patience and a lot of repeatable work. Boring for many people, I'd say. So few weeks ago I noticed that if it kept going like this, we wouldn't move foward on new data analyses and I thought..why not make an algorithym to do the repeatable and boring work?

So this is where Java comes in.

I wanted to make a program that would read the csv format, and export on a excel sheet, adding charts and other stuff I wanted (how flexible is java to add stuff on a excel sheet the way I want?) . I had a subect that introduced me to Java, and I'm an undergraduate student. I have no knowledge on how to do this, but I seriously believe it is possible. Maybe there is even a tool out there that already does this (someone knows it?) but might not do the way I want it (Not like i'm using some analyses standard or organizarion excel standard).

I searched the internet and noticed there already exists some csv classes created, which is very nice. I saw Super Csv and Csv Reader.

And my doubts..

The first question is: Which one you use the most? Why would you recommend it for me based on this context?

The second question is: Is it possible to export to a excel sheet? How do I do this? Do you know any tutorial on the web or any book that explain this by any chance?

Third and last question is: Do you think this algorithym ideia is possible, has anyone tried this before and failed or has been sucessfuly? Do you think that storing data on a excel sheet is not the best ideia? (Maybe would just show on the pc memory?)

There is of course more ideias that I would add during program execution, which is related to the analyses. Lets say, stuff I'd want to check..hmm like amount of people that meets an certain criteria. That would be very easy to do having an algorythm that reads the csv data, instead of have me doing all the mental work.

Well, thank you very much for reading this and for your help,


Joe Ess

Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 8836

Welcome to the JavaRanch.
Honestly, Java is a poor match for working with Excel. Microsoft does not have a reputation for playing well with others.
That said, there are several API's that can read and write Excel, Apache POI being one.

"blabbing like a narcissistic fool with a superiority complex" ~ N.A.
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Lester Burnham

Joined: Oct 14, 2008
Posts: 1337
The http://faq.javaranch.com/java/AccessingFileFormats page lists several libraries for handling CSV and XLS/XLSX files. IMO Apache POI is the best choice for processing Excel files. I don't think it lets you create charts, though.

If all you need is a file conversion tool, have a look at the JODConverter library (which uses OpenOffice in server mode).
subject: A research project, CSV Input and Excel Output
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