Build Excel Online-Connected Dashboards in Redash

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CData Connect



Use CData Connect Cloud to create a virtual MySQL Database for Excel Online data and build visualizations and dashbaords from Excel Online data in Redash.

Redash lets you connect and query your data sources, build dashboards to visualize data and share them with your company. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, you get instant, cloud-to-cloud access to Excel Online data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to create a virtual database for Excel Online and build visualizations from Excel Online data in Redash.

CData Connect Cloud provides a pure MySQL, cloud-to-cloud interface for Excel Online, allowing you to easily build visualizations from Excel Online data in Redash. As you build visualizations, Redash generates SQL queries to gather data. Using optimized data processing out of the box, CData Connect Cloud pushes all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to Excel Online, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return Excel Online data.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for Excel Online Data

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

  1. Log into 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.

With the virtual database created, you are ready to build visualizations in Tableau Online.

Visualize Excel Online Data in Tableau Online

The steps below outline creating a new data source in Redash based on the virtual Excel Online database in Connect Cloud and building a simple visualization from the data.

Create a New Data Source

  1. Log into Redash, click on your profile and click "Data Sources"
  2. Click the " New Data Source" button
  3. Select "MySQL (Amazon RDS)" as the Data Source Type (CData Connect uses SSL, which the standard MySQL connection in Redash does not support)
  4. On the configuration tab, set the following properties:
    • Name: Name the data source (e.g. Excel Online (CData Connect))
    • Host: The full URL to your CData Connect instance (e.g. https://myinstance.cdatacloud.net)
    • Port: The port of the CData Connect MySQL endpoint (e.g. 3306)
    • User: A CData Connect user
    • Password: The password for the above user
    • Database name: The name of the virtual database for Excel Online (e.g. ExcelOnline1)
    • Click the checkbox to Use SSQL
  5. Click Create
  6. Click the "Test Connection" button to ensure you have configured the connection properly

With the new Data Source created, we are ready to visualize our Excel Online data.

Create a Excel Online Data Visualization

  1. Click Create -> New Query
  2. Select the newly created Data Source (you can explore the data structure in the New Query wizard)
  3. Write a SQL statement to retrieve the data, for example:
    SELECT Id, Column1 FROM Test_xlsx_Sheet1
  4. Click the "Execute" button to load Excel Online data into Redash via CData Connect
  5. Use the Visualization Editor to create and analyze graphs from Excel Online data
  6. You can schedule the query to refresh and update the visualization periodically

SQL Access to Excel Online Data from Cloud Applications

At this point, you have a direct, cloud-to-cloud connection to Excel Online data from Redash. You can create new visualizations, build dashboards, and more. For more information on gaining SQL access to data from more than 100 SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources from cloud applications like Redash, refer to our Connect Cloud page.