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Using Microsoft Query in Excel to Connect to Active Directory

This article uses the CData ODBC driver for Active Directory to import data in Excel with Microsoft Query. This article also demonstrates how to use parameters with Microsoft Query.

The CData ODBC driver for Active Directory uses the standard ODBC interface to link Active Directory data with applications like Microsoft Access and Excel. Follow the steps below to use Microsoft Query to import Active Directory data into a spreadsheet and provide values to a parameterized query from cells in a spreadsheet.

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

To establish a connection, set the following properties:

  • Valid User and Password credentials (e.g., Domain\BobF or cn=Bob F,ou=Employees,dc=Domain).
  • Server information, including the IP or host name of the Server, as well as the Port.
  • BaseDN: This will limit the scope of LDAP searches to the height of the distinguished name provided.

    Note: Specifying a narrow BaseDN may greatly increase performance; for example, cn=users,dc=domain will only return results contained within cn=users and its children.

You can then work with live Active Directory data in Excel.

  1. In Excel, open the Data tab and choose From Other Sources -> From Microsoft Query.
  2. Choose the ActiveDirectory DSN. Select the option to use Query Wizard to create/edit queries.
  3. In the Query Wizard, expand the node for the table you would like to import into your spreadsheet. Select the columns you want to import and click the arrow to add them to your query. Alternatively, select the table name to add all columns for that table.
  4. The Filter Data page allows you to specify criteria. For example, you can limit results by setting a date range.
  5. If you want to use parameters in your query, select the option to edit the query in Microsoft Query.
  6. To set a parameter in the query, you will need to modify the SQL statement directly. To do this, click the SQL button in the Query Editor. If you set filter criteria earlier, you should have a WHERE clause already in the query.

    To use a parameter, use a "?" character as the wildcard character for a field's value in the WHERE clause. For example, if you are importing the User, you can set "CN=?".

  7. Close the SQL dialog when you are finished editing the SQL statement. You will be prompted to enter a parameter value. In the next step, you will select a cell to provide this value. So, leave the box in the dialog blank.
  8. Close Microsoft Query. The Import Data dialog is displayed. Enter a cell where results should be imported.

  9. Close the Import Data dialog. You will be prompted to enter a parameter value. Click the button next to the parameter box to select a cell. Select the option to automatically refresh the spreadsheet when the value changes.
The data is now imported into Excel. When you change the value in cell B1, the data will be filtered by the specified search criteria.