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Author's profile photo Former Member

Create a Live Twitter Feed Ticker in Xcelsius

In this week’s Reportapalooza challenge, I saw a cool feature in Mico’s Ronald McDonald House dashboard. Twitter tickerOn the bottom of her dashboard, Mico hooked up a twitter feed to a Ticker component, which is an awesome  use case for this component. I found the RSS link on my Twitter page to transform my Twitter page into an RSS feed and was up and running in minutes. Here is how you can do the same for your Xcelsius marketing and demo dashboards. 


Download Source Files


  1. Go to any twitter page and on the bottom right pane, click on RSS Feed….Twitter URL

  3. Copy the URL which looks something like this:

  5. Open up Xcelsius where we will first use XML maps to load our RSS feed

  7. Assuming you are using Excel 2007, open up the Developer tab. If you don’t see the “Developer” tab in your Excel, you need to enable it. Instructions

  9. Click on “Source” button in the Developer Tab

  11. Click on the XML Maps Button

  13. When the XML maps dialogue appears, click “Add”

  15. Now you will paste your RSS feed URL right into the “File Name” text box and press OK.NOTE: DO NOT USE “https://” in your address. Instead, use ‘http://” so the URL should look something like this

  17. Excel will connect to the RSS feed and then prompt you to inform you that it will create a generic schema.

  19. Click OK

  21. Now on the XML maps window, you will see all of the feed nodes.Twitter URL

  23. Select the “Title” and “Link” nodes and drag them into contiguous cells.

  25. Right click on the titles, hover over “XML” and then click refresh. Now you should see a data sample of the latest twitter posts.

  27. Go to the data manager and add XML Maps.NOTE: If you decide to change your twitter feed, you do not need to re-do steps 5-14.. Instead you can simply change the URL from the XML maps data connection. If however you make any changes to your XML maps inside of Excel, you will need to delete the XML maps connection in the Xcelsius data manager and re-add it for the changes to take effect.
  28. If you are going to publish your SWF to a server, you have to use a proxy because the Twitter crossdomain file does not allow Flash requests from other servers. The crossdomain headache is quickly bypassed using a PHP proxy that I have included with the source files. Instead of hitting the twitter URL directly the URL in the XML Maps data connection will look something like this: http://yourserver/crossdomain-proxy.php?url= 
  29. In the Xcelsius data manager, you can set your feed to refresh. I recommend every 5 minutes or so.

  31. Insert the ticker component from the selectors component library.

  33. Bind the labels to your column with the title.

  35. Setup “Rows” insertion

  37. Select the source data property and bind it to the column with your twitter links.

  39. Set the destination cell where your URL will be insert.

  41. Insert a URL button from the Web Connectivity folder.

  43. Bind the URL to the same destination cell where your URL goes. Don’t worry about the URL title because we are going to hide it.

  45. Go to the URL Behavior tab and set the trigger cell to the same cell as the URL and set it to trigger on change.

  47. Now when you click on the ticker it will open into a new web page with the twitter post.

Make sure you vote for your favorite Reportapalooza dashboard!

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author
      To get notified of more posts and to see what I am working on follow me on twitter at @rmgoodm and @gmapsplugin
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Thanks Ryan. This was very informative for me!
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Thanks Ryan. This blog post was very informative for me!
      Author's profile photo Timo ELLIOTT
      Timo ELLIOTT
      If anybody's interested, twitter search capability using Xcelsius is also available in these "PowerPoint Twitter Tools": that let people show (and send) tweets in real time during their presentation.
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author
      Thanks for reminding me about these tools Timo. I completely forgot about it for my recent presentation :(.

      Author's profile photo Matt Hawkins
      Matt Hawkins
      Great post, I think XML maps are an really under utilized feature of Xcelsius. Hopefully with these kind of post developers will take more advantage.

      A useful, if obscure, trick to avoid the proxy hassle is to use Twitter's search api which has an open crossdomain policy and also supports RSS.
      You use: