Discussions

News: Obba: A Java Object Handler for Excel & OpenOffice 1.8 released

  1. Obba provides a bridge from Speadsheets (Excel or OpenOffice) to Java classes. With Obba, you can easily build Speadsheet GUIs to Java code. Its main features are:
    • Loading of arbitrary jar or class files at runtime through an Excel/OpenOffice worksheet function.
    • Instantiation of Java objects, storing the object reference under a given object label.
    • Invocation of methods on objects referenced by their object handle, storing the handle to the result under a given object label.
    • Asynchronous method invocation and tools for synchronization, turning your spreadsheet into a multi-threaded calculation tool.
    • Serialization and de-serialization (save Serializable objects to a file, restore them any time later).
    • All this though spreadsheet functions, without any additional line of code (no VBA needed, no additional Java code needed).
    • Spreadsheets using Obba to refer to Java libraries can be easily migrated from Excel to OpenOffice and back!
    For a more detailed introduction see the Obba documentation on the Obba homepage. Version 1.8.21 of Obba brings the following changes:
    • Access fields of an object directly through a spreadsheet function call using 'obCall'. In this case the method name has to be dot + fieldname (e.g '.myMember').
    • Access elements of an array through a spreadsheet function call using 'obCall'. In this case the method name has to be '[]' and the argument of the call is an integer specifying the index. Elements of multi-dimensional arrays can be accessed likewise.
    • Vector arguments can be passed as arbitrary ranges (columns, rows or two dimensional ranges which are then flattened using row major).
  2. How does Obba compare to the ODF Toolkit's ODFDOM (http://odftoolkit.org/projects/odfdom/pages/Home) and JExcelApi (http://jexcelapi.sourceforge.net/)?
  3. To my best knowledge, with products like JExcel, ODF or Apache POI "you can read and write MS Excel files" using Java. With Obba you can run/use your Java classes within Excel/OpenOffice, i.e. you integrate Java into Excel/OpenOffice. Hence you can use Excel as GUI to your Java classes. You can enrich existing Excel/OpenOffice sheets with Java functionality. All this though pure Excel Worksheet functions without glue code (dynamic loading of classes, instantiation of objects, invocation of methods, getting results back to Excel/OpenOffice). Short: JExcel: Java Code ---(reads/writes)---> Excel Files Obba: Excel Sheet---(runs*)----------> Java Code in JVWM * through Obba worksheet functions without glue code
  4. Windows only?[ Go to top ]

    From the website appears this only works on windows. Is this true?. If it is, too bad, and the announcement should say "Obba: A Java Object Handler for Excel & OpenOffice 1.8 for Windows released"
  5. From the website http://www.obba.info/ (see there under Platform Independent): It works on other plattforms as well. It does not work under Excel/Mac OS X, but it does work under OpenOffice/Mac OS X. I does not work under Excel/Linux, because there is no Excel for Linux :-)
  6. PS: I assume it works also under NeoOffice/Mac OS X, but I don't know for sure...