POI : Java Glossary


An Apache/Jakarta open source project to allow Java to export/import various file formats including Excel (*.xls) and MS Word (*.doc) If all you need to do is read/write CSV (Comma-Separated Value) files, you can use the much simpler CSVReader/CSVWriter classes instead.

Other possibilities include creating RDF (Resource Development Framework) or HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) files. You can also create any file that OpenOffice can import then export to Word.

It has a number of subprojects including POIFS for OLE (Object Linking & Embedding) 2 Compound Documents, HSSF for Microsoft Excel 97(-XP) spreadsheet documents and HWPF (Horrible Word Processor Format) for Microsoft Word 97(-XP) word processing documents.

You format Word documents by defining nested styles with HWPF then applying styles to hunks of text.

POI is not what I would call developer friendly. You can get the source with CVS and build it yourself. There are some unlabeled binaries you can find by diligently poking around directories on one of the download mirrors.

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