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Installation from sources

On a Linux station

Python user configuration (if not already done) In ~/.bashrc file, add :


Clone git repository ( Then run to install excel2wisxml.


Set python package version (A.B.C) in file from excel file version (A.B) and python script version (C) and commit with the command:


The script version and excel file compatible version are referenced at the beginning of the script.

Excel file version is referenced in MD generic sheet. During generic metadata processing, the script checks if versions match. Otherwise it stops.

Functions module

Imported module contains functions used by the script to add metadata elements in an xml tree.

Excel file shape configuration

Shape of the excel file is set for 4 sheets of the excel file:

  • delta linking MD Fields columns to associated Help rows

  • MD Fields:

    • column and row start

    • mandatory row

    • section row

  • Help: associate columns with their header names

  • MD generic:

    • row start

    • associate columns with their names

  • MD Thesaurus:

    • column start

    • associate columns with their names

Be careful always to keep row numbers, column numbers, header name values and delta linking Help rows to MD Fields columns consistent with excel file.

The addition of a column in MD Field or a row in Help does not impact shape configuration.

Read and parse excel file with xlrd

Get sheets and check excel file shape:

  • Do MD Fields ID match with Help ID?

  • Are mandatory fields filled?
    For Inspire Metadata (if inspire option is set and MFopenwis option is not set), MD Fields Translate sheet and Metadata second language value in MD generic must be filled.

If an error is identified the script stops and an appropriate error message is displayed.

Parse the template as an XML tree with etree

Add metadata elements

An element is added only when its value is not null.

1. Generic metadata (MD generic sheet)

Each row of MD generic sheet stands for a metadata element. The element's value is added at the location specified by the xpath. A codelist, attributes and a translation can also be added.

If there is no metadata date value, the computer time stamp is added by default.

If there is a field value but no associated xpath, a warn message is displayed, except for ExcelVersion element. This element is not added in the metadata file. It is used to check if the excel file version is compatible with the script version. If not, the script stops.

For some elements - identified thanks to their tag name - some other tags are added :

  • Resource locator url
    addition of online resource protocol WWW:LINK-1.0-http--link

DCPC Metadata

Metadata are identified as DCPC metadata when one of OpenWIS only: tag is filled with a value. For such metadata some additionnal elements (request and subscribe URL) are added during specific metadata processing.


A metadata is identified as translated when Second Language is filled with a value. For such metadata some further elements are added (translation language, value and encoding).

2. Non generic metadata (MD Fields and Help sheets)

An XML metadata file is generated for each row of MD Field sheet.

For each row:

  • MD Fields columns are parsed one by one to get the values;

  • linked Help rows are parsed to get:

    • xpath (location of metadata element in xml tree)

    • attribute name, value and location (attribute name is set to No if there is no attribute to add)

    • thesaurus name

    • multivalue boolean (indicates if the tag must be added only once or several times)

    • codelist value

    • type

Regular case is to add the metadata tag value at the location specified by the xpath.

Other elements can be added according to which Help cells are filled:

  • codeList and codeListValue attributes (added at the location specified by the xpath, except for Keywords)

  • other comma-separated attributes (added at the location specified in Attribute Location or at xpath location if Attribute Location is empty);

  • thesaurus name, date, dateType and codeList attributes (information available in MD Thesaurus sheet);

  • type tag with its associated value and codelist attributes (KeywordType and DateType for instance).

Some values are kept in memory such as:

  • URN;

  • resource Title;

  • file name pattern.

Some elements need a specific processing:

  • URN [identified with its xpath]

    • MD Field Unique identifier value is replaced by the URN - the concatenation of MD generic UID and MD Fields UID

    • 2 MD generic tags are replaced by the concatenation of their value and the URN:

      • location (address) for on-line access

      • permanent link

    • If one of MD generic field OpenWIS only: is not null, two online resources are added (Suscribe on DCPC and Request on DCPC)

  • GTS Priority [identified with its xpath]
    Value is replaced by "GTSPriorityN" with N the 9th character of MD Field cell value

  • File name [identified with its xpath]
    One or several GFNC file name(s) and associated information are added:

    • file description (dynamic value : Resource title)
  • Temporal Extent [identified with its xpath] For indeterminate temporal extent value, the value is not added as a tag value but as an attribute value. If the value is "before" or "after" a potential additionnal time element can be added as the tag value.

  • Free links [identified with its xpath]
    Several links can be added. 3 tags are added for each link:

    • name (optional, URL value if not specified)

    • protocol (static value)

    • URL (dynamic value)

  • Resource Format [identified with its xpath]
    Several resource formats can be added. 4 tags are added for each resource format (dynamic values):

    • name

    • version

    • specification (optional)

    • mime type
      If file names are specified, format name, version and mime type information is also added in the GFNC section for each file name.

  • Tag or group of tags added several times [Multivalue set to Yes]
    Add a group of tags as many times as the number of comma-separated values. First multivalued tag to add is suffixed by "[]".

  • Attribute addition exception [Attribute Value set to MD_Fields] The value read in MD Fields is added as an attribute value at xpath location and not as a tag value.


When a metadata is identified as translated some further elements are added (translation language and value) for each element translated in MD Fields Translate sheet. For multivalue tags, these further elements are added for each occurence.

Empty descriptiveKeywords tags removal

There are several descriptive keywords tags in the template. But not all of them are mandatory. Empty descriptiveKeywords are removed top down.

Warn messages

Warn message can be displayed for each metadata in case where :

  • there is a field value but no xpath ;

  • a xpath is incorrect.