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Importing XLS files: Import source error, Beware! New Microsoft limits

Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 58
Country: USA

Importing XLS files: Import source error, Beware! New Microsoft limits

I have been seeing more and more error messages from ACT users trying to import using XLS files direct or with OAK!Merge.   In researching it,  I found Microsoft made a change earlier in 2017 to block XLS files as suspicious.   XLS files are binary and last used in 2003.  The newer XLSX is XML based and the current standard. 

 

In July 2017, in Microsoft patch: MS16-088 per  KB3170008,  KB 3115322, KB 3115262;  Microsoft blocked XLS files,  Excel acts if as if no file is present.  Other programs throw a source error..  If you right click to get properties you can see it was "Blocked"  "This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer..." warning.  There have been some updates and changes, but many developers are not happy with this.  What used to work, no longer works for XLS files.  

 

If you are having trouble using XLS files for imports, try a text  file in CSV format or as a  XLSX format.   Act! and  OAK! Merge support text files as tab delimited or CSV (Comma separated values)  or XLSX .  

 

Happy importing! 

 

Alan

 

Alan Lee

1st ACC and still standing

www.OAKMerge.com 

 

 

Administrator
Posts: 416
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Importing XLS files: Import source error, Beware! New Microsoft limits

Thanks for the information Alan!

This is good advice generally - if anyone is having issues importing, try saving the files as a CSV - this will remove any extra metadata/formatting that's not always obvious in excel formats.

Windows security does have a tendency to 'block' files that are from an unknown source (another PC, an email, downloaded from the internet etc.) - this isn't specific to XLS files - I've seen it do this with .zip files as well, which has the added side effect of 'blocking' all the contents of the .zip once extracted!

As you've said if you right-click the file, then go to properties, the file can be unblocked.
Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 58
Country: USA

Re: Importing XLS files: Import source error, Beware! New Microsoft limits

To get around this Microsoft error,  we have committed to writing an XLS and XLSX reader.  The issue is in the Microsoft  MDAC Driver, so we are doing our own driver for OAK!Merge.    It will be out in Nov/ Dec as a free update to v20 OAK!Merge Users.  

 

But, CSVs are still the most reliable, at least for now. 

 

Alan

 

1st ACC and still standing

www.OAKMerge.com