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Building the Script


The script in this section was actually built first in the Visual Basic 6.0 integrated environment. Being able to compile and debug in the IDE environment speeds the process of program development. Then, to make it more versatile to readers, I converted it to VBScript. Visual Studio is not required to use this script.

The first thing build.vbs does is declare a minimum number of global variables: objExcel, oXMLDoc , rootElement, and workbooklevelElement. In addition, a few constants are declared: ExcelDirectory designates a directory specific to the machine being used (ExcelDirectory must be specific to your machine), and XMLDeclaration indicates the XML prologue and root element.

Next comes a call to the subroutine CreateApplicationandRootElement. The name of the rootElement is passed as a parameter. Then the program calls the GetandProcessFileList subroutine, saves the XML file wwout.xml, and exits Excel (see Listing 3).

Listing 3 Beginning of Script build.vbs

Option Explicit

Dim objExcel
Dim oXMLDoc
Dim rootElement
Dim workbooklevelElement

Const ExcelDirectory="C:\__Weight Watchers Diaries\"
Const XMLDeclaration="<?xml version='1.0' ?>"

    call CreateApplicationandRootElement("wwdiary")
    call GetandProcessFileList()

      Set objExcel = Nothing

  Public Sub CreateApplicationandRootElement(ElementName)
    Dim rootString

    rootString=XMLDeclaration & "<" & ElementName & ">"
    rootString=rootString & "</" & ElementName & ">"
    Set objExcel = CreateObject("Excel.Application")
    Set oXMLDoc = CreateObject("MSXML2.DOMDocument")

    'Another way to load an XML Document
    'oXMLDoc.Load ExcelDirectory & "xmltemplate.xml"

    oXMLDoc.loadXML (rootString)
    Set rootElement = oXMLDoc.documentElement

  End Sub

The GetandProcessFileList subroutine shown in Listing 4 effectively gets and verifies a list of Excel files to be processed. In this example, any document beginning with 2003 and ending in xls is used.


Obviously, you need to customize the list with your own algorithm for obtaining a list of your spreadsheets.

Listing 4 GetandProcessFileList Function

Public Sub GetandProcessFileList()
  Dim objWorkbook
  Dim fso
  Dim objFolder
  Dim objFiles
  Dim objFile

  On Error Resume Next
  'Substitute any logic to get a valid file list with directory paths
  set fso=CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
  if err.number<>0 then
    msgbox "error creating fso"
    exit sub
  End if
  Set objFolder = fso.GetFolder(ExcelDirectory)
    if err.number<>0 then
      msgbox "error getting folder" & err.number _
      & err.description
      exit sub
    End if
  'document.write objFolder.name & "<BR>"
  Set objFiles = objFolder.Files
  for each objFile in objFiles
    'Getting all 2003 files
    'msgbox objFile.Name
    if fso.GetExtensionName(objFile.Name)="xls" _
      and left(fso.GetBaseName(objFile.Name),4)="2003" then
      'msgbox objFile.Path
      Set objWorkbook = objExcel.Workbooks.Open(objFile.Path)
      if Err.Number <> 0 then
        msgbox _"Excel Spreadsheet Not Found--Aborting: "_
        & objFile.Name
        document.write _"Excel Spreadsheet Not Found--Aborting: " _
        & objFile.Name
        Exit sub
      End if
      RunExcelXMLEngine objWorkbook
    end if
End Sub

The workhorse of the script is the RunExcelXMLEngine subroutine (see Listing 5). The workbook object that was opened is passed as a parameter. This is a loop; notice that the RunExcelXMLEngine subroutine is called once for every workbook in the file list. The first part of the RunExcelXMLEngine subroutine deals with capturing workbook-level data. First, the program creates the workbooklevelElement <wweek>. Then the workbook-level data is extracted from specific worksheet addresses, added as attributes, and appended to the <wweek> element, which in turn is appended or grafted to the root element.

Listing 5 RunExcelXMLEngine Capturing Global Workbook Variables

Public Sub RunExcelXMLEngine(objWorkbook)

Dim objWorksheet
Dim objNodeMap
Dim workbookNode
Dim worksheetDay
Dim i, j, k

Set workbookNode = oXMLDoc.createElement(workbooklevelElement)
Set objNodeMap = workbookNode.Attributes

Dim workBookVar

'Get the weekdate and starting day
Set objWorksheet = objWorkbook.Worksheets("Totals")

'Get WeightLoss-Cell B1
createandAppendAttribute oXMLDoc, objNodeMap, "WeightLoss", workBookVar
'Get Weight-Cell D1
createandAppendAttribute oXMLDoc, objNodeMap, "Weight", workBookVar
'Get dayStart-Cell E1
createandAppendAttribute oXMLDoc, objNodeMap, "dayStart", workBookVar
'Get dtStart-Cell F1
createandAppendAttribute oXMLDoc, objNodeMap, "dtStart", workBookVar
rootElement.appendChild (workbookNode)

Next we turn our attention to individual worksheets 1–7. In this subsection of the RunExcelXMLEngine subroutine, we capture the fixed or stationary entries on each daily worksheet. The <day> element is created to house the <foodEntry>, label, and <exerciseEntry> nodes/elements. The <day> node will house the attributes for Day and DayDate. The code is fairly straightforward (see Listing 6), using a for loop to iterate through worksheets 1–7.

Listing 6 RunExcelXMLEngine Capturing Worksheet Fixed or Stationary Entries

Const Breakfast = "Breakfast"
Const Lunch = "Lunch"
Const Dinner = "Dinner"

Dim worksheetVar
Dim foodEntryNode
Dim labelNode
Dim strTest
Dim strPoints
Dim strPortion
Dim currentNode
Dim WhichMeal
Dim dayNode

For i = 1 To 7
Set dayNode = oXMLDoc.createElement("day")
Set objWorksheet = objWorkbook.Worksheets(i)
Set objNodeMap = dayNode.Attributes
worksheetVar = objWorksheet.range("A1")
createandAppendAttribute oXMLDoc, objNodeMap, "Day", worksheetVar
worksheetVar = objWorksheet.range("B1")
createandAppendAttribute oXMLDoc, objNodeMap, "DayDate", worksheetVar

Continuing the worksheet for loop, the variable entries for <Meal>, <label>, and <foodEntry> are parsed.

The logic is as follows (see Listing 7):

  1. Check positions A3 through A50 for the start of a <Meal>, <foodEntry>, <label>, or an empty cell.

  2. If the cell matches "Breakfast", "Lunch", or "Dinner", a <Meal> node is starting.

  3. If a <Meal> node is under construction (HaveCurrentNode = 1), append the under-construction node to its parent <day> node.

  4. In any case, we create the <Meal> element using the variable CurrentNode, append its attributes, and set HaveCurrentNode to 1.

  5. If the cell is not blank and the corresponding column C cell contains a value, we have a <foodEntry> node or a <label> node. In either case, we create the element, append attributes to the created element, and append the node to CurrentNode.

  6. If the cell in question contains nothing, we ignore it.

Listing 7 RunExcelXMLEngine Capturing Worksheet foodEntry Nodes

'from A3 to a50 check for label or foodEntry
'Process Meals
Dim HaveCurrentNode
Dim HoldCell
Dim HoldRow
  WhichMeal = ""
  strTest = ""
HaveCurrentNode = 0

  For j = 3 To 50
  HoldCell = "A" & CStr(j)
    strTest = objWorksheet.range(HoldCell)
  strPortion = objWorksheet.range("B" & CStr(j))
  strPoints = objWorksheet.range("C" & CStr(j))
  If strTest = Breakfast Or _
    strTest = Lunch Or _
    strTest = Dinner Then
    'We have a Section
    If HaveCurrentNode = 1 Then
    'Finish Old Node
    dayNode.appendChild (currentNode)
    End If
    'New Section
    Set currentNode = oXMLDoc.createElement("Meal")
    Set objNodeMap = currentNode.Attributes
    createandAppendAttribute oXMLDoc, objNodeMap, "MealTime", strTest
    WhichMeal = strTest
    HaveCurrentNode = 1
  ElseIf strTest = "" Then
  ElseIf strPoints = "" Then
    'Assume it's a label
    Set labelNode = oXMLDoc.createElement("Label")
    Set objNodeMap = labelNode.Attributes
    createandAppendAttribute _
oXMLDoc, objNodeMap, "LabelText", strTest
    currentNode.appendChild (labelNode)
    'Process foodEntry Nodes
    Set foodEntryNode = oXMLDoc.createElement("foodEntry")
    Set objNodeMap = foodEntryNode.Attributes
    createandAppendAttribute oXMLDoc, objNodeMap, "foodItem", strTest
oXMLDoc, objNodeMap, "Portion", strPortion
    createandAppendAttribute oXMLDoc, objNodeMap, "Points", strPoints
    currentNode.appendChild (foodEntryNode)
  End If
    Next 'j
  'If HaveCurrentNode = 1 Then
    dayNode.appendChild (currentNode)
  'End If
  strTest = ""
  HaveCurrentNode = 0

Continuing within the for loop, the <exerciseEntry> nodes are much easier to capture. Checking positions E5 through E10 on each worksheet, there either is an entry, or none. If an entry exists, we build the node with the corresponding attributes and append it to the day node. Also, we finish the main loop, set our workbook and worksheet objects to nothing, and exit.

Listing 7 RunExcelXMLEngine Capturing Worksheet exerciseEntry Nodes

'Get Exercise
Dim exerciseEntryNode
Dim strActivity
Dim strDuration
Dim strIntensity

'Goes from E5 to E10
'Activity should be in E5
'Duration should be in F5
'Intensity should be in G5
'Points should be in H5
for j=5 to 10
  HoldCell = "E" & CStr(j)
  strActivity = objWorksheet.range(HoldCell)
  if strActivity<>"" then
    strActivity=objWorksheet.range("E" & CStr(j))
    strDuration = objWorksheet.range("F" & CStr(j))
    strIntensity = objWorksheet.range("G" & CStr(j))
    strPoints = objWorksheet.range("H" & CStr(j))
    Set exerciseEntryNode = oXMLDoc.createElement("exerciseEntry")
    Set objNodeMap = exerciseEntryNode.Attributes
    createandAppendAttribute oXMLDoc, _
objNodeMap, "Activity", strActivity
    createandAppendAttribute _
oXMLDoc, objNodeMap, "Duration", strDuration
    createandAppendAttribute _
oXMLDoc, objNodeMap, "Intensity", strIntensity
    createandAppendAttribute _
oXMLDoc, objNodeMap, "Points", strPoints
    dayNode.appendChild (exerciseEntryNode)
  End if
next 'j

workbookNode.appendChild (dayNode)
Next 'i

Set objWorksheet = Nothing
Set objWorkbook = Nothing

End Sub

The process gets progressively easier as you get accustomed to nodes, attributes, and a few loops. With a little additional work, you could build a template for the extraction specifications.

Figure 5 shows the output of transforming the XML file with an XSL style sheet.

Figure 5Figure 5 Partial listing of an XSL/CSS transformation of the XML file.

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