A long time a go I called out FarPoint Spread for BizTalk Server 2006 in another blog article as a useful third party component. Two weeks ago one of my colleagues had an urgent requirement to parse XLS and XLSX into XML from the same receive location. The architect he was working with had asked him to develop a custom BizTalk component to do this. I am sure that given lot of time my colleague could have written this from scratch but he only had a day to get this working. I remember my good experiences with FarPoint Spread for BizTalk and wondered if there was now a BizTalk 2010 version.
A quick search by my colleague confirmed that there was an updated version for BizTalk Server 2010. He downloaded a trial version and within about 2 hours had managed to create a custom pipeline and associated schemas. He now had a big smile on his face because he could meet his deadline. A license has to be purchased for this component but in this case I think it was well worth the money.
I was disappointed to learn that the software vendor is going to discontinue support for this FarPoint Spread for BizTalk in 2013. I think this is a real shame because at the moment there are no other components that parse XLS, XLSX and CSV files into XML in the same pipeline. I hope the software vendor might reconsider discontinuing support for this component. If you like this product too then please let the vendor know.