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I have created a web service that provides me with sales data from our corporate ERP system. We are going to use this to drive some "dashboards" showing this data graphically.

For testing/ evaluation I would like to use a web service like a custom function to populate individual fields in a spreadsheet. I can't see how to d this easily in MS Excel (2007) but wonders if OpenOffice Calc has a capability.

My hope/expectation is that I type in a call the web service in each cell and e web service reply (a sales number relating to the web service call is returned and displayed in the cell.

My web service is called something like this: http://server:8080/SalesHistory?Year=2011&Month=10&Region=Europe&Channel=Web

As you can guess, this will return the value of sales for October'11 for the region/sales channel stated.

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I'm pretty sure you will have to do a little bit of programming (which can be done in e.g. Python, C++ or Java, or maybe even OOo/LibO Basic) to create your own Calc function. If you like to use Python, search the web for "python uno bridge" (or replace "python" with your favourite language).

(BTW: something similar is also possible in MS Excel really...)

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I believe you can create a "Job" with Google Refine that can process data through a web service and drop it into the file format of your choice. Not sure what already exists for Open Document formats. Watch the videos here for more info:

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Check out the new WEBSERVICE and FILTERXML functions in LibreOffice 4.2:

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