2012/05/17

Excel Import into R without rJava

In my ongoing quest to webappify various R scripts I discovered that rApache cannot load any R packages that depend on rJava.  For several of the scripts that I've written that grab data out of MS Excel files, and therein use the xlsx package, this is a serious brick wall.

In my current workaround, I've resorted to using a shell script to do the xls(x) to .RData conversion.  Then I stumbled upon the gdata package.  Buried deep deep deep within the documentation it is a function called

read.xls()

that relies on Perl rather than Java to do the heavy lifting of crawling both of Microsoft's proprietary binary and xml based formats.

Testing is currently underway and a comparative write-up is planned.