Greetings from Dynamo team!
It has been a while since I wrote in forum to introduce you new progress our team made. If you have been following our blogposts, you may know we have just released Dynamo 2.12.0 - our biggest point release ever since 2.0 with a bunch of improvements and new features developed for your ease of using Dynamo. In this post, I am going to focus on a small slice of the release - the new Dynamo Excel nodes using OpenXML standards. Introducing two brand new nodes, the Data.OpenXMLImportExcel (An alternative to Data.ImportExcel ) and Data.OpenXMLExportExcel (An alternative to Data.ExportToExcel ).
Now you may have raised your hand already: why do you guys make a new set of excel nodes? Well, because the old ones came with the following restrictions.
- The legacy set of Excel nodes are depending on a local installation of MS Office
- The MS Office installation needs to be 64bit version to maintain max compatibility with Dynamo node. We have seen cases that 32bit version does not work with legacy set of Excel nodes.
- The MS Excel application will be launched when the Excel node runs. If for any reason this process fails, the execution of legacy set of Excel nodes fail. e.g. broken installation of Excel, license issue, version compatibility
- The MS Excel application will be launched when the Excel node runs. This introduce performance bottleneck to your Dynamo workflow in a lot of the time. The time spent to launch Excel is much longer than data read/write usually.
The new set of nodes get rid of these restrictions by enabling users to interact with .xlsx files directly in Dynamo, regardless of whether or not you have MS Office installed or not. This should reduce the Dynamo setup pain and let users develop and share Dynamo workflows which work more universally. The new set of nodes will return True or False based on if the read/write action to file succeeded or not. These node also come with similar inputs and order. Our team also have new sample files created for them. Here is a screen shot of them.
Cases we are still not supporting:
- Target path is too long
- Target path is read only or lack of permission through Dynamo, e.g. readonly path, path on a network drive or mapped path from OneDrive etc
You can try these new nodes out in Dynamo 2.12.0 sandbox release and our major integrators are on the way adopting it already. Hope this thread helps and we are also hear to listen to your feedback on the new nodes or any other issue you have. More exciting news are coming in our future releases and we will let you know soon.