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create a xls file download without physical file


I am trying to export some info from my database by creating a downloadable xls file.
i know how to build this using comma delimited (although any tips or pointers would be beneficial) but i don't want to create a physical file on the server for the download.

I have used this is the past but can't remember how to do this, ideally i want to create the file in memory and offer as a save for the user

1 Solution
You need to set the content-type header of the http response to the proper mime-type of csv (text/csv). By default anything served should be text/html. If you set it to somthing else (like text/csv) the browser should ask the user what to do with it. If you want Excel to be selected you can set it to application/vnd.ms-excel (but that would not be entierly proper).

So... just write... whatever language you write in order to output instead of HTML a csv format and then set the content-type header (this depends a lot on the language/server you use).
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