Excel Spreadsheet Automation with the QUERY Formula

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Excel Add-In for Box

The Box Excel Add-In is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live Box cloud storage data, directly from Microsoft Excel.

Use Excel to read, write, and update Box Files, Folders, Tasks, Groups, etc. Perfect for mass imports / exports / updates, data cleansing & de-duplication, Excel based data analysis, and more!



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

The CData Excel Add-In for Box provides formulas that can edit, save, and delete Box data. The following three steps show how you can automate the following task: Search Box data 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 Box data records you want to retrieve or the modifications to be made, written in standard SQL.
  • Connection: Either the connection name, such as BoxConnection1, or a connection string. The connection string consists of the required properties for connecting to Box data, separated by semicolons.

    Box uses the OAuth standard to authenticate. To authenticate to Box, you will need to obtain the OAuthClientId, OAuthClientSecret, and CallbackURL by registering an app. See the "Getting Started" chapter of the help documentation for a guide to using OAuth.

  • 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 Box data, such as Id.
  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 Files WHERE Id = '"&B4&"'","OAuthClientId="&B1&";OAuthClientSecret="&B2&";CallbackURL="&B3&";Provider=Box",B5)
  4. Change the filter to change the data.