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BizTalk Server 2006: Excel Parser News!

I have some great news for BizTalk Server 2006 developers. FarPoint Technologies and I have been working together for the past six months on a new (Excel) XLS File Pipeline Component for BizTalk Server 2006 and it’s almost ready for public beta.

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’ll remember that I’ve been looking for some way to process Excel files using BizTalk Server. I posted about this as far back as December 2005 and again in late January 2006. I’ve always wondered why Microsoft didn’t include this in BizTalk as “standard” since Excel files are by-far, the most common way to send “data” from one person to another.

Well, the folks at FarPoint Technologies (makers of the well-known FarPoint Spread for Web Forms) heard my call for help and decided to see if they could use their expertise in developing .NET components to design an Excel file pipeline component for BizTalk Server 2006. It’s been a really interesting project and the developers at FarPoint have been great to work with! By the way, my contribution was a basic “need” and a never ending list of changing requirements as I learned what was possible. You know, just like a typical program manager at my favorite software company (LOL). The guys at FarPoint did all the “heavy lifting” and I’m truly impressed with how quickly they were able to make changes, fix bugs and move forward.

Over the next few days I’ll be posting several articles about this new component and how it works in BizTalk Server 2006. You should also check out the FarPoint web site as I expect they will announce the public beta very soon.

Special thanks to everyone at FarPoint for their hard work and for allowing me to “spill the beans” on this cool new component for BizTalk Server 2006.


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