in reply to
New to Perl - is it a better language than VB for this application?
Excel document manipulation related tasks are NOT likely to be faster in perl.
If you can attribute the 15-minute duration to managing a large quantity of data (Thousands of Excel rows), then you should consider moving the data into a database - just doing that would probably yield orders of magnitude improvement.
If you attribute the slowness to poor code, well, bad perl code can run slow too, so the focus should be on improving the code.
Having worked similar issues before, I have mostly encountered attempts to manipulate data that is better suited to a database.
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