Hello,

I am trying to write a Galaxy tool that will output an Excel file.

Currently the tool wrapper calls an R script, which uses the "xlsx" package
to read and write to and from Excel files.

After being invoked by Galaxy, the script is able to successfully read an
input Excel file:

    suppressPackageStartupMessages(library(xlsx, quietly=TRUE));
    raw.data <- read.xlsx(commandArgs(trailingOnly=TRUE)[1]),
sheetName="input_records");

The script then does its work on the data just read in.  Then, when the
work is done, I'd like to output the results to an Excel file.  Here's
where I run into a problem.  I first tried to output the result like this:

    write.xlsx(processed.data, file=commandArgs(trailingOnly=TRUE)[2]);

but write.xlsx throws an error.  Looks like  ".xls" and ".xlsx" are the
only legal file extensions for the write.xlsx() function.  Inspecting
commandArgs(trailingOnly=TRUE)[2] shows that Galaxy provided a filename
extension of ".dat".

I tried a workaround using this:

    write.xlsx(processed.data,
file=paste(commandArgs(trailingOnly=TRUE)[2]), ".xls", sep="");

The write.xlsx function no longer throws an error (since the file name
supplied as a parameter has an acceptable file extension) but now Galaxy
won't display the result in the History.  If I look in Galaxy's database I
see two files there corresponding to my tool's output.  Supposing that
Galaxy assigned the result the name "dataset_87", then looking in the
Galaxy database I see:

    dataset_87.dat
    dataset_87.dat.xls

"dataset_87.dat" is empty but visible to Galaxy (and so displayed as an
empty dataset in the History window). "dataset_87.dat.xls" has the results
I want but isn't displayed by Galaxy in the History window.

There might be R libraries that can write xls or xlsx files without
requiring a ".xls" or ".xlsx" file extension.  That's a path I'm willing to
explore.  That said, is there a configuration option I can set that'll let
me continue to use write.xlsx()?

I've been working from the suggestions made on this helpful thread:

http://lists.bx.psu.edu/pipermail/galaxy-dev/2011-December/007807.html

so the relevant entries in datatypes_conf.xml are:

    <datatype extension="xls" type="galaxy.datatypes.binary.Xls"
display_in_upload="true" />
    <datatype extension="xlsx" type="galaxy.datatypes.binary.Xlsx"
display_in_upload="true" />

and the relevant additions to binary.py are:

    class Xls(Binary):
        '''Class describing an Excel 2003 (xls) file'''

        file_ext='xls'

    class Xlsx(Binary):
        '''Class describing an Excel 2007 (xlsx) file'''

        file_ext='xlsx'

Any suggestions appreciated.

Thanks, Patrick
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