Play 1.x has a nice module that allows you to create Excel sheets. The new Play 2.x however lacks this capability. Or atleast is not very evident. While I found most of the information by searching the net, I thought it may help someone to just have quick start notes here.

  1. I use Apache POI to generate Excel. I also wanted to create .xlsx rather than a plain .xls.

  2. Add the following to your Build.scala (under APP_HOME/project)

    val apache_poi = "org.apache.poi" % "poi" % "3.8"
    val apache_poi_ooxml = "org.apache.poi" % "poi-ooxml" % "3.8"
    val appDependencies = Seq(
        ... apache_poi, apache_poi_ooxml

Actually, you don't need ooxml if you only want to create a plain xls (and not a xlsx).

  1. Now start the Play console ('play') and execute 'run'. This will resolve the dependencies and get you the requisite libraries.

  2. Now generate a excel:

    import org.apache.poi.xssf.usermodel._
    val file = new File("mydata.xlsx")
    val fileOut = new FileOutputStream(file);
    val wb = new XSSFWorkbook
    val sheet = wb.createSheet("Sheet1")
    var rNum = 0
    var row = sheet.createRow(rNum)
    var cNum = 0
    val cell = row.createCell(cNum)
    cell.setCellValue("My Cell Value")
  3.  All done! Now, in your controller action, add the following:

    Ok.sendFile(content = file, fileName = _ => "mydata.xlsx")