Best replacement for custom speadsheet parser

My client has a Web site that we are converting to Drupal 7. For the most part this has gone smoothly. However there are a few pages that contain complex custom PHP that I am not sure how to go about porting. This thread will be the first of several as we go through this process.

On one of the pages we need to parse input from a CSV file. The data is coming from a desktop program that offers CSV as the only reasonable export format. Currently we have a single page that on loading parses the CSV file using the PHPExcel library for the necessary fields and displays them in nicely formatted tables on the page. Currently all the staff person needs to do is upload the CSV file via FTP, and the page parses it as needed.

I’m already learning to love Views so I thought of displaying the data using a view. Unfortunately Views appear to require nodes as a source, which is logical for Drupal but may be problematic for our purposes. The CSV file is updated weekly, and contains hundreds of rows of data. It seems extremely impractical to use the Feeds module or some other method to create hundreds of nodes that will need to be deleted in a week’s time simply to display the data on one page.

Is it possible to create a view using the CSV file as a source directly, without creating nodes? I’m reasonably familiar with PHP but I’m just beginning to learn the Drupal API.


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