Wednesday, December 18, 2013

iTop running on Windows portable PHP/MySQL MoWeS

Based on my previous topic informing about the nice functionalities of MoWeS to get easily and quickly a PHP/MySQL environment, I did set up an iTop environment in order to discover and play with the CMDB/ITIL ticketing service desk tool.

While doing so, I also discovered the MoWeS Mixer is not available any longer. Apparently the company Chsoftware behind this tools has stopped in 2012. But the MoWeS tool still works very well on Windows 7 x64 and new packages can easily be added by updating the mowes.ini and packages.ini files manually.

In order to get iTop running, some other parameters had to be updated as well: extra memory allocation is to be allowed in php.ini by changing the memory_limit from 32M to 64M. The php_soap.dll extension needs to be loaded as well by uncommenting it in the php.ini file. For mysql, the allowed packets needed to be extended by adding a parameter max_allowed_packet=500M within the [mysqld] section of the my.ini file.

I’ve created an archive containing a clean MoWeS environment with clean iTop. The iTop still needs to be configured using the web wizard upon first connection to the iTop site (localhost/itop) (mysql username: root, password: <empty>. I’ve also a MoWeS environment with base demo iTop installed (itop username: admin, password: itop).

Sunday, December 8, 2013

vCard contact export from Excel contact list

Recently I needed a way to easily convert a list with contact information into a vCard file, respecting the vCard syntax, in order to import this vCard contact information into a phone.

After some quick Google lookup I ended with this nice Excel created and shared by Savas Geivanidis.

After entering all the contact information into the sheet as instructed, the export macro started executing it’s work and I ended with a vCard file as I wanted. But the process took very long (more than 4 minutes), even if my contact list only contained 100 contacts.

Since Savas was so kind to keep his VBS macro unprotected, I analyzed it and optimized it. The main performance issues I detected was the multiple loops and the cell deletions used in the code. A loop was set up to run over the contact data, and copy all data it into a new sheet. Next a loop was used to run through the data and delete all cell containing the value ‘no data’. Next the new sheet was saved into a text .vcf file.

After rewriting the VBS macro I ended up with one loop, running through the data and saving the information immediately into a text file. The same list of 100 contacts now takes less than 1sec to export instead of more than 4 minutes. Some tests with 1000 contacts were positive as it took only 4sec or less to export. I ended up cleaning up the full sheet and creating a template of it to allow easy reuse. Feel free to use this version 1.0 of vCard Exporter for any purpose.

The optimized source code is shown below for illustration:

Sub Create_vCard() 


' This Macro creates a vCard from an existing phonebook Excel list


' Based on DesktopContacts v0.8 by Savas Geivanidis (

' Major performance improvements by myT in vCardExporter v1.0


    Application.ScreenUpdating = False

    ' turns off screen updating

    Application.DisplayStatusBar = True

    ' makes sure that the statusbar is visible

    'detect number of data contacts provided

    'mainsheet = ActiveSheet.Name

    mainsheet = "PhoneBook"



    nod = ActiveCell.Row



    nod1 = ActiveCell.Row

    If nod1 > nod Then

        nod = nod1

    End If

    'Check if data is provided

    If nod <= 2 Then

        popup = MsgBox("No contact data could be found. Fill in the contact data in the 'PhoneBook' sheet and provide at least a first or last name for each contact." & vbLf & "See the 'Information' sheet and for more information", vbExclamation + vbOKOnly + vbMsgBoxSetForeground, "vCard Exporter: No data found")

        Application.ScreenUpdating = True

        Exit Sub

    End If

    'request target filename

    vcardname = Application.GetSaveAsFilename("", "vCard Files (*.vcf), *.vcf", , "Please select the name of the vCard to export")

    If vcardname = False Then

        Application.ScreenUpdating = True

        Exit Sub

    End If

    start_time = Now()

    Application.StatusBar = "Preparing VCARD data"

    Set vcardFileSystemObject = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

    Set vcardFile = vcardFileSystemObject.CreateTextFile(vcardname, True)

    'copy formula for VCARD syntax to all rows with contact data

    Range(Cells(1, 61), Cells(1, 101)).Copy

    Range(Cells(3, 61), Cells(nod, 101)).PasteSpecial Paste:=xlPasteFormulas

    Application.CutCopyMode = False


    Application.StatusBar = "Processing contact data..."

    vcardFile.writeline ("")

    For iRow = 3 To nod

        For iColumn = 61 To 101

            currentValue = Worksheets(mainsheet).Cells(iRow, iColumn).Value

            Application.StatusBar = "Processing contact data " & Round(((iRow - 2) / (nod - 2)) * 100) & "%" '&" on row " & iRow & ", column " & iColumn & ", value: " & currentValue

            If (currentValue <> "no data") Then

                vcardFile.writeline (currentValue)

            End If

            If currentValue = "END:VCARD" Then

                vcardFile.writeline ("")

            End If

        Next iColumn

    Next iRow


    Application.StatusBar = "All " & nod - 2 & " contact data processed"

    Worksheets(mainsheet).Range(Cells(2, 61), Cells(nod, 101)).ClearContents


    end_time = Now()

    'DateDiff("s", start_time, end_time)

    Application.StatusBar = "vCard export in " & PrintHrMinSec(DateDiff("s", start_time, end_time)) & "sec done into file: " & vcardname

    Application.ScreenUpdating = True

    If (nod - 2 = 1) Then

        popup = MsgBox(nod - 2 & " contact is exported to:" & vbLf & "'" & vcardname & "'" & vbLf & vbLf & "Please send this file to your phone and run it in order to add this contact into it." & vbLf & vbLf & "Original development 'Desktop Contacts v0.8' by Savas Geivanidis (" & vbLf & vbLf & "Major layout and performance improvements myT in 'vCard Exporter v1.0' -", vbInformation + vbOKOnly + vbMsgBoxSetForeground, "vCard Exporter: data exported")


        popup = MsgBox(nod - 2 & " contacts were exported to:" & vbLf & "'" & vcardname & "'" & vbLf & vbLf & "Please send this file to your phone and run it in order to add these contacts into it." & vbLf & vbLf & "Original development 'Desktop Contacts v0.8' by Savas Geivanidis (" & vbLf & vbLf & "Major layout and performance improvements myT in 'vCard Exporter v1.0' -"", vbInformation + vbOKOnly + vbMsgBoxSetForeground, "vCard Exporter: data exported")

    End If

    Application.DisplayStatusBar = True

End Sub


'* This function calculates hours, minutes

'* and seconds based on how many seconds

'* are passed in and returns a nice format

Public Function PrintHrMinSec(elap)

  Dim hr

  Dim min

  Dim sec

  Dim remainder

  elap = Int(elap) 'Just use the INTeger portion of the variable

  'Using "\" returns just the integer portion of a quotient

  hr = elap \ 3600 '1 hour = 3600 seconds

  remainder = elap - hr * 3600

  min = remainder \ 60

  remainder = remainder - min * 60

  sec = remainder

  'Prepend leading zeroes if necessary

  If Len(sec) = 1 Then sec = "0" & sec

  If Len(min) = 1 Then min = "0" & min

  'Only show the Hours field if it's non-zero

  If hr = 0 Then

     PrintHrMinSec = min & ":" & sec


     PrintHrMinSec = hr & ":" & min & ":" & sec

  End If

End Function