Movable Type, Word & Excel

November 26, 2003

At work , we have our little event calendar that we run off of Movable Type. While it’s not a perfect mechanism for what we use it for, it works. One of the major things I do is import lots of data from our call center into that calendar. Basically adding classes and updating events. Since we’re on two different systems, the only way I can manipulate the data is by using an Excel file.

So I get this file monthly or as needed, to basically use as a database for our Events system. Instead of building some wicked xml parser to export Excel into Movable Type’s Berkeley DB, I just setup a mail merge in word, to import Excel’s fields into a mail merge template that is in reality a Movable Type import template. I merge it all into a new file, then upload it to our import directory. Everything imports fine.

I have a blank Excel file with a similar setup, so when I receive a class update or addition via email, I can copy/paste the info into the blank sheet and export from Excel as I’m doing above.

I think I’ve mentioned all of this before and I’m talking about it more, since we’re looking at a couple of changes in our setup. Since it’s Movable Type, we can make a XML file available for various needs. I also mention this, because the Events & Classes page was nominated as a “Best Practices” for hospital event pages around the county. So if we win, I’ll be nothing less than shocked. For the setup to have a total budget of $0, even being nominated means a lot.