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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 CSV provides formulas that can query CSV data. The following three steps show how you can automate the following task: Search CSV 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 CSV data records you want to retrieve, written in standard SQL.
  • Connection: Either the connection name, such as CSVConnection1, or a connection string. The connection string consists of the required properties for connecting to CSV data, separated by semicolons.

    The DataSource property must be set to a valid local folder name.

    Also, specify the IncludeFiles property to work with text files having extensions that differ from .csv, .tab, or .txt. Specify multiple file extensions in a comma-separated list. You can also set Extended Properties compatible with the Microsoft Jet OLE DB 4.0 driver. Alternatively, you can provide the format of text files in a Schema.ini file.

    Set UseRowNumbers to true if you are deleting or updating in CSV. This will create a new column with the name RowNumber which will be used as key for that table.

  • 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 CSV data, such as FirstName.
  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 Customer WHERE FirstName = '"&B2&"'","DataSource="&B1&";Provider=CSV",B3)
  4. Change the filter to change the data.