apache-poi NPOI: Data validation approach for XSSF(.xslx) excel file using c# When Sum of all list item's total character count more than 256.


Approach in this case will be different than previous example because Excel file supports the Data validation for list of items with total character count less than 256 if all items are binded directly as in previous example. But in many situation list items can be longer than 256 characters and in that case direct binding will not work.

However, excel file supports more than 256 character of list item if it is referred from different column of same excel file. So as a workaround once can read all values from database or settings file and keep it hidden from current view into one of the distant column and data validation can read this hidden column through formula to create list item. Below code will show this approach by reading data values through setting file.

// Read all list items from config file
string[] countryDV = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["countryDV"].Split(',').Select(s => s.Trim().ToUpper()).ToArray();
// Get the column name where you want to hide the list items, assume distant  column is "ZZ"
string countryDVDataCellColumn = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["countryDVDataCellColumn"].Trim().ToString(); 

int DVRowLimit = (Int16.MaxValue); 
// Creating and Assigning Settings for Data Validation
CreateDropDownUsingCellReference(workbook, countryDV, "CountryConstraint", countryDVDataCellColumn);
CellRangeAddressList countryDVAddList = new CellRangeAddressList(1, DVRowLimit, targetFirstCol, targetLastCol);
dvConstraint = (XSSFDataValidationConstraint)validationHelper.CreateFormulaListConstraint("=CountryConstraint");
dataValidation = (XSSFDataValidation)validationHelper.CreateValidation(dvConstraint, countryDVAddList);
dataValidation.ShowErrorBox = true;
dataValidation.SuppressDropDownArrow = true;
dataValidation.ErrorStyle = 0;
dataValidation.CreateErrorBox("InvalidValue", "Select Valid country.");
dataValidation.ShowErrorBox = true;
dataValidation.CreatePromptBox("country Data Validation", "Enter country.");
dataValidation.ShowPromptBox = true;

private void CreateDropDownUsingCellReference(XSSFWorkbook wb, string[] csvListOfValues, string listName, string headerName)
    int columnIndex = CellReference.ConvertColStringToIndex(headerName);
    XSSFName namedCell = (XSSFName)wb.CreateName();
    namedCell.NameName = listName;
    //Creating Cell and Assigning Values from CSVListOfValues;
    for (int i = 0; i < csvListOfValues.Length; i++)
            var namedRow = wb.GetSheetAt(0).CreateRow(i + 1);

    //Assigning the Reference for sheet 0 With Cell Range, where list items iscopied 
    String reference = wb.GetSheetAt(0).SheetName + "!$" + headerName + "$2:$" + headerName + "$" + (csvListOfValues.Length + 1).ToString();
    namedCell.RefersToFormula = reference;

    //Hiding the Column  now;
    wb.GetSheetAt(0).SetColumnHidden(columnIndex, true);
    catch (Exception Ex)
    { }