Integrate Live Excel Online Data into Custom Business Apps Built in Power Apps

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Use CData Connect Cloud to connect to Excel Online data and integrate live Excel Online data into apps built in Microsoft Power Apps.

Power Apps is a service for building and using custom business apps that connect to your data and work across the web and mobile — without the time and expense of custom software development. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, you get instant, cloud-to-cloud access to Excel Online data from the apps you build using Power Apps. This article shows how to connect to Connect Cloud from Power Apps and build an app based on live Excel Online data.

CData Connect Cloud provides a pure SQL, cloud-to-cloud interface for Excel Online, allowing you to easily integrate with live Excel Online data in Power Apps — without replicating the data. CData Connect Cloud looks exactly like a SQL Server database to Power Apps and uses optimized data processing out of the box to push all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to Excel Online, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return Excel Online data.

Configure Excel Online Connectivity for Power Apps

Connectivity to Excel Online from Power Apps is made possible through CData Connect Cloud. To work with Excel Online data from Power Apps, we start by creating and configuring a Excel Online connection.

  1. Log into Connect Cloud, click Connections and click Add Connection
  2. Select "Excel Online" from the Add Connection panel
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Excel Online.

    You can connect to a workbook by providing authentication to Excel Online and then setting the following properties:

    • Workbook: Set this to the name or Id of the workbook.

      If you want to view a list of information about the available workbooks, execute a query to the Workbooks view after you authenticate.

    • UseSandbox: Set this to true if you are connecting to a workbook in a sandbox account. Otherwise, leave this blank to connect to a production account.

    You use the OAuth authentication standard to authenticate to Excel Online. See the Getting Started section in the help documentation for a guide. Getting Started also guides you through executing SQL to worksheets and ranges.

  4. Click Create & Test
  5. Navigate to the Permissions tab in the Add Excel Online Connection page and update the User-based permissions.

Add a Personal Access Token

If you are connecting from a service, application, platform, or framework that does not support OAuth authentication, you can create a Personal Access Token (PAT) to use for authentication. Best practices would dictate that you create a separate PAT for each service, to maintain granularity of access.

  1. Click on your username at the top right of the Connect Cloud app and click User Profile.
  2. On the User Profile page, scroll down to the Personal Access Tokens section and click Create PAT.
  3. Give your PAT a name and click Create.
  4. The personal access token is only visible at creation, so be sure to copy it and store it securely for future use.

With the connection configured, you are ready to connect to Excel Online data from Power Apps.

Connecting to CData Connect Cloud

To use Connect Cloud to integrate Excel Online data into your Power Apps, you need a new SQL Server connection:

  1. Log in to Power Apps
  2. Click Dataverse -> Connections -> New connection
  3. Select SQL Server
  4. In the connection wizard:

    • Choose to connect directly
    • Set SQL server name to tds.cdata.com,14333
    • Set SQL database name to the name of the Excel Online connection (e.g. ExcelOnline1)
    • Set Username to a Connect Cloud user (e.g. user@mydomain.com)
    • Set Password to the PAT for the above user
    • Click Create

Building a Data-Centric App for Excel Online Data

With the connection to Connect Cloud configured, you are ready to integrate live Excel Online data into the apps you build in Power Apps.

  1. Log in to Power Apps
  2. Click Create and select "SQL"
  3. Select the SQL Server connection you created
  4. Search for or choose a table to work with
  5. Click Connect
  6. Customize the newly created app just like you would any other, including changing the layout and setting the fields exposed in BrowseScreen, DetailScreen, and EditScreen

At this point, you have an app with read and write access to live Excel Online data that you can save and publish for use within your organization.

SQL Access to Excel Online Data from Cloud Applications

Now you have a direct connection to live Excel Online data from Microsoft Power Apps. You can create more connections and apps to drive business — all without replicating Excel Online data.

To get real-time data access to 100+ SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources directly from your cloud applications, sign up for a free trial of CData Connect Cloud.