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Excel Spreadsheet Automation with the QUERY Formula

Pull data, automate spreadsheets, and more with the QUERY formula.

The CData Excel Add-In for Bing Search provides formulas that can query Bing Search data. The following three steps show how you can automate the following task: Search Bing Search results for a user-specified value and then organize the results into an Excel spreadsheet.

The syntax of the CDATAQUERY formula is the following: =CDATAQUERY(Query, [Connection], [Parameters], [ResultLocation]);

This formula requires three inputs:

  • Query: The declaration of the Bing Search results records you want to retrieve, written in standard SQL.
  • Connection: Either the connection name, such as BingConnection1, or a connection string. The connection string consists of the required properties for connecting to Bing Search results, separated by semicolons.

    To connect to Bing, set the ApiKey connection property. To obtain the API key, sign into Microsoft Cognitive Services and register for the Bing Search APIs.

    Two API keys are then generated; select either one.

    When querying tables, the SearchTerms parameter must be supplied in the WHERE clause.

  • ResultLocation: The cell that the output of results should start from.

Pass Spreadsheet Cells as Inputs to the Query

The procedure below results in a spreadsheet that organizes all the formula inputs in the first column.

  1. Define cells for the formula inputs. In addition to the connection inputs, add another input to define a criterion for a filter to be used to search Bing Search results, such as SearchTerms.
  2. In another cell, write the formula, referencing the cell values from the user input cells defined above. Single quotes are used to enclose values such as addresses that may contain spaces.
  3. =CDATAQUERY("SELECT * FROM VideoSearch WHERE SearchTerms = '"&B2&"'","APIKey="&B1&";Provider=Bing",B3)
  4. Change the filter to change the data.