I recently worked on a project with Xcelsius 2008 where we used the XML maps connectivity option load data into a dashboard. I have used this feature for a long time in Xcelsius 4.5, but found some challenges that I had to work through so I will share them with you below.
- If you are using Excel 2003, by default you can not get access to the XML maps dialogue. You have two options: Do your XML maps in Excel, and import into Xcelsius, or insert the XML Source menu item. To get the XML Source menu button, right click in your Excel toolbar and click Customize and navigate to the Commands tab. Select Data, and scroll down to the XML Data source option. You will click and drag the XML Source button into your toolbar.
- If you are using Excel 2007, you will need to enable the Developer tab within your toolbar/ribbon. To do this, open Excel 2007 outside of Xcelsius, click on the Office icon (the round button in the upper left corner), and select Excel Options. In the first tab you will see a tab labeled “Show Developer tab in the Ribbon.” Check this box and you will now have access to the XML source option, within Xcelsius. From there, the process for configuring XML maps is the same in both Excel 2003 and 2007.
- If you use XML maps inside of Xcelsius, I found some odd behaviors when I try to re-import XML maps. I have not yet pinpointed the cause, but I found that if I re-bound my XML maps after changing the XML structure slightly, that items were miss-matched. The result was me having to create a new Excel tab and re-importing my XML maps there. That said, I would recommend having a separate tab for each XML map source you import.
- Make sure the application server containing your XML file or script has a cross domain policy file. If the XML source is on your desktop PC, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Hopefully these tips will get you going in the right direction. If you have any experiences with this feature, please post them as a comment and we can add them to this best practices sheet. Thanks.