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Using Microsoft .NET in WebSphere Message Broker V8: Part 3: Integrating with Microsoft Excel

Ben Thompson (bthomps@uk.ibm.com), Consulting IT Specialist, IBM
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Ben Thompson is a Consulting IT Specialist working on the WebSphere Message Broker development team at the IBM Hursley Software Lab in the UK. He is currently working on the design and implementation of .NET support in Message Broker. In the past, he has worked for IBM Software Services for WebSphere designing and implementing WebSphere solutions for IBM customers worldwide. You can contact Ben at bthomps@uk.ibm.com.
(An IBM developerWorks Contributing Author)
Matthew Golby-Kirk (mgk@uk.ibm.com), Software Developer, IBM
Matthew Golby-Kirk photo
Matthew Golby-Kirk is a software developer working on the WebSphere Message Broker development team at the IBM Hursley Software Lab in the UK. He works on the design and implementation of the HTTP and Web services support, along with the ESQL language run time in WebSphere Message Broker. You can contact Matthew at mgk@uk.ibm.com.

Summary:  This series of four tutorials demonstrates the new support for Microsoft .NET in WebSphere Message Broker V8. Part 3 describes integration with Microsoft Excel. Readers should be familiar with either Microsoft .NET or WebSphere Message Broker but need not be familiar with both.

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Date:  01 Feb 2012
Level:  Intermediate

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Creating the message flow

Download the zip file at the bottom of the article and extract the contents into the directory C:\student\DOTNET\lab_msexcel. This zip file provides a template spreadsheet file that the message flow interacts with, and a test file that you will use later to test the completed scenario.

  1. Assuming that the WebSphere Message Broker Toolkit has not yet been started, from the Start menu, choose Start => Programs => IBM WebSphere Message Broker Toolkit => IBM WebSphere Message Broker Toolkit 8.0 => WebSphere Message Broker Toolkit 8.0. You will be asked for the location of a workspace -- the rest of this tutorial assumes that you are using C:\student\DOTNET\lab_msexcel\workspace.
  2. Close the Welcome screen and from your empty workspace, launch the Quick Start wizard by clicking Start by creating an application, as shown below with the red box. If you are using your own existing workspace, you can also launch the Quick Start menu by clicking on New at the top of the Broker Development view on the left side of the window.

    Quick Start menu
  3. The Quick Start wizard requires an Application name. Specify App_DotNet_MSExcel and click Finish:

    Quick Start wizard
  4. In the Application Development window, click New, which is underneath the application you just created. Then on the pop-up New Artifact window, select Message Flow, as shown below:

    New Artifact window
  5. In the New Message Flow wizard that is launched, specify a Message Flow name of MyFlow. Click Finish:

    New Message Flow wizard
  6. After the message flow has been created, drag and drop nodes from the message flow palette onto the empty flow canvas. Take a File Input node and a File Output node from the File drawer. Later in the tutorial you will add a .NETCompute node from the Transformation drawer by simply dragging and dropping a .NET assembly .dll file on to the flow canvas. You will also wire the node terminals and set the properties of the flow nodes, but for the moment, the flow should look like this:

    Message Flow
  7. Go to the Windows start menu and launch Microsoft Visual Studio, which you will use to develop the C# code that the .NETCompute node will use to integrate with the logical message tree and produce the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

You will return to the message flow once you have written and built the C# code in Microsoft Visual Studio.

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