Friday, October 19, 2007

ExcelPackage

I've been reviewing the ExcelPackage project on CodePlex. It is a useful project but one thing I was wondering is why does it directly interact with the XML?

I think it is a performance and a code maintenance hit to work directly with the XML for the workbook and worksheets. In my oh so humble opinion I think it would be easier to create plain old C# objects to work with the cells, rows, sheets, etc. and then serialize and de-serialize as needed. I say this because in the XML for a worksheet the cells are stored in XML nodes that have the row number and individual cell addresses in them:

[xml]



[/xml]

So if we work directly with the XML what has to happen when we insert a row? We have to loop through all of the XML nodes and update the row values. Note that I am not even talking about how to deal with merge cells or ranges (which the ExcelPackage does not work with).

I think that creating a Attribute-value system would be a better approach. Rows and Columns could be a linked list, Cells could be in an indexed cache or hashtable. And the collections and individual objects would handle where they were in the domain of the spreadsheet.

Guess I should get busy and prove my point.

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