So I'm trying to access Excel files without JDBC as I hate having to set up the connections. I tried POI which worked very well except for one thing. If a user had put the following values in different cells they all returned 9.0. 9 9.0 9.00 9.000 There was really no good way to tell what was what. I could discern between 9 and 9.00 due to various other information I could gather but couldn't tell anything for 9.000 or 9.0.... POI always returns the numeric value if it can be a number. The workaround I read of was to have the users put a ' in front of all the values to make them strings which would be fine except my users can't/won't. The main reason I don't want to use JDBC is because from everything I've read you have to set up a connection through Windows ODBC Managers. It'd be fine if it was one connection but in the course of one year I would have to set up probably a new connection every day easily for a new workbook. Granted I'm not well versed in this area at all so I could be doing more work than is needed. Anybody have familiarity in this area and could point towards a package that might work? I only need to read Excel files, not write them, and everything (so far) is Excel 2003 or earlier, but mostly 2003/2000.