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Re: st: import excel - requiring restart occasionally

From (Kevin Crow, StataCorp LP)
To   "" <>
Subject   Re: st: import excel - requiring restart occasionally
Date   Thu, 03 Nov 2011 15:01:47 -0500

Billy Schwartz <> wrote :

>"describe" eventually lead to increasing numbers of error 603's when
>running the import command. Restarting Stata seems to fix it.

>Facts: I have 947 Excel workbooks, both .xls and .xlsx, averaging just under 3
>sheets per book, and I have to organize them. As a first step I've written a
>Stata script to create a table of the sheet names in each workbook. It loops
>through the *.xls* file names in my folder and runs "import excel, describe" on
>each, putting the contents returned in r() into a data set that accumulates. I
>open up Stata and run the script, and it works as intended with 14 error 603s,
>which I catch and handle. (So you don't have to look it up, error 603 means the
>file could not be opened even though it was found. I don't know why these error
>603's occur since Excel opens the file just fine, but I'm comfortable with a 1%
>error rate.) During the debugging process, I've had to run the script
>repeatedly in a given instance of Stata. After three to five runs, the number
>of error 603's I get goes from 14 to a couple hundred....

This is a bug in -import excel-.  It will be fixed in the next executable

-import excel- was not cleaning up file-handle bookkeeping if the
command exited when trying to open a workbook.  -import excel- has a
maximum of 50 open workbooks at one time.  Because of the bug, Stata
could not open any more workbooks after 50 errors because it thought
there were 50 open file handles.  This would cause Stata to error every
time you tried to open a workbook.  Until we release the update, the
open workbook counter may be reset by re-starting Stata.

-Kevin Crow

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