ColdFusion Microsoft Excel

I am trying to create a website for a local software company which will allow their customers (they sell software to health care organizations) to go online and check their data against everyone else.  The organizations send their info nightly to a main database.  The company wants me to see if it is possible to build a website which will allow the organization  for example, to go online and check the rate of their psychiatric patients who come back compared to other organizations.  They want to know if it is possible to have this info displayed back to the user via the internet as a microsoft excel graph.   So the user would choose the info they wanted to know, hit submit, their choices would be sent to the database checked against the parameters they chose and sent back to them as an Excel graph.  Is this possible?  I am trying to use coldfusion but have never used it so I am trying to learn it as well.  
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Yes, you can fairly easily output a comma separated file to the client
which the can be opened directly by Excel. However, if you want
to have it come up as a chart in Excel without the user needing to
fiddle around with it, I would try CFX_EXCEL available from the
dev gallery at
and then create a default template.  Alternately, you could create
the chart on the server side and have it displayed as a .gif; there
are several different ways to do this. It depends several factors
such as whether your client machines all have Excel, how much
processing you want done on the client side, etc. We do some
things with healthcare data.

There's not really a built-in method to build an excel sheet with a graph already defined like that from Cold Fusion.  You could use Crystal Reports to create the graph from the data and display that through CF (see CFREPORT).

Or you could also use a Custom Tag that someone has written or write your own.  These aren't quite as pretty, however.  You can find Customer Tags for free or for a small charge by searching the Developer's Exchange on

Here is one that I ran across:

If you're looking to make it real pretty, you probably need to go with something that does something beyond just plain HTML.  There are some of these available as Custom Tags as well, such as:
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