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

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CData Connect



Use CData Connect Cloud to create a virtual SQL Server Database for 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.

Create a Virtual SQL Database for Excel Online Data

CData Connect Cloud uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Login to Connect Cloud and click Databases.
  2. Select "Excel Online" from Available Data Sources.
  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 Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

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 Data -> Connections -> New connection
  3. Select SQL Server
  4. In the connection wizard:

    • Choose to connect directly
    • Set SQL server name to the address of your Connect Cloud instance (myinstance.cdatacloud.net)
    • Set SQL database name to the name of the virtual Excel Online database you created earlier (like excelonlinedb)
    • Set the Username and Password and 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, hover over "Start from data" and click Make this app
  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 SQL data access to 200+ SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources directly from your cloud applications, see the CData Connect Cloud.