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Posted 19 May 2008

Office Web Component v11.0 Spreadsheet And AJAX Interoperatibility Part 1

, 19 May 2008
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This article demonstrate, how OWC and AJAX can be used to store spreadsheet content as XML data into database.This XML in turns rendered as spreadsheet in OWC control from database source.


Office Web Component (OWC) are a group of OLE classes implemented as ActiveX controls in Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP and Office 2003. This ActiveX controls can be plugged into web pages, Visual Basic and VBA forms, Windows forms or programmed in-memory. The OWC can be used by any COM-compliant Component Object Model programming language. Sometimes in our Application we may require a feature of Excel Spreadsheet with minimum level of functionality in such cases OWC is the solution to our problem.

Note: OWC is not available for Design Time toolbox in Visual studio .Net.


System Requirement

Or just search for “Office Web Component v11.0 Download” , yeah I trust ‘Google’ that it would provide us with the exact result if Microsoft does not change the location of the download. The important point to note here is, that the server does not require to install microsoft Excel. Neither the client.


Once you have installed the office web component, use the tag to insert component control on to your aspx page.

Blocks of code should be set as style "Formatted" like this:

<object classid="clsid:0002E559-0000-0000-C000-000000000046" id="sp" width="100%" style="height: 300px">
<param name="XMLData" value="<a></a>" />

Note: OWC version 10 and 11 appear disabled in Visual Studio 2005. For more information click

Using OWC Activex Control with AJAX:

This is helpful when one wants to save spreadsheet content of OWC into server side database. This requires exposing client side OWC to server side which is best achieve using Ajax implementation. The OWC renders spreadsheet data into XML data. This xml data is stored in database table. When this xml data is retrieved back to front-end it gets rendered as spreadsheet data.

Step 1


<object classid="clsid:0002E559-0000-0000-C000-000000000046" id="sp" width="100%" style="height: 300px">
<param name="XMLData" value="<a></a>" />

<input type="button" value="Save" onclick="SaveTemplate()" class="ButtonStyle" />

The above code will insert and OWC control in the page. The control displays the spreadsheet. For storing the data in the database I have used AJAX. The javascript function does the post back to the server. At the same time it saves the XMLData in the server side hidden variable and this data is stored into database.

function LoadTemplate()
            XMLHttpRequestObject = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
            var spreadsheet = document.getElementById("sp");
                var documenttype = document.getElementById("Select1")
      "POST", "UpdateTemplate.aspx?operation=loadTemplate");      
                XMLHttpRequestObject.onreadystatechange = function ()
                    if (XMLHttpRequestObject.readyState == 4 && XMLHttpRequestObject.status == 200) 
                           spreadsheet.XMLData = XMLHttpRequestObject.responseText;                      
                           //alert(XMLHttpRequestObject.readyState );
                document.getElementById('<%= lblMessage.ClientID %>').innerText=XMLHttpRequestObject.responseText;

Step 2


Protected Sub Page_Load(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Load

            Dim strOperation As String = String.Empty
            strOperation = Request("operation")

            If strOperation = "save" Then
                Dim streamReader As New System.IO.StreamReader(Request.InputStream)
                Dim spreadsheetdata = streamReader.ReadToEnd() '' this this needs to be updated in teh database

            End If

        Catch ex As Exception
            'Response.Write("error occured")
        End Try
    End Sub

Wrapping up

Office web component is a good tool to get excel type spreadsheet feature onto your web page rather than using the excel object and creating spreadsheet at runtime. The later approach is tedious and not user friendly. This involves creating new component altogether. OWC really saves significant amount of development time and simulate real time excel worksheet on web.

Any Idea, Suggestion or References on similar topics will surely add values to our learning.

For more information you can contact me on


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The GNU General Public License (GPLv3)


About the Author

Gautam Sharma
Software Developer (Senior)
India India
Im is a Senior Software Developer working with a software company in Mumbai(India). He has overall 5.5 years of experience in .net technology. He has knowledge in C# 3.0, SQL Server 2005, SQL Reporting service, Enterprise Library 3.0, WCSF & Windows Workflow Foundation.

He has a hands on cutting edge tool like MS Visio, Rational Rose, Borland together 2006 & CruiseControl.Net

Currently his area of interest is on LINQ and Sharepoint.

He is MCPD-EA Certified.

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionAny solution for that? Part 2? Pin
RAND 4558667-Jan-15 8:04
professionalRAND 4558667-Jan-15 8:04 
GeneralPerfect Application Pin
kaustubh.kul26-Aug-13 2:32
memberkaustubh.kul26-Aug-13 2:32 
Generalnot working with me Pin
mostafa.elsadany23-May-11 19:26
membermostafa.elsadany23-May-11 19:26 
QuestionOWC Pivot Pin
xavras15-Apr-10 7:38
memberxavras15-Apr-10 7:38 
GeneralTemplate Pin
jbee13015-Jun-09 8:37
memberjbee13015-Jun-09 8:37 
GeneralRe: Template Pin
Gautam Sharma27-Sep-09 22:06
memberGautam Sharma27-Sep-09 22:06 
GeneralRe: Template Pin
umeshfaq3-Apr-13 9:16
memberumeshfaq3-Apr-13 9:16 
GeneralXML Root Node Pin
Member 41068857-Nov-08 4:41
memberMember 41068857-Nov-08 4:41 
GeneralRe: XML Root Node Pin
Rodger Cespedes16-Apr-09 11:16
memberRodger Cespedes16-Apr-09 11:16 
QuestionSaving Cell Data into Database Table Pin
Marco LO20-Jul-08 0:11
memberMarco LO20-Jul-08 0:11 

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