Using Excel APIs for Report Pending Notifications within Regulatory Compliance System

Using Aspose.Cells to Report Pending Notifications from a Performance Improvement and Regulatory Compliance System

Abbottsfield Industrial Training, Inc. operates as a technical and safety training consulting company. The company offers SkillsNOW Performance Improvement and Regulatory Compliance System that brings together the training, performance improvement, and regulatory compliance programs, materials, documents, and other similar elements available at the site and offers access to the materials and programs to the employees; generic computer-based training (CBT) programs; and site-specific CBT programs.

We have a dynamic .NET programming department that is implementing the newest technologies based on Microsoft .NET to offer customers excellent user experience and a complete tracking and reporting mechanism for the e-learning materials we are developing.

Problem

Recently, one of our customers asked us to generate a new set of custom made reports and deliver them in a dual format: Excel Spreadsheet 2003 (XML) and PDF. The requirements were gathered and were involving data mining, file generation, and export in the most known format (Excel 2003 and PDF).

Basically, the customer wanted a new report to be added to our main product (SkillsNOW), to reflect Pending MOCs (entities which are gathering information about the Management of the document changes) in an XLS based format, with the automated email delivery of the current pending MOC information in PDF format.

Additionally, the request was to add a new feature to SkillsNOW, to retrieve statistics from the XLS based report, to be used in other reports and for historical reporting purposes.

Solution

The main challenge was to find a reliable library which can support an unlimited number of columns and rows (since the customer had a requirement to have the number of columns scaled to the number of MOC entities, which at present time is bigger than 10000) and which supports generating the report in a less used Excel type (XML SpreadSheet 2003).

The users can create filters by multiple criteria, to generate a report. Few details in the screenshots below.

Also, one of the requirements was a reliable export into PDF format, including shrinking of some areas of the report to the page format and processing other areas to fit into one page. The exported document was supposed to be sent as an attachment in PDF and Excel format, as well.

The XLS generated document is rich and fulfills the customer needs, in terms of format complexity and data.

Experience

To reach a reliable implementation, we have looked at different products available on the market. We first did a shortlist of the products which meet the file format criteria and we tried them, to see if they are offering the features required. We started with a free trial of the Aspose.Cells and, based on the simplicity and robustness of the solution, we’ve chosen it as a product to be used. The API was easy to be used and the help was enough to manage, generate the document, export to PDF, prepare the document for printing (like fit to page, shrinking etc).

The implementation took one month, for the document handling part and export features. The Aspose products were well received by the different involved departments (programming, testing and quality control).

Finally, we were able to meet the customer needs and to implement them in the desired timeline.

Next Steps

We plan to implement Aspose.Cells in all our products which involve generating reports, for reasons like reliability of the API, speed of the report generation, API clearness, and easiness of usage.

Summary

Our experience in using Aspose.Cells products were very positive since we were able to satisfy one of our important customers in one of the most complicated data mining and reporting projects we had, in the last five years.

We would definitively recommend Aspose for software companies that need a strong tool for generating and processing documents.

Cristian Butoi
Software Development Lead
Abbottsfield Industrial Training, Inc.

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