Today we was on Microsoft to see a little "pre-sales" preview of the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009.
The new release of the Microsoft's ERP is really exciting and one of the coolest feature of the new 3-tier platform is the native support for web services. One of the demo we saw today shows an interesting scenario that will be available with the new NAV release: you can import NAV data into Microsoft Excel, modify them directly on Excel (with all the validation and NAV logic available) and then return the data to NAV.
But how to do this with Excel? Microsoft doesn't show this during these partner's preview and I've observed that on forums there are questions regarding this topic.
With Excel 2007 this operation is simple and doesn't requires macros or similar:
Just open Excel 2007, select the Data tab, click on the Get External Data button, then select From Other Sources and then select From XML Data Import:
On the window that opens, enter the web service url (the method url, not only the .asmx) into the File Name box, then click on the Open button. Excel will open the XML schema (if the web service does not have an associated XML Schema, Excel will prompt you to create one for you) and then it will prompt to select the cell range where to import the data that comes from the service.