There are of course many ways to import data from an Excel file into Matlab. For instance, by clicking on an Excel file in the 'Current Folder' window within Matlab, one can select data and then push it into a variable in the base workspace. One can also use 'xlsread' to import data programmatically. Moreover, with the ExcelLink Toolbox, you can easily transfer data between Excel and Matlab in both direction, if you have this toolbox (which I don't). 'getxls' is just another possibility which, personally, I find often easier for quickly getting the data into Matlab. The GUI allows you to import eiher the raw data, just the numeric cells, only the dates cells, or only string cells. If you choose to import only date cells, then the GUI transforms the Excel date code to the corresponding Matlab date code.
The program can be instructive for other software developers as it has a few possibly unusual features. First of all, this GUI was created programmatically, without the help of GUIDE. This makes it, I think, somewhat more transparent. Secondly, and contrary to the code generated with GUIDE, it uses nested functions, which has the advantage that all variables that are defined in the main function are also in the scope of the nested functions. Thirdly, the program demonstrates how to use the Excel COM server. And finally, it demonstrates how to access Matlab's editor and create a new Matlab skript programmatically.
Acknowledgement: A small part of the program is heavily inspired by XLSREAD.
Please comment if you like it or if you find it useful.