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Learn OpenOffice.org Spreadsheet Macro Programming: OOoBasic and Calc automation: A fast and friendly tutorial to writing macros and spreadsheet applications Paperback – 22 Dec 2006
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About the Author
Dr. Mark Alexander Bain first started customizing CRM systems back in the mid '90s when he was team leader for Vodafone's Cascade project - the team took the 'out-of-the-box' Clarify CRM and turned it into a radio base station planning application, complete with a workflow engine for passing jobs between the different departments involved in the planning, building, and implementation of a radio network. Since then he's lectured at the University of Central Lancashire, and currently Mark writes articles on all things Linux and Open Source for Linux Format, Newsforge.com and Linux Journal. SugarCRM customization, therefore, seems the obvious choice for this, his second book, since it combines Mark's knowledge of working with commercial CRMs and the Open Source philosophy. Mark works from his home on the edge of the Lake District in the UK, where he lives with his wife, two dogs and two cats, and gets the odd visit from his sons - Michael and Simon.
Top Customer Reviews
However the problem is that the title is instead rather specific, letting users to believe in a more advanced level.
To make an example, in this book you will find explained the meaning of the "save" icon on the OOo IDE..
If you are totally new on programming and writing macros for OpenOffice and you want a easy-to-follow introduction, I may recommend this one.
In all other cases (particularly if you already have a small self-learned experience) an other title would be best.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book starts with a basic introduction to the programming environment, and includes a brief introduction to the structure of the language. The book does not even attempt, however, to provide full coverage of the language. This is not an introduction to programming or Basic. If you know something about programming, however, this should be sufficient to get you started.
The chapter on the object model, discusses how [...] (OOo) structures its internals. More specifically, the use of interfaces and services. There is also a discussion on how to manipulate the sheets and cells, which is what you probably expected when you see Object Model.
I refer to this book as Eclectic, because it contains numerous different topics, some of which you will not likely find elsewhere. For example, the book contains a fully working macro that extracts stock values from a web site to populate a Calc document. The macro even creates a chart over time of the stock.
Another nice offering in this book, is coverage of the FuncationAccess service. This service allows you to call the standard built-in functions such as STDEV from a macro. This is frequently a skipped topic, and you will not find it in the online help pages.
Although I could spend time to provide a chapter by chapter description of everything that is covered, well, that is not my intention. I primarily wanted to mention that I consider myself very well versed in Macro Programming, and I learned a few things by reading this book, and I enjoyed the process!
This book is not a 400 page long tutorial of how to make one or two specific programs, like some vba books. This book does provide enough code examples to get the various concepts across.
The beginning chapters assume you know absolutely nothing about getting into OOo Basic. Dr. Bain covers organizing your libraries and dialogs, how to stop and start macro execution, the object-oriented model of programming, methods, services, UNO, etc. etc. He takes it slow and easy. Plenty of diagrams showing how all the components of OOo Basic fit together.
Then, in the later middle chapters, he gives an overview of available Calc services and functions. No detail here, just a summary of what's available to the programmer. He does not go into Basic syntax, Calc functions, that kind of detailed stuff. He refers the reader to the built-in Calc Help, and external websites. This may disappoint some readers expecting to get a "batteries-included" type of presentation, but it makes for a compact and concise product for those readers willing to dive into the online and offline content available from the computer.
I can't really review the latter chapters since, at this time, my competence level is inadequate to fully comprehend the material. Dr. Bain presents an OOo Basic app that goes online, retrieves stock market data from Yahoo Finance, and uses it to populate a Calc sheet.
This book makes a great companion to the book "Database Design using OpenOffice.org Base". The database book includes very very brief descriptions of beginner programming concepts. This book on Calc macro programming covers the same material over the course of several chapters, with a plentitude of diagrams. For the complete beginner, this macro book can serve admirably to fill in the gaps in the beginning of the database programming book.
It bears repeating that this macro book serves to introduce the beginner to the OOo Calc programming environment only...the reader must bring proficiency in the Basic language and the Calc application itself, as these topics are given only summary treatment.
Finally and incidentally, this book seems to be a print-on-demand product. I received this book, and the Database Programming book, on 12/09/2010. On the last page is printed "Made in Lexington KY 12/03/2010". That would explain why these two books run $30 each, and why it is likely to be a very long time before you'll be able to find any used copies for a couple of bucks.
Great examples and lessons prepare the macro programmer.