As part of a broader application that allows users to search thousands of MS Office documents on a private network, I need to index and make searchable Microsoft Excel files.
My basic approach for all document types is this:
- Loop through the raw directories I have been given,
- Upload the document to a network share
- Extract some searchable text from content of the document.
- Create a new MS SQL record with the name of the document, URL of it's location, and searchable content.
- Use MS SQL's
Full Textindexing on the "content" column so that end-users can search key words or phrases via a user interface.
I am not sure of the most optimum approach for extracting searchable text from Excel docs. My initial thought is to loop through the doc: cell-by-cell and pull out all text and then concatenate that text together into the SQL record, but that seems to be a bad strategy as there could be several cells that are exact duplicates, cells that are only numeric, and generally other types of noise.
Is there an established design pattern or strategy for case? Absent that, I welcome and appreciate any suggestions (as will future Stack Exchange users facing the same problem).