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Beginning extension programming...

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:33 pm
by Hetzi0
I'm a programmer (Tcl/Tk good, C++ a bit rusty, C# beginning but feeling quite at home so far, VBScript well but very unwilling) and I'd like to extend calc on windows.
Currently I'm using it to manage a portfolio of funds and things but with all the calculations and manipulations I think I've gotten as far as the integrated basic is going to get me and I'd like to switch to language suited to bigger projects.
The job of this extension is to provide one button that screen-scrapes a lot of information from various password protected online banking sources (possibly by using iexplorer), calculates yields, buys and sells and then either displays the actions in the sheet or even remote-controls a firefox or iexplorer into filling all the forms so that I just have to type in the authorization numbers and press ok.
Since I do this in my spare time, the usual Excel/VS Pro/C# combination is out of the question and therefore I'd like to stay with OO calc.
My favorite solution would be C# and Visual studio express. Is that a realistic option or are the hurdles so high that I'd be better off using something different? I don't know java but I'd willing to give it a try and invest maybe two or three hundred euro in a gui and books and stuff.
I'd like to avoid C++ but if you tell me that this is the most hassle-free solution and I could use the free visual studio express C++-Edition then I'd try that too. At work I use Visual Studio professional so that would get me productive with the gui pretty quickly.

What do you think which way should I go? .NET, Java or C++? Platform independence doesn't matter to me. The program will live for several years and be extended regularly with things like exchange trading, portfolio analysis and so on. So I'd like to avoid an API that's going to be obsolete in a couple of releases. Wherever possible I'd like to use OO calcs native capabilities like goal searches or calculations within the sheets, so I want it integrated very tightly and without much interprocess communications overhead.

Has anyone done something similar? I use calc because the whole thing started as a bunch of goal-seeks and fancy diagrams. But last week I saw for the first time that OO also contains a database. I've done not much with it so far but since I develop for an oracle database at work I'm quite familiar with sql and can find my way around analytical functions. So, I could split the application thee way with calc as frontend and charts display, the database for calculations and storage and my extension for the http part and the things that fit nowhere else. Can I refer to the database from a calc sheet? Has the database an API too? Also, how safe would my data be with the database? With calc I can always save in Excel format or even ASCII and migrate the data somewhere else or even print them out and put them in a safe.

Lots of Greetings and thanks!

Re: Beginning extension programming...

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:09 pm
by Villeroy
Why not read some documentation and study other people's add-ons?
With C# and Visual Studio you won't be able to do anything platform independent.

Re: Beginning extension programming...

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:26 pm
by ms777

from what you tell about your targets I do not see anything requiring additional languages. I manage my personal account through OO by remote controlling the Internet Explorer through OO Basic, and I like the easy program and test ability using the OO Basic IDE. So far, I have not yet found any programming task not being solvable with OO Basic, sometimes (very rarely) wih a little support from Beanshell scripts. Only exception is when you do numbercrunching and speed of calculations is an issue. I would not expect that from what you tell us about your task, though.

OO database works quite fine in newer OO versions, and can easily be controlled by OO Basic, too.

Good luck,


Re: Beginning extension programming...

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:40 pm
by Villeroy
So far, I have not yet found any programming task not being solvable with OO Basic, ...

Function add-ins for Calc.