Quick introduction to Apache POI

What is Apache POI?

What is Apache POI?

Java programs use Apache POI to allow programmers interact with MS Office files to display, create and modify. Apache Software Foundation has developed and distributed open source library which is used to design and modify Microsoft Office Files. It consists of methods and classes to encode and decode file or user input data in MS Office documents.

Apache POI of Components

Apache POI consist of methods and classes which work with all MS Office OLE2 Compound documents. The API has list of components as below:

  • HPBF (Horrible PuBlisher Format): It is consists of methods to write and read MS-Publisher files.
  • HSLF (Horrible Slide Layout Format): It is consists of methods to create, read and edit PowerPoint files.
  • POIFS (Poor Obfuscation Implementation File System): It is consists of methods to write and read a wider variety of files explicitly. It is basic part of all other elements of POI.
  • HDGF (Horrible DiaGram Format): It contains methods and classes to interact with MS-Visio binary files.
  • HPSF (Horrible Property Set Format): It consists of method to extract MS-Office files property.
  • XWPF (XML Word Processor Format): It consists of methods to write and read docx extension file of MS-Word.
  • HWPF (Horrible Word Processor Format): It contains methods to write and read doc extension file of MS-Word.
  • XSSF (XML Spreadsheet Format): It consists of methods to read and write r xlsx file format of MS-Excel.



Here are couple of third party example API from different vendors 

Aspose Cells for Java

Apose.Cells is a Java Excel API distributed and developed Apose.Apose.Cells has features for reading or creating native excel files. Along with this it has few advance features like opening and saving excel file from and to streams, exporting and importing data from result set, image and charts through API. The uses of this API are as below:

  • Create dynamic excel report and building
  • Printing and rendering excel with high fidelity
  • Export and import data into excel spreadsheets.
  • Convert, edit and generate spreadsheets.


Java Excel API opens source java API allows developers to write, modify and read excel spreadsheets. This API can be easily used with AWT and Java Swing. It can also invoked thru servlet, can provide access to Intranet and Internet Web Applications. The features are as below:

  • Supports Excel older version.
  • Copying of charts are supported
  • Support bordering, shading and coloring of cells.
  • Java swing application embeds workbook integration.
  • Develop custom functionality with native peers
  • Allow event listeners to spreadsheets and workbooks.


This tutorial covers Apache POI, This tutorial is divided into 12 parts as listed below

  • What is Apache POI
  • Environment
  • Core Classes
  • Workbooks
  • Spreadsheets
  • Cells
  • Fonts
  • Formula
  • Hyperlink and defiining Print Area
  • Database 

Let us know if we made any error, your feedback is important. 


Its is important that you have working knowledge of Java Programming language


Beginners seeking a quick introduction to Apache POI

Learning Objectives

To get you started with Apache POI

Author: Subject Coach
Added on: 10th Mar 2015

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