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(importing) data
Applies To: Excel 2010

This reference article discusses importing and connecting data. You will learn about
tasks like importing, updating, securing, and managing data.

In this article
Working with external data connections

Refreshing data

Importing data from data sources

Making data access more secure

Issues about connecting to data

Working with external data connections


The following sections discuss how external data connections work, and how to find
edit, manage, and share the connection information with other programs and users.

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Understanding the basics of data connections

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Data in an Excel workbook can come from two different locations. The data may be
stored directly in the workbook, or it may be stored in an external data source, such
as a text file, a database, or an Online Analytical Processing OLAP cube. This external
data source is connected to the workbook through a data connection, which is a set
of information that describes how to locate, log in to, and access the external data
source.

The main benefit of connecting to external data is that you can periodically analyze
this data without repeatedly copying the data to your workbook, which is an
operation that can be time consuming and prone to error. After connecting to
external data, you can also automatically refresh or update your Excel workbooks
from the original data source whenever the data source is updated with new
information.

Connection information is stored in the workbook and can also be stored in a


connection file, such as an Office Data Connection ODC file .odc or a Data Source
Name file .dsn.

To bring external data into Excel, you need access to the data. If the external data
source that you want to access is not on your local computer, you may need to
contact the administrator of the database for a password, user permissions, or other
connection information. If the data source is a database, make sure that the database
is not opened in exclusive mode. If the data source is a text file or a spreadsheet,
make sure that another user does not have it open for exclusive access.

Many data sources also require an ODBC driver or OLE DB provider to coordinate the
flow of data between Excel, the connection file, and the data source.

The following diagram summarizes the key points about data connections.

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1. There are a variety of data sources that you can connect to: Analysis Services, SQL
Server, Microsoft Access, other OLAP and relational databases, spreadsheets, and text
files.

2. Many data sources have an associated ODBC driver or OLE DB provider.

3. A connection file defines all the information that is needed to access and retrieve
data from a data source.

4. Connection information is copied from a connection file into a workbook, and the
connection information can easily be edited.

5. The data is copied into a workbook so that you can use it just as you use data
stored directly in the workbook.

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Finding connections
To find connection files, use the Existing Connections dialog box. On the Data tab,
in the Get External Data group, click Existing Connections. Using this dialog box,
you can see the following types of connections:

Connections in the workbook

This list displays all the current connections in the workbook. The list is created
from connections that you already defined, that you created by using the Select
Data Source dialog box of the Data Connection Wizard, or from connections that
you previously selected as a connection from this dialog box.

Connection files on your computer

This list is created from the My Data Sources folder that is usually stored in the
My Documents Windows XP or Documents Windows Vista folder.

Connection files on the network

This list can be created from the following:

A set of folders on your local network, the location of which can be deployed
across the network as part of the deployment of Microsoft Office group policies.

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An Excel Services Data Connection Library DCL on a SharePoint Foundation


site. For more information about DCLs, see the section Publishing to Excel
Services securely.

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Editing connection properties


You can also use Excel as a connection file editor to create and edit connections to
external data sources that are stored in a workbook or in a connection file. If you
don't find the connection that you want, you can create a connection by clicking
Browse for More to display the Select Data Source dialog box, and then clicking
New Source to start the Data Connection Wizard.

After you create the connection, you can use the Connection Properties dialog box
On the Data tab, in the Get External Data group, click Properties. to control
various settings for connections to external data sources, and to use, reuse, or switch
connection files.

If you use a connection file to connect to a data source, Excel copies the connection
information from the connection file into the Excel workbook. When you make
changes by using the Connection Properties dialog box, you are editing the data
connection information that is stored in the current Excel workbook and not the
original data connection file that may have been used to create the connection
indicated by the file name that is displayed in the Connection File property on the
Definition tab. After you edit the connection information with the exception of the
Connection Name and Connection Description properties, the link to the
connection file is removed and the Connection File property is cleared.

To ensure that the connection file is always used when a data source is refreshed,
click Always attempt to use this file to refresh this data on the Definition tab.
Selecting this check box ensures that updates to the connection file will always be
used by all workbooks that use that connection file, which must also have this
property set.

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Managing connections

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By using the Workbook Connections dialog box, you can easily manage these
connections, including creating, editing, and deleting them. On the Data tab, in the
Get External Data group, click Connections. You can use this dialog box to do the
following:

Create, edit, refresh, and delete connections that are in use in the workbook.

Verify the source of external data. You may want to do this in case the connection
was defined by another user.

Show where each connection is used in the current workbook.

Diagnose an error message about connections to external data.

Redirect a connection to a different server or data source, or replace the


connection file for an existing connection.

Make it easy to create and share connection files with users.

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Sharing connections
Connection files are particularly useful for sharing connections on a consistent basis,
making connections more discoverable, helping to improve security of connections,
and facilitating data source administration. The best way to share connection files is
to put them in a secure and trusted location, such as a network folder or SharePoint
library, where users can read the file but only designated users can modify the file.

Using ODC files

You can create Office Data Connection ODC files .odc by connecting to external
data through the Select Data Source dialog box or by using the Data Connection
Wizard to connect to new data sources. An ODC file uses custom HTML and XML tags
to store the connection information. You can easily view or edit the contents of the
file in Excel.

You can share connection files with other people to give them the same access that
you have to an external data source. Other users don't need to set up a data source
to open the connection file, but they may need to install the ODBC driver or OLE DB
provider required to access the external data on their computer.
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ODC files are the recommended method for connecting to data and sharing data.
You can easily convert other traditional connection files DSN, UDL, and query files
to an ODC file by opening the connection file and then clicking the Export
Connection File button on the Definition tab of the Connection Properties dialog
box.

Using query files

Query files are text files that contain data source information, including the name of
the server where the data is located and the connection information that you provide
when you create a data source. Query files are a traditional way for sharing queries
with other Excel users.

Using .dqy query filesYou can use Microsoft Query to save .dqy files that contain
queries for data from relational databases or text files. When you open these files in
Microsoft Query, you can view the data returned by the query and modify the query
to retrieve different results. You can save a .dqy file for any query that you create,
either by using the Query Wizard or directly in Microsoft Query.

Using .oqy query filesYou can save .oqy files to connect to data in an OLAP
database, either on a server or in an offline cube file .cub. When you use the Multi
Dimensional Connection Wizard in Microsoft Query to create a data source for an
OLAP database or cube, an .oqy file is created automatically. Because OLAP
databases aren't organized in records or tables, you can't create queries or .dqy files
to access these databases.

Using .rqy query filesExcel can open query files in .rqy format to support OLE DB
data source drivers that use this format. For more information, see the
documentation for your driver.

Using .qry query filesMicrosoft Query can open and save query files in .qry format
for use with earlier versions of Microsoft Query that cannot open .dqy files. If you
have a query file in .qry format that you want to use in Excel, open the file in
Microsoft Query, and then save it as a .dqy file. For information about saving .dqy
files, see Microsoft Query Help.

Using .iqy Web query filesExcel can open .iqy Web query files to retrieve data
from the Web.

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Using external data ranges and properties


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Using external data ranges and properties


An external data range also called a query table is a defined name or table name
that defines the location of the data brought into a worksheet. When you connect to
external data, Excel automatically creates an external data range. The only exception
to this is a PivotTable report connected to a data source, which does not create an
external data range. In Excel, you can format and lay out an external data range or
use it in calculations, as with any other data.

Excel automatically names an external data range as follows:

External data ranges from Office Data Connection ODC files are given the same
name as the file name.

External data ranges from databases are named with the name of the query. By
default Query_from_source is the name of the data source that you used to create
the query.

External data ranges from text files are named with the text file name.

External data ranges from Web queries are named with the name of the Web page
from which the data was retrieved.

If your worksheet has more than one external data range from the same source, the
ranges are numbered. For example, MyText, MyText_1, MyText_2, and so on.

An external data range has additional properties not to be confused with connection
properties that you can use to control the data, such as the preservation of cell
formatting and column width. You can change these external data range properties
by clicking Properties in the Connections group on the Data tab, and then making
your changes in the External Data Range Properties or External Data Properties
dialog boxes.

NOTE:If you want to share a summary or report that is based on external data, you can give other
people a workbook that contains an external data range, or you can create a report template. A
report template lets you save the summary or report without saving the external data so that the file
is smaller. The external data is retrieved when a user opens the report template.

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Understanding data source support in Excel and Excel


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Understanding data source support in Excel and Excel


Services
There are several data objects such as an external data range and PivotTable report
that you can use to connect to different data sources. However, the type of data
source that you can connect to is different between each data object. You can also
use and refresh connected data in Excel Services, but there are additional limitations
and workarounds that you should be aware of.

Excel data object and data source support

The following table summarizes which data sources are supported for each data
object in Excel.

Supported
data source

Excel Creates OLE ODBC Text HTML XML Share


data External DB file file file Point
object data list
range?

Import Text Yes No No Yes No No No


Wizard

PivotTable No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes


report
nonOLAP

PivotTable No Yes No No No No No
report
OLAP

Excel Table Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes

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XML Map Yes No No No No Yes No

Web Query Yes No No No Yes Yes No

Data Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


Connection
Wizard

Microsoft Yes No Yes Yes No No No


Query

NOTE:These files, a text file imported by using the Import Text Wizard, an XML file imported by using
an XML Map, and an HTML or XML file imported by using a Web Query, do not use an ODBC driver
or OLE DB provider to make the connection to the data source.

Excel Services and data source support

If you want to display an Excel workbook in Excel Services Excel in a web browser,
you can connect to and refresh data, but you must use a PivotTable report. Excel
Services does not support external data ranges, which means that Excel Services does
not support an Excel Table connected to a data source, a Web query, an XML map, or
Microsoft Query.

However, you can work around this limitation by using a PivotTable to connect to the
data source, and then design and layout the PivotTable as a twodimensional table
without levels, groups, or subtotals so that all desired row and column values are
displayed. For more information, see the links in the See Also section.

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Understanding Data Access Components


Microsoft Data Access Components MDAC 2.8 is included with Microsoft Windows
Server 2003 and Windows XP SP2. With MDAC, you can connect to and use data from
a wide variety of relational and nonrelational data sources. You can connect to many
different data sources by using Open Database Connectivity ODBC drivers or OLE

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DB providers, which are either built and shipped by Microsoft or developed by


various third parties. When you install Microsoft Office, additional ODBC drivers and
OLE DB providers are added to your computer.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 use Windows Data Access Components Windows
DAC.

To see a complete list of OLE DB providers installed on your computer, display the
Data Link Properties dialog box from a Data Link file, and then click the Provider
tab.

To see a complete list of ODBC providers installed on your computer, display the
ODBC Database Administrator dialog box, and then click the Drivers tab.

You can also use ODBC drivers and OLE DB providers from other manufacturers to
get information from sources other than Microsoft data sources, including other
types of ODBC and OLE DB databases. For information about installing these ODBC
drivers or OLE DB providers, check the documentation for the database, or contact
your database vendor.

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Using ODBC to connect to data sources


The following sections describe Open Database Connectivity ODBC in more detail.

The ODBC architecture

In the ODBC architecture, an application such as Excel connects to the ODBC Driver
Manager, which in turn uses a specific ODBC driver such as the Microsoft SQL ODBC
driver to connect to a data source such as a Microsoft SQL Server database.

Defining connection information

To connect to ODBC data sources, do the following:

1. Ensure that the appropriate ODBC driver is installed on the computer that
contains the data source.

2. Define a data source name DSN by using either the ODBC Data Source
Administrator to store the connection information in the registry or a DSN file, or

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a connect string in Microsoft Visual Basic code to pass the connection information
directly to the ODBC Driver Manager.

To define a data source, in Windows Vista, click the Start button and then click
Control Panel. Click System and Maintenance, and then click Administrative
Tools. In Windows XP and Windows Server, click Start, and then click Control
Panel. Click Performance and Maintenance, click Administrative Tools. and
then click Data Sources ODBC. For more information about the different
options, click the Help button in each dialog box.

Machine data sources

Machine data sources store connection information in the registry, on a specific


computer, with a userdefined name. You can use machine data sources only on the
computer they are defined on. There are two types of machine data sources user
and system. User data sources can be used only by the current user and are visible
only to that user. System data sources can be used by all users on a computer and
are visible to all users on the computer.

A machine data source is especially useful when you want to provide added security,
because it helps ensure that only users who are logged on can view a machine data
source, and a machine data source cannot be copied by a remote user to another
computer.

File data sources

File data sources also called DSN files store connection information in a text file, not
the registry, and are generally more flexible to use than machine data sources. For
example, you can copy a file data source to any computer with the correct ODBC
driver, so that your application can rely on consistent and accurate connection
information to all the computers it uses. Or you can place the file data source on a
single server, share it between many computers on the network, and easily maintain
the connection information in one location.

A file data source can also be unshareable. An unshareable file data source resides on
a single computer and points to a machine data source. You can use unshareable file
data sources to access existing machine data sources from file data sources.

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Using OLE DB to connect to data sources


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The following sections describe Object Linking and Embedding Database OLE DB in
more detail.

The OLE DB architecture

In the OLE DB architecture, the application that accesses the data is called a data
consumer such as Excel, and the program that allows native access to the data is
called a database provider such as Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server.

Defining connection information

A Universal Data Link file .udl contains the connection information that a data
consumer uses to access a data source through the OLE DB provider of that data
source. You can create the connection information by doing one of the following:

In the Data Connection Wizard, use the Data Link Properties dialog box to define
a data link for an OLE DB provider. For more information, see the section Importing
data by using the Data Connection Wizard.

Create a blank text file with a .udl file name extension, and then edit the file, which
displays the Data Link Properties dialog box.

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Refreshing data
When you are connected to an external data source, you can also perform a refresh
operation to retrieve the updated data. Each time that you refresh data, you see the
most recent version of the data, including any changes that were made to the data
since it was last refreshed.

The following illustration explains the basic process of what happens when you
refresh data that is connected to an external data source.

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1. A refresh operation gets uptodate data.

2. The connection file defines all the information that is needed to access and retrieve
data from an external data source.

3. There are a variety of data sources that you can refresh: OLAP, SQL Server, Access,
OLE DB, ODBC, spreadsheets, and text files.

4. Uptodate data is added to the current workbook.

Excel provides many options for refreshing imported data, including refreshing the
data whenever you open the workbook and automatically refreshing data at timed
intervals. You can continue to work in Excel while data is being refreshed, and you
can also check the status of the refresh while the data is being refreshed.

If your external data source requires a password to gain access to the data, you can
require that the password is entered each time the external data range is refreshed.

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Importing data from data sources


Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Microsoft Office supply the ODBC drivers and OLE
DB providers that you can use to retrieve data from the following common data
sources: Microsoft Access, HTML files on the World Wide Web, text files, Microsoft
SQL Server, SQL Server Analysis Services, and XML files. By using the Data Connection
Wizard and Microsoft Query, you can also access many other data sources that have
the appropriate OLE DB providers and ODBC drivers, including other Excel
worksheets, Microsoft FoxPro, dBASE, Paradox, Oracle, and DB2.

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Importing data from an Access database


There are several ways to exchange data between Microsoft Access and Microsoft
Excel.

To bring data into Excel from Access, you can copy data from an Access datasheet
and paste it into an Excel worksheet, connect to an Access database from an Excel
worksheet, or export Access data into an Excel worksheet.

To bring data into Access from Excel, you can copy data from an Excel worksheet
and paste it into an Access datasheet, import an Excel worksheet into an Access
table, or link to an Excel worksheet from an Access table.

NOTE:The word import has two different meanings between Excel and Access. In Excel, to import
means to make a permanent connection to data that can be refreshed. In Access, to import means to
bring data into Access once, but without a data connection.

Working with Access data in Excel

You may want to work with Access data in an Excel workbook in order to take
advantage of the data analysis and charting features, the flexibility in data
arrangement and layout, or the functions in Excel that are not available in Access.

Connecting to Access data from Excel

To bring refreshable Access data into Excel, you can create a connection to the
Access database and retrieve all of the data from a table or query. For example, you
may want to update an Excel summary budget report that you distribute every month
so that it contains the current month's data.

Exporting Access data to Excel

By using the Export Wizard in Access, you can export an Access database object such
as a table, query, or form, or selected records in a view into an Excel worksheet.
When you perform an export operation in Access, you can save the design of that
operation for future use and even schedule the export operation to run automatically
at specified intervals.
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The following are common scenarios for exporting data from Access to Excel:

Your department or workgroup uses both Access and Excel to work with data. You
store the data in Access databases, but you use Excel to analyze the data and to
distribute the results of your analysis. Your team currently exports data to Excel
when they need to, but you would like to make this process more efficient.

You are a longtime user of Access, but your manager prefers to view reports in
Excel. At regular intervals, you do the work of copying the data into Excel, but you
would like to automate this process to save yourself time.

For more information about exporting data from Access to Excel, see the Access Help
system.

Working with Excel data in Access

You may want to work with Excel data in an Access database to take advantage of
Access data management, security, or multiuser features. Although there are many
useful features in Access, there are two features that users find particularly useful for
their Excel data:

ReportsIf you are familiar with designing Access reports and you want to
summarize and organize your Excel data in this type of report, you can create an
Access report. For example, you can create more flexible reports, such as group
and summary reports, printed labels, and graphical reports.

FormsIf you want to use a form to find or to display data in Excel, you can
create an Access form. For example, you can create an Access form to display fields
in a different order from the order of columns in your worksheet, or you can view a
lengthy row of data more easily on one screen.

For more information about working with Access forms and reports, see the Access
Help system.

Linking to Excel data from Access

You can link an Excel range into an Access database as a table. Use this approach
when you plan to continue maintaining the range of data in Excel but also want that
data to be available from within Access. You create this type of link from within the
Access database, but not from Excel.

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When you link to an Excel worksheet or a named range, Access creates a new table
that is linked to the source cells. Any changes that you make to the source cells in
Excel are reflected in the linked table. However, you cannot edit the contents of the
corresponding table in Access. If you want to add, edit, or delete data, you must
make the changes in the source Excel file.

The following are common scenarios for linking to an Excel worksheet from within
Access:

You want to continue to keep your data in Excel worksheets, but still use the
powerful querying and reporting features of Access.

Your department or workgroup uses Access, but data from external sources that
you work with is stored in Excel worksheets. You don't want to maintain copies of
external data, but you want to be able to work with it in Access.

For more information about linking data from Access to Excel, see the Access Help
system.

Importing Excel data into Access

To store data from Excel in an Access database and then use and maintain the data in
Access from that point on, you can import the data into Access. When you import
data, Access stores the data in a new or existing table without altering the data in
Excel. You can import only one worksheet at a time during an import operation. To
import data from multiple worksheets, repeat the import operation for each
worksheet.

The following are common scenarios for importing Excel data into Access:

You are a longtime user of Excel but, going forward, you want to use Access to
work with this data. You want to move the data in your Excel worksheets into one
or more new Access databases.

Your department or workgroup uses Access, but you occasionally receive data in
Excel format that must be merged with your Access databases. You want to import
these Excel worksheets into your database as you receive them.

You use Access to manage your data, but the weekly reports that you receive from
the rest of your team are Excel workbooks. You would like to streamline the import

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process to ensure that data is imported every week at a specific time into your
database.

For more information about importing data from Excel to Access, see the Access Help
system.

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Importing data from the Web


Web pages often contain information that is perfect for analysis in Excel. For example,
you can analyze stock quotes in Excel by using information that comes directly from a
Web page. Depending on your needs, you can retrieve data that is refreshable that
is, you can update the data in Excel with the latest data on the Web page, or you can
get data from a Web page and keep it static on the worksheet.

You can use a Web query to retrieve data stored on your intranet or the Internet,
such as a single table, multiple tables, or all of the text on a Web page, and analyze
the data by using the tools and features in Excel. With the click of a button, you can
easily refresh the data with the latest information from the Web page. For example,
you can retrieve and update stock quotes from a public Web page, or retrieve and
update a table of sales information from a company Web page.

You can import data that originates from a Web page by using the New Web Query
dialog box. On the Data tab, in the Get External Data group, click From Web. You
need access to the World Wide Web through your company's intranet or through a
modem on your computer or network, or you can make a query against HTML or
XML files that are stored on your computer.

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Importing text files


You can use Excel to import data from a text file into a worksheet. On the Data tab,
in the Get External Data group, click From Text. The Text Import Wizard examines
the text file that you are importing and helps you ensure that the data is imported in
the way that you want.

There are two ways to import data from a text file by using Excel: You can open the
text file in Excel which does not make a connection to the text file, or you can

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import the text file as an external data range which does make a connection to the
text file.

There are two commonly used text file formats:

Delimited text files .txt, in which the TAB character ASCII character code 009
usually separates each field of text.

Commaseparated values CSV text files .csv, in which the comma character ,
usually separates each field of text.

You can also change the separator character that is used in both delimited and .csv
text files. This may be necessary to make sure that the import or export operation
works the way that you want it to.

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Importing data from Microsoft SQL Server


Microsoft SQL Server is a fullfeatured, relational database designed for enterprise
wide data solutions that require optimum performance, availability, scalability, and
security. In Excel, you can easily connect to a Microsoft SQL Server database. On the
Data tab, in the Get External Data group, click From Other Sources, and then click
From SQL Server.

When you connect to a Microsoft SQL Server database, the Data Connection Wizard
displays three pages:

Page 1: Connect to Database ServerUse this page to specify the database


server and the way that you log on to the server.

Page 2: Select Database and TableUse this page to specify the database, and
table or query that contains the data you want.

Page 3: Save Data File and ConnectionUse this page to specify and describe
the connection file and search phrases for locating the file.

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Importing data from Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services


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Importing data from Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services


Analysis Services a component of Microsoft SQL Server that supports business
intelligence and is a foundation for Online Analytical Processing OLAP analysis
systems, Key Performance Indicator KPI scorecards, data mining, and dashboard
reporting systems. In Excel, you can easily connect to an an Analysis Services OLAP
database by using an OLAP provider. On the Data tab, in the Get External Data
group, click From Other Sources, and then click From Analysis Services. An OLAP
provider is a set of software that provides access to a particular type of OLAP
database. This software can include a data source driver and other client software
that is necessary to connect to a database. You must use a PivotTable report to
connect to an OLAP Provider.

You can also access OLAP data when you are disconnected from the OLAP data
source. An offline cube file is a file with a .cub extension that stores a portion of the
source data from an OLAP server database. Use an offline cube file to continue to
make changes to PivotTable and PivotChart reports when the server is unavailable or
when you are disconnected from the network.

When you connect to Analysis Services, the Data Connection Wizard displays three
pages:

Page 1: Connect to Database Server Use this page to specify the server and
the way that you log on to the database server.

Page 2: Select Database and TableUse this page to specify the database and
cube.

Page 3: Save Data File and ConnectionUse this page to specify and describe
the connection file and search phrases for locating the file.

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Importing XML data


Excel makes it easy to import Extensible Markup Language XML data that is created
from other databases and applications, map XML elements from an XML schema to
worksheet cells, and export revised XML data for interaction with other databases and
applications. Think of these new XML features as turning Excel into an XML data file
generator with a familiar user interface.

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By using XML maps, you can easily add, identify, and extract specific pieces of
business data from Excel documents. For example, an invoice that contains the name
and address of a customer, or a report that contains last quarter's financial results are
no longer just static reports. You can easily import this information from databases
and applications, revise it, and export it to the same or other databases and
applications.

Key XML scenarios

The following are key scenarios that the XML features are designed to address:

Extend the functionality of existing Excel templates by mapping XML elements


onto existing cells. This makes it easier to get XML data into and out of your
templates without having to redesign them.

Use XML data as input to your existing calculation models by mapping XML
elements onto existing spreadsheets.

Import XML data files into a new workbook.

Import XML data from a Web service into your Excel worksheet.

Export data in mapped cells to XML data files independent from other data in the
workbook.

The basic process of using XML data in Excel

The following diagram shows how the different files and operations work together
when you use XML with Excel. Essentially, there are five phases to the process.

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Adding an XML schema file .xsd to a workbook.

Mapping XML schema elements to individual cells or XML lists.

Importing an XML data file .xml and binding the XML elements to mapped cells.

Entering data, moving mapped cells, and leveraging Excel functionality, while
preserving XML structure and definitions.

Exporting revised data from mapped cells to an XML data file.

Using XML data

When you import the contents of an XML data file into an existing XML map in your
workbook, you bind the data from the file to an XML map stored in your workbook.
This means that each data element in the XML data file has a corresponding element
in the XML schema that you mapped from an XML Schema file or inferred schema.
Each XML map can only have one XML data binding, and an XML data binding is
bound to all of the mappings that were created from a single XML map.

You can display the XML Map Properties dialog box On the Developer tab, in the
XML group, click Map Properties., in which there are three options all on by
default that you can set or clear to control the behavior of an XML data binding:

Validate data against schema for import and exportSpecifies if Excel


validates data against the XML map when importing data. Set this option when
you want to ensure that the XML data you import conforms to the XML schema.

Overwrite existing data with new dataSpecifies if data is overwritten when


you import data. Set this option when you want to replace the current data with
new data, for example, when uptodate data is contained in the new XML data
file.

Append new data to existing XML listsSpecifies if the contents of the data
source are appended to the existing data on the worksheet. Set this option, for
example, when you are consolidating data from several similar XML data files into
an XML list, or you do not want to overwrite the contents of a cell that contains a
function.

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Importing data by using the Data Connection Wizard


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Importing data by using the Data Connection Wizard


You can use the Data Connection Wizard to connect to an OLE DB or ODBC external
data source that has already been defined. To open the Data Connection Wizard, on
the Data tab, in the Get External Data group, click From Other Sources, and then
click From Data Connection Wizard.

If you choose the Other/advanced data source option in the Data Connection
Wizard, you can view a list of available OLE DB providers in the Data Link Properties
dialog box. In addition, the Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers also allows
access to ODBC data sources. For more information on using each tab in this dialog
box, click Help in the Data Link Properties dialog box.

In general, to define connection information in the Data Link Properties dialog box,
do the following:

Click the Provider tab, select the OLE DB provider, and then click Next. This
displays the Connection tab, in which you can enter specific connection
information for that OLE DB provider.

Each OLE DB provider defines specific connection information. For example,


Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server requires a server name, server location,
and a user name. You may also want to define additional information, such as a
password, or whether you want to use Microsoft Windows integrated security.

Click the Advanced tab to provide additional information, such as network


settings and access permissions.

Click the All tab to define initialization properties for that OLE DB provider.

NOTE:You cannot filter or join data in the Data Connection Wizard.

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Importing data by using Microsoft Query


You can also use Microsoft Query to import data. On the Data tab, in the Get
External Data group, click From Other Sources, and then click From Microsoft
Query. You use Microsoft Query to set up ODBC data sources to retrieve data. In

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Microsoft Query, you can use the Query Wizard to create a simple query, or you can
use advanced criteria in Query to create a more complex query and do the following:

Filter rows or columns of data before they are brought into Excel.

Create a parameter query.

Sort data before it is brought into Excel.

Join multiple tables.

Microsoft Query provides a simple front end, easily accessible from within Excel, to
perform these specialized query tasks.

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Importing data programmatically and by using functions


If you are a developer, there are several approaches within Excel that you can take to
import data:

You can use Visual Basic for Applications to gain access to an external data source.
Depending on the data source, you can use either ActiveX Data Objects or Data
Access Objects to retrieve the data. You can also define a connection string in your
code that specifies the connection information. Using a connection string is useful,
for example, when you want to avoid requiring system administrators or users to
first create a connection file, or to simplify the installation of your application.

If you import data from an SQL Server database, consider using SQL Native Client,
which is a standalone data access Application Programming Interface API that is
used for both OLE DB and ODBC. It combines the SQL OLE DB Provider and the
SQL ODBC Driver into one native, dynamic link library DLL, while also providing
new functionality that is separate and distinct from the Microsoft Data Access
Components MDAC. You can use SQL Native Client to create new applications or
enhance existing applications that can take advantage of newer SQL Server
features, such as Multiple Active Result Sets MARS, UserDefined Types UDT,
and XML data type support.

The RTD function retrieves realtime data from a program that supports COM
automation. The RTD COM automation addin must be created and registered on

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a local computer.

The SQL.REQUEST function connects with an external data source and runs a query
from a worksheet. The SQL.REQUEST function then returns the result as an array
without the need for macro programming. If this function is not available, you
must install the Microsoft Excel ODBC addin program XLODBC.XLA. You can
install the addin from Office.com.

For more information about creating Visual Basic for Applications, see Visual Basic
Help.

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Making data access more secure


When you connect to an external data source or refresh data, it is important to be
aware of potential security issues and to know what you can do about these security
issues. Use the following guidelines and best practices to help secure your data.

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Storing data connections in a trusted location


A data connection file often contains one or more queries that are used to refresh
external data. By replacing this file, a user who has malicious intent can design a
query to access confidential information and distribute it to other users or perform
other harmful actions. Therefore, it is important to ensure the following:

The connection file was written by a reliable individual.

The connection file is secure and is stored from a trusted location.

To help improve security, you may want to disable connections to external data on
your computer. To connect to data when you open a workbook, you must activate
data connections by using the Trust Center bar, or by putting the workbook in a
trusted location. For more information, see the links in the See Also section.

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Using credentials in a safe manner


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Using credentials in a safe manner


Accessing an external data source usually requires credentials such as a user name
and a password that are used to authenticate the user. Make sure that these
credentials are provided to you in a safe and secure manner and that you do not
inadvertently reveal these credentials to others.

Use strong passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and
symbols. Weak passwords don't mix these elements. Strong password: Y6dh!et5.
Weak password: House27. Passwords should be 8 or more characters in length. A
pass phrase that uses 14 or more characters is better. For more information, see Help
protect your personal information with strong passwords.

It is critical that you remember your password. If you forget your password, Microsoft
cannot retrieve it. Store the passwords that you write down in a secure place away
from the information that they help protect.

Avoid saving logon information when connecting to data sources. This information
may be stored as plain text in the workbook and the connection file, and a malicious
user can access the information to compromise the security of the data source.

When possible, use Windows Authentication also referred to as a trusted


connection, which uses a Windows user account to connect to SQL Server. When a
user connects through a Windows user account, SQL Server uses information in the
Windows operating system to validate the account name and password. Before you
can use Windows Authentication, a server administrator must configure SQL Server to
use this mode of authentication. If Windows Authentication is not available, avoid
saving users' logon information in a workbook or connection file. It is more secure for
users to enter their logon information each time that they log on.

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Publishing to Excel Services securely


When you connect to a data source, you can use the Excel Services Authentication
Settings dialog box to choose a method of authentication when you access the data
source in Excel Services. You can select one of the following options to log on to the
data source:

Windows AuthenticationSelect this option to use the Windows user name and
password of the current user. This is the most secure method, but it can impact
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performance when there are many users.

SSSSelect this option to use Secure Storage Service, and then enter the
appropriate identification string in the SSS ID text box. A site administrator can
configure a SharePoint site to use a Secure Storage Service database where a user
name and password can be stored. This method can be the most efficient when
there are many users.

NoneSelect this option to save the user name and password in the connection
file.

NOTE:The authentication setting is only used by Excel Services, and not by Microsoft Excel. If you
want to ensure that the same data is accessed whether you open the workbook in Excel or Excel
Services, make sure that the authentication setting in Excel is the same.

To improve the security of your connections, use a Data Connection Library DCL. A
DCL is a special SharePoint document library that can be defined as a trusted location
library, and that makes it easy to store, secure, share, and manage ODC files. For
example, an administrator may need to move a database from a test server to a
production server, or update a query that accesses the data. By using one ODC file
saved in a DCL, administration of this connection information is much easier and
users' access to data is more convenient, because all workbooks use the same
connection file, and a refresh operation whether on the client or server computer
gets uptodate changes to that connection file. You can even set up SharePoint
Server and a user's client computer to automatically detect changes to the
connection file and then use the most uptodate version of that connection file. For
more information, see Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 Central Administration
Help.

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Issues about connecting to data


The following sections discuss several issues that you may encounter when you
connect to external data

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Issue: I run out of disk space when I try to import data.


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Issue: I run out of disk space when I try to import data.


If you run out of disk space when you connect to external data, consider doing the
following:

Check and increase available disk spaceTo free some space on your hard disk,
try emptying the Recycle Bin, backing up unneeded files and then removing them
from your hard disk, or removing Windows components that you don't use. For more
information about freeing hard disk space, see Windows Help.

Strategies that you can try when disk space is limitedIf you have only a limited
amount of space available on your hard disk, try the following:

Microsoft QueryDo one or more of the following:

Simplify your queryMake sure that you include only those tables and fields
that are needed for your query. If your query contains unnecessary tables or fields,
delete them from the query to reduce the size of the temporary query file.

Use criteria to reduce the size of the result setUse criteria to retrieve only
specific records rather than retrieving all of the records from a database. For more
information, see Microsoft Query Help.

Set a limit on the number of records returned by the queryLimit the number
of records the query returns. In Microsoft Query, click Options on the Edit menu,
select the Limit number of records returned to check box under User settings,
and then enter the maximum number of records to return in the Records box.

Data Connection WizardAlthough you cannot limit the data through the Data
Connection Wizard, you may be able to limit the data from the data source by
defining a query in the data source. If you don't have the ability or permission to
define a query at the data source, contact your data administrator.

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Issue: Where is the OLAP Cube Wizard?


The OLAP Cube Wizard in Microsoft Query, which created an OLAP Cube from a Jet
database, is no longer available in Excel.

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Issue: What happened to data retrieval services?


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Issue: What happened to data retrieval services?


Introduced in Microsoft Office 2003, data retrieval services use a Universal Data
Connection UDC file .udcx to access Web Services and query different data
sources.

In the Data Connection Wizard on the Welcome to the Data Connection Wizard
page, you can select the Microsoft Business Solutions or Data retrieval services
data source options. The Data retrieval services option allows you to choose two
data retrieval services: Windows SharePoint Services lists, which retrieves data from
lists and document libraries on a server running SharePoint Foundation, and
Microsoft SQL Server, which retrieves data from Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or later.

Although the Data Connection Wizard no longer supports editing UDC connection
files, Excel continues to support existing data retrieval services connections, and you
can still refresh those connections.

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