View Full Version : Gettting a dynamic number from Excel into HTML

06-22-2011, 06:32 PM
I'm not a web designer so please excuse my ignorance. I'm looking to learn enough to hire a freelancer but I don't know what skills that freelancer would need.

We're a financial firm and we've created some custom stock market indexes. We have a web site that we're pretty happy with but we want to add these custom stock market indexes to our site. We calculate them in real time using Excel. Each custom index is always in the same Excel cell. We'd be happy with the values being updated every few seconds on the site.

What tool would a designer use to get that value in, say, cell C7 of Excel into a particular cell of a table on our home page? PHP? Javascript?
Something else?

Where can I learn enough to intelligently hire a freelancer?

How much do the experts think we'd have to pay for this?

Once the code is written would it be easy for us to add additional indexes to our site once they're being calculated in Excel? We're pretty good at cutting and pasting HTML once it's written. We have basic HTML editing capabilities so we're not complete idiots.

Where does the Excel spreadsheet reside? On our computer? The hosting server? Either is fine although having it on the server seems to present fewer problems.

Some of our custom indexes use options and we get those option prices from a professional option data vendor. We grab the option prices from that service and put into Excel, again in real time, in order to calculate these custom indexes. How would that effect things?

Any help would be appreciated.

06-23-2011, 03:44 PM
How is this data getting entered into Excel?

I would suggest saving the Excel file out as a .csv file and then uploading it and have a script parse it and store the info into a database.

If the Excel file is stored on a server you can create a .bat file that will auto upload the file to the script that parses it and stores it to database.

06-23-2011, 05:34 PM
How is this data getting entered into Excel?
This is an interesting question, because you'd think having the data _anywhere_ else would make it more accessible, like in a XML file or in a db.

06-24-2011, 06:27 AM
I imagine you'd be looking for a .asp developer but that is the only help I can give you. Not something I'd even consider doing so never tried it. Sorry.

06-26-2011, 07:45 PM
I do see ActiveX controls for ASP or ASP.Net to work with Excel which would be a simpler solution to the problem, however, I don't know what kind of performance you are going to get out of Excel on a server. if the calculations are not too complicated, you could be better off performance-wise by converting them to PHP or ASP or whatever server language you are using.

If you were thinking of having the server automatically update stuff/files, I could be wrong, but I don't think ASP has any method of grabbing a file off the internet. PHP does. and in any case, the server's permissions are going to be such that they are essentially readonly, so the web programmer or web designer is going to have to know.

there are excel access stuff for PHP I think as well, which is even better, and it doesn't seem to require Excel, and it can calculate. it's for excel 2007 documents.

PHP has a function which can grab pages/files off the internet, and it's very good at processing things. there is even a PDF library called fpdf (if one spends a lot of time and experimentation figuring out how to format his document into cells and laying them out).

it is possible to get hosting with cron jobs to go out periodically and do something, but it might be better to do an action on visitor access.

06-26-2011, 10:30 PM
I can only modify the web site for you if you are in the Vancouver, WA USA area due to my current business license - still haven't figured out how to take my business beyond my local city yet. I think the kind of person you are generally looking for is a web programmer. There are some designers on this site that come under that heading I think, though they probably won't come out and admit it.

hopefully, someone will pop up and make an offer. I can only provide solutions and help. At least it keeps me sharp.

06-27-2011, 01:38 AM
read this it amy help you http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/opensource/library/os-phpexcel/index.html

06-27-2011, 07:30 PM
I forgot about writing XML files - never tried IMPORTING them because I couldn't figure out excel's relative addressing scheme and I had a hard time trying to figure out exactly how the rows, columns, and cells were laid out exactly.....

the link I gave can calculate formulas, but you have to do a php function call to get it done - sorry, no automatic. it's a PHP class, so using it should be relatively easy.

the link at ibm.com simply gets the static cell values rather than reading cell formulas. those values are in the XML file alongside the formulas.

this url IS useful. thanks. anything to simplify a task and save me time is a nice thing. anything to add to the toolbag is helpful.

and btw, this code also may be just the thing someone needs to get your job done, TraderVic - it certainly fits your specs (you didn't say what version of Excel you had).