Making an editable spreadsheet using POI

This is my first time using POI in a production app. I am reading a predefined template from a web share and filling it with data obtained from a database. My question and my problem is I can display the excel sheet easily enough, hower when the spreadsheet pops up, it is a readonly sheet. Is there a way to read a sheet and allow data served from a web application to fill it up. Here is what I have

Open the file:

String templatepath = ConfigurationManager.getAppProperty("URL");
filename = templatepath + template;      
      try {
            POIFSFileSystem fs = new POIFSFileSystem(new FileInputStream(filename));
            book = new HSSFWorkbook(fs);                  
            } catch (FileNotFoundException fnfe) {
                  throw fnfe;
            } catch (IOException ioe) {
                  throw ioe;

heres how I display the sheet to the user....

public void display(HttpServletResponse res) throws Exception {
            try {

                  // the following will download excel file within a stream and pop up a "save as" dialog to
                  // save the data...... see                  
                  // res.setContentType("application/octet-stream");
                  // res.setHeader("Content-disposition", "attachment;filename=Report.xls");

                  // the following will cause browser to display result with excel plug-in

                  // the following will cause browser to display result with excel plug-in (within IE only)

                  OutputStream os = (OutputStream) res.getOutputStream();
                  BufferedOutputStream bos = new BufferedOutputStream(os);

            } catch (Exception e) {
                  throw e;

public void writeWorkBook(BufferedOutputStream bos) throws IOException {

            try {
            } catch (IOException ioe) {


and finally here is a sample of how I want to prefill with data retrieved from our database..

HSSFSheet sheet = book.getSheet("TDP");
HSSFRow row = sheet.getRow(4);
HSSFCell cell = row.getCell(Short.parseShort("1"));

no matter what I do, when the spreadsheet comes up it is always a readonly copy, I really need something that is editable. Anybody have any ideas???
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EE_AutoDeleterConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Because you have presented a solution to your own problem which may be helpful to future searches, this question is now PAQed and your points have been refunded.

OMyStuckAginAuthor Commented:
like the ChurchLady always says.....NeveeerMinnnnnd! I figured this out myself, dopey me. All you need to do is use the first implementation that is found in the comments

                res.setHeader("Content-disposition", "attachment;filename=Report.xls");

where "Report.xls" is the name that you wish your template to be named when instantiated. The other two implementations (the one that use the Excel-plug-in) are both read only. Moderator please close this for me, and post this as the accepted answer.

.ps the article ( is excellent and actually explains this if you take the time to read it as oppsed to what I did, which was just skim over it.
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