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Xcelite is an ORM like Java library which allows you to easily serialize and deserialize Java beans to/from Excel spreadsheets

Quick Start


I simply want to write a two-dimensional collection. How can I do that?

Xcelite xcelite = new Xcelite();    
XceliteSheet sheet = xcelite.createSheet("data_sheet");
SheetWriter<Collection<Object>> simpleWriter = sheet.getSimpleWriter();
List<Collection<Object>> data = new ArrayList<Collection<Object>>();
// ...fill up data
xcelite.write(new File("data.xlsx"));

This will create an excel document with single sheet named "data_sheet".

OK lets get serious, i have this POJO bean

public class User { 

  private String firstName;
  private String lastName;
  private long id; 
  private Date birthDate; 

How do i serialize a collection of this bean to excel?

First, lets add annotations

public class User { 

  @Column (name="Firstname")
  private String firstName;
  @Column (name="Lastname")
  private String lastName;
  private long id; 
  private Date birthDate; 

@Column annoatation indicates a property that you want it to be serialized to excel.
By default, if no "name" attribute is provided the excel column name will be taken from the property name.

Now same way as before but this time using bean writer instead of simple:

Xcelite xcelite = new Xcelite();    
XceliteSheet sheet = xcelite.createSheet("users");
SheetWriter<User> writer = sheet.getBeanWriter(User.class);
List<User> users = new ArrayList<User>();
// ...fill up users
xcelite.write(new File("users_doc.xlsx"));

This will create a sheet with 4 columns plus header row: Firstname, Lastname, id and birthDate.
Naturally, the excel column types will be Text for FirstName and LastName, Number for id and Date for birthDate.
If you'de prefer that "id" column will be written as Text instead of Number, use

private long id;

It is possible to control the data format that will be used when writing. For instance, Xcelite will use a default data format for "birthDate" date. In order to change the format, use

@Column(dataFormat="ddd mmm dd hh:mm:ss yyy")
private Date birthDate;

The data format is exacly as the same as used in Excel. It is recommended to check the format in Excel first before using it in your code.

Note that the excel columns order in this case is arbitrary. If you want to control the order of the columns use the @Row annotation on your bean class

@Row(colsOrder = {"Firstname", "Lastname", "id", "birthDate"})
public class User {
// ...


How do I simply read an existing Excel sheet to a two-dimensional collection?

Xcelite xcelite = new Xcelite(new File("data.xlsx"));
XceliteSheet sheet = xcelite.getSheet("data_sheet");
SheetReader<Collection<Object>> simpleReader = sheet.getSimpleReader();
Collection<Collection<Object>> data =;

If the first row in the sheet is an header, you can skip it by doing:


Cool! How about reading to a collection of Java beans?

Xcelite xcelite = new Xcelite(new File("users_doc.xlsx"));
XceliteSheet sheet = xcelite.getSheet("users");
SheetReader<User> reader = sheet.getBeanReader(User.class);
Collection<User> users =;

Note that Xcelite will try to map only the @Column annotated properties. If no column found in the sheet for an annotated property it will be ignored.
Sheet columns which are not mapped to a @Column annotated property will be ignored as well.

Advanced Stuff

Using Converters

Lets say your bean contains a list of values or some object of your own. By default, Xcelite will serialize the toString() of the object or list, and sometimes this might not be what you want.
The converter mechanism allows you to serialize/desrialize the object in any way you want.
To demostrate lets add a list to our User bean and use the built-in CSVColumnValueConverter converter:

@Column(name = "Emails", converter = CSVColumnValueConverter.class)
private List<String> mailAddresses;

The CSVColumnValueConverter takes a collection of objects and serializes it to a comma seperated String.
Alternately when deserializing, the converter takes a comma seperated String and deserializes it to a collection of Objects.
So writing a collection of users will result with a cloumn named "Emails" and the column data will look someting like that:,,

When reading the sheet to a collection of Users, the column "Emails" will be deserialized to an ArrayList. If you prefer a different collection implementation rather than the default ArrayList, you can always extend the CSVColumnValueConverter and override the getCollection() method to return your preferred implementation.

Custom Converters

It is possible of course to create your own converter. All you need to do is to implement ColumnValueConverter interface.
For example, lets create a converter for our firstName property that will lowercase the firstName when writing and will uppercase it when reading.

public class UpperLowerCaseConverter implements ColumnValueConverter<String, String> {
  public String serialize(String value) {
    return value.toUpperCase();

  public String deserialize(String value) {
    return value.toLowerCase();

@Column (name="Firstname", converter = UpperLowerCaseConverter.class)
private String firstName;

Dynamic Columns

What if you don't know in advance which columns your Excel sheet will hold? For example when your application reads dynamic content and save it to Excel.
Obviously simple bean won't do any good because you don't know what properties and columns to define.
For that purpose you can use the @AnyColumn annotation to annotate a Map<String, Object> property. The map will hold any column you want where the key represents the column name and the value represents the column value.

private Map<String, Object> dynamicCols;

The map value can be of any type. If the type is not a Number or Date Xcelite will use the toString() of the object upon serializtion. If this is not what you want you can use a converter same way as before:

@AnyColumn(converter = CSVColumnValueConverter.class)
private Map<String, List<String>> dynamicCols;

What about reading from Excel sheet using dynamic columns?

Well, luckily it works both ways. If your bean contains @AnyColumn property, any column in your Excel sheet that is not mapped to a specific property in your bean will be injected to the @AnyColumn annotated Map property. If a converter is declared then the value will be deserialized using the converter before injected to the map.
By default, Xcelite will use HashMap implementation for the Map when deserializing. If you'de prefer a different implementation use the 'as' attribute.
For instance, if you want your map to be sorted by column names using a TreeMap, just do:

@AnyColumn(converter = CSVColumnValueConverter.class, as = TreeMap.class)
private Map<String, List<String>> dynamicCols;

In addition, if you want some sheet columns to be skipped from been injected to the map, use:

@AnyColumn(ignoreCols = { "column1", "column2" })
private Map<String, List<String>> dynamicCols;

Row Post Processors

When reading an Excel sheet you sometimes want to manipulate the data while reading. For example, you want to discard some row or object, or change some data in the deserialized object.
In order to accomplish that you can add a RowPostProcessor to your reader.
A RowPostProcessor is a simple interface which contain a single method process() which gets the deserialized Object as an argument and return boolean whether to keep the Object or not.

private class UserPostRowProcessor implements RowPostProcessor<User> {
  public boolean process(User user) {
    return user.getFirstName().startsWith("A");

In this example we filter out all users which their first name does not start with "A".
All we have to do now is to register this row post processor in our reader:

SheetReader<User> reader = sheet.getBeanReader(User.class);
reader.addRowPostProcessor(new UserPostRowProcessor());

Note that you can register as many row post processor as you like. They will be executed in ordered manner.



Xcelite package provides a simple and easy-to-use utility which takes two SheetReader classes and compares them:

Xcelite xceliteA = new Xcelite(new File("usersA.xlsx"));
SheetReader<User> readerA = xceliteA.getSheet("users").getBeanReader(User.class);
Xcelite xceliteB = new Xcelite(new File("usersB.xlsx"));
SheetReader<User> readerB = xceliteB.getSheet("users").getBeanReader(User.class);
DiffResult<User> diffResult = XceliteDiff.diff(readerA, readerB);
assertTrue("Sheets are not identical!\n" + diffResult.getReport(), diffResult.isIdentical());

Needless to say, your bean must implement hashCode() and equals() if you wish to have meaningful symmetric difference results.
If you want to use a different report rather than the one provided by XceliteDiff, it is possible to do:

DiffResult<User> diffResult = XceliteDiff.diff(readerA, readerB, new ReportGenerator() {
      public <T> String generateReport(Info<T> info) {
        // return your own report based on the provided info

How To Use?

Using Xcelite in Your Maven Project

Add xcelite as a dependency:

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