[Rd] Bridging R to OpenOffice

Marc Schwartz marc_schwartz at comcast.net
Wed Mar 28 17:43:22 CEST 2007

On Wed, 2007-03-28 at 17:25 +0200, Peter Dalgaard wrote:
> Sean Davis wrote:
> > On Wednesday 28 March 2007 06:25, Roger Bivand wrote:
> >   
> >> On Wed, 28 Mar 2007, Hin-Tak Leung wrote:
> >>     
> >>> Hmm, if all you are interested is reading/writing Excel spreadsheets
> >>> from R, there are much lighter and easier ways of doing it, than
> >>> hooking up with openoffice. The Perl people have had
> >>> Spreadsheet::ParseExcel and Spreadsheet::WriteExcel for years (and
> >>> they work quite well, personal experience). Those are tiny
> >>> (a couple of Mb's?) compared to the size of openoffice.
> >>>       
> >> I don't think this is the problem here - the proposal says: "Create an
> >> add-on component that allows a Calc user to let the R environment do
> >> calculations on data from Calc cells and put the results into the
> >> spreadsheet again". It feels much more like embedding R in the OO
> >> spreadsheet and/or elsewhere, which would be similar to using DCOM in
> >> Excel. There would also be questions about how tightly integrated an
> >> embedded R should be, how functionality would be provided and documented,
> >> and how such a setup ought to be administered and maintained.
> >>
> >> As RExcel, the structure depends crucially on having joint expertise in
> >> place to write and maintain the R script glue (dialogues) to provide the
> >> functionality being added to Calc. Typically, this would be something an
> >> organisation of some size might need, but it would be unlikely to be a GUI
> >> for novice R users unwilling to scale the learning curve (a steep learning
> >> curve, of course, means learn a lot in a short time, hence a good thing!).
> >>     
> >
> > There are examples of doing this with Excel, which have been quite successful.  
> > Here is at least one example (which I post for potential contact 
> > information):
> >
> > http://linus.nci.nih.gov/BRB-ArrayTools.html
> >   
> I feel (without much hard evidence to build the feeling on...) that the
> main issue is that OOo isn't making it really clear what the preferred
> embedding/interfacing methods should be. I did look into the related
> issue of database connectivity at some point; toying with the idea of
> using oobase or oocalc as a backend for RODBC, but apparently no  ODBC
> interface exists. (The other way around is possible: using oobase as a
> front end for e.g. mysql via ODBC).

OO.org's Base is an embedded HSQLDB java based database application

To my knowledge it does not support ODBC, but at least in the
'non-embedded' versions, there is a JDBC interface available.

This issue comes up periodically on the OO.org lists, which I tend to
peruse and occasionally post to via gmane.

For whomever might pursue this, there is a list of OO.org projects here:


including sections for API's etc.



More information about the R-devel mailing list