XML as the New Universal File Format

XML is far more powerful. If you use Excel to open the simple XML file shown in Figure 15.1, Excel can offer headings and can even infer something called the schema of the data. A schema is a separate file that describes the columns and relationships inherent in the data. If the source system would happen to be missing a zip code for a record, we do not have to worry about the SKU moving over from Column F. Compare Figure 15.2 with the CSV example shown in Figure 15.1. Excel can present a much more meaningful view of the data.

Figure 15.2

Data can be written in XML format by any system and intelligently read in to Excel.Unlike CSV data, the format of XML data is something Excel can understand.

Figure 15.2

Data can be written in XML format by any system and intelligently read in to Excel.Unlike CSV data, the format of XML data is something Excel can understand.

How Use Universal Excel

If you insert new records into the XML list in Excel, you can save the file back out as just the XML data. Use File, Save As and select XML Data for Save As Type, as shown in Figure 15.3. Excel can natively read from and write to XML files, allowing you to share data between applications.

Figure 15.3

Excel offers two choices for saving XML.You can save the file as an ExcelML spreadsheet file, or choose to save the data only in an XML data file.

Save As

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