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Custom import wizard / record creator

Hey all,


I'm attempting to find the best way for a custom import wizard for a custom object.



Here's my circumstance:


Our Sales department gets lists of locations that we deploy assets to (called a deployment). These lists are usually no more than 500 at any given time, but can be as little as 10, or sometimes one offs.


I represent locations in our environment through Location__c.


What I would like, is build a wizard like interface that helps the Sales dept upload their locations in a project form. So a little wizard that allows them to upload the new locations, review them, and authorize/commit them to the DB.That way I can run workflow and triggers on new locations BEFORE we commit them fully as authorized locations.


I'm planning on creating a bunch of logic to check for duplicate locations (using Lat / long, address checking etc...) so using the standard "custom object importer wizard" is sort of out of the question. It's a little complicated for the common Sales guy. (no offence to sales guys...)



The issue is then: If I don't use the standard import wizard, what options do I have?


I'm looking for all advice I can get.

Is anyone aware of an app that utilizes custom csv file imports?

Also, I've seen sites that simply ask you to paste in excel data into a text box, and it manages to delimit it for you. Is that a viable option?


Did anyone ever help you with this?


That's a negative Laura. I've seen a couple apps online that have this function included in them. But I haven't had time to install / reverese engineer them.

I'm facing this challenge, as well.  I came to the boards hoping to see if someone had figured it out.  There is a similar discussion thread here, but no substantive solution.


Two alternatives I'm considering:


1.) Train the users to save their data files as XML, and use Apex's XML class to read them.  I'm not to worried about the 1MB size limit when reading the XML file, as the data files I'm importing never gets that large.


2.) Write the application in Java instead of Apex.  A Google search returned some decent sample Java apps that show how to read Excel formated files via Java.'


I'd prefer a native solution, so if anyone comes up with a solution, do share!