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Service Design & Assurance Metadata Standards: A language to describe spreadsheets and an implementation that extracts and validates the data.
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Excel Import Text.xlsx


Data Standards: Spreadsheet Description Language

Copyright (C) 2019, The Data Standards Team, Crown Copyright (Government Digital Service).

1. Introduction

	This is a proof of concept of the ideas presented in

	We implement a simple, delcarative language that can describe
	spreadsheets so that they can be checked, validated and the data
	extracted for further processing.

	There is a webpage with more information about the project at

2. Installation

	The tools in this package can be run straight away; they do not need
	to be built or installed. However, they do have a number of
	dependencies which need to be satisfied.

	For UNIX systems, the tools require GNU Make, git and python. These
	tools are usually available by default or from system packages.

	To install the dependencies, edit the user configuration in the
	Makefile and then run `make prepare`. This will download odfpy from
	its git repository and install it into a dedicated PYTHONPATH.

	The whole package is distributed under an MIT license and as such is
	free to use and modify as long as you agree to its terms.

	Note: Should you have any trouble in setting up and using these tools,
	please feel free to contact:

	        + Andy Bennett <>

3. Usage

        Use `make run` to invoke the tool with the correct environment.

	You can also use `make poc-json` to run the demo that outputs the
	spreadsheet data as a JSON document.

4. Compatibility Notes

	Development of the tools has been done under MacOS
	(Darwin-MacOS_10.13.6-x86_64) and therefore the tools may accidentally
	assume that you are also running under MacOS.

	We go to some lengths to not require root access.

	Our work intends to cover the major spreadsheet formats in use around
	UK Government however, this proof of concept currently only supports
	spreadsheets in OpenDocument Format (.ods).

	This package is intended to be a proof-of-concept. It is not expected
	or guaranteed to be more widely applicable.

5. What's next?

	First and foremost, enjoy the tools and use and extend them with your
	own spreadsheets.

	Please feel free to any patches or extensions that you make so that
	they can be integrated and distributed with this package.

        Suggestion, extensions and patches are welcome.

        If you have any questions or problems (even the slightest problems, or
        the most stupid questions), then please feel free to get in touch with
        us directly using the addresses above. We will try to help you, get you
        going or point you in the right direction.

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