HTML question!!!

06-18-2002, 07:00 PM
This has nothing to do with VisualBasic (yet!), but I've come to walue the input and expertise of the VB experts I've encountered at this here forum, so here goes:

Is there a way, when using HTML to construct a VERY simply web page, to make the data content of a table cell variable? Let's say I've got a nice little row of four cells:


And I want the first three to always say HI HO and HUM, but let's say I want the fourth to display, say, the contents of a cell on an Excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet resides in the same directory as my homepage, let's say. I want to work it so that whenever anybody changes the cell and saves the spreadsheet, the new contents of that cell appear automatically-like in the "wariable" cell on my webpage.

Is there a method in HTML to accomplish this?


Derek Stone
06-18-2002, 07:23 PM
Not with HTML. You'll need a server-side language such as ASP, ASP.NET, PHP, JSP, or CGI. Your best bet would be ASP, since it would be relatively easy to instantiate an Excel Application COM object and retrieve the data from the file.

Good Luck

06-18-2002, 07:36 PM
Luck indeed!! So can a programming gooficus like me learn enough "ASP" in a week or so to pull this off? What IS ASP - in broad strokes? What does it do that say HTML or even VB can't do?

See, all we need is for the cells in the HTML table to be updated with the content of the cells in the Excel spreadsheet whenever the sheet is saved.

Now I've got to learn HTML >AND< ASP....

What about Perl? Should I learn Perl? What good would that do me?

06-18-2002, 08:36 PM
Goto W3Schools (, you can learn some ASP fundamentals in a couple of days.

06-18-2002, 08:48 PM
All HTML is is a markup language that is interpreted by a client
browser and converted into a visible graphical representation.
The addition of client-side scripting can make the page more
dynamic, but to really get what you want, you have to have some
kind of server-side scripting to dynamically build the table before
it is sent to the client browser. Since you want to access info in
an Excel spreadsheet, you would have to use ASP because only
ASP would allow you to instantiate an Excel server application
object on the web server. Neither Perl or PHP really gives you
this ability (although they could easily access other sources of info
which would work just as well as Excel). Not only do you have to
learn VBScript and how to instantiate and work with the Excel
application object, you have to have Excel installed on the web
server with proper permissions set so that it can be run from the
web server.

06-20-2002, 07:14 PM
Hey, Thinky-baby

You seem to really know your stuff (as does apparently everyone else here except me; that's why I post here). You said only ASP would allow me "to instantiate an Excel server application object on the web server."

What does "instantiate" mean? (Um, for that matter, what does the whole sentence mean; what is an "Excel server app object?")

You say Perl and PHP (I've not heard of PHP) could access other info sources easily - would a Microsoft Access database be one such source? 'Cause here at work I do have the authority to say, guys, we're switching this whole file from Excel to Access. If that makes more sense for constructing my intranet page, that's what I'll do.

Have to have Excel installed on the web server...well, for now my PC is the web server; so as long as I've got Excel on me PC; I'm all set, right (pretending that we're still using Excel instead of Access)?

06-20-2002, 07:39 PM
Have to have Excel installed on the web server...well, for now my PC is the web server; so as long as I've got Excel on me PC; I'm all set, right (pretending that we're still using Excel instead of Access)?

Does this mean you have IIS or PWS installed on your PC? If so,
then you are a good deal of the way there already. And it won't
make as much difference between Excel or Access as far as using
some other (non-microsoft) web server/scripting language. Using
an Access database would mean that you could use ADO to get
data instead of having to start up an instance of Excel. This
could be much faster, especially if there will be lots of hits on the
web page.

06-20-2002, 07:47 PM
I'm trying to get IIS or PWS installed here. I went to w3schools as was recommended in this thread; and followed the instructions for setting up IIS on my Windows 2000 machine; but it said there would be an "Inetpub" folder created on my hard drive; but there wasn't.

I'm at work here and I think maybe the LAN administrators have enacted some controls that preven me from setting it up a certain way? (E.g., I open up the DOS prompt but I get an H:\> prompt; not a C:\> one. As if they don't want me to have command-line access to my own PC. (Not that a computer gooficus like me could do anything.))

Can I download IIS or PWS? Which is best for the very simple task that I'm trying to accomplish?

06-20-2002, 08:25 PM
If that is win2000 professional, it is possible MS disabled it from
loading IIS. There was something that happened with NT4
professional where people changed a few registry settings and
used it as a web server, 'cheating' MS out of an NT4 server license
sale. I could be wrong though. The other thing to check for is in
the Task Manager/Processes you would see iissrv.exe if IIS was
running. You should also have a Microsoft Internet Information
Server/Internet Service Manager entry somewhere on your start

06-20-2002, 11:58 PM
I have Win2k and it installs InetPub to the System drive (same drive as WINNT),

Let's check something out....
in Control Panel / Admistrative Tools ... open Services

Then sort by the Status column (head-click) and check if any say Starting, if so that's the problem. (I'll explain a work-around if this is so).

If not, look for a service named IIS Admin Service, check if it's 'Started'.

Let us know what you find.

06-21-2002, 12:20 PM
Well, I followed Robby's instructions and didn't find anything whose status was "Starting," nor did I find any services named "IIS Admin Service."


Meanwhile though, I book I browsed through said I could download PWS free from the Microsoft site.

Can I? Would PWS get the job done for me, I do I truly need to get my hands on this "IIS" racket?

06-21-2002, 01:12 PM
What exactly is your position at this company? You mentioned that you had "LAN administrators", and they might be restricting your access. If so, then it might be a good idea to consult them to get your web server setup, that way you can focus on your individual project and let them worry about the server services. Just a thought.

06-21-2002, 01:23 PM
As Cogen mentioned....have your sys admin do it. (there may be restrictions set on you as a user)

Derek Stone
06-21-2002, 03:36 PM
IIS isn't installed by default on most Windows 2000 systems. I'm leaning towards this being the problem. You or your LAN administrator will need to install it via the Add/Remove Program option in the Control Panel.

Good Luck

EZ Archive Ads Plugin for vBulletin Copyright 2006 Computer Help Forum