Build a Simple VCL Application for Excel Online Data

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Excel Online FireDAC Components

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How to build a simple VCL Application to view Excel Online data in RAD Studio using the CData FireDAC Components for Excel Online.

Embarcadero RAD Studio provides a development environment for Delphi and C++Builder applications. With the CData FireDAC Components for Excel Online, you gain access to live Excel Online data within RAD Studio, abstracting the data into tables, views, and stored procedures that can be used to retrieve and update Excel Online data. This article will walk through connecting to Excel Online and creating a simple VCL application with the Form Designer.

Creating a VCL Application for Excel Online Data

The following instructions show how to use the Form Designer to create a simple VCL Forms application that shows the basic FireDAC objects needed to connect to Excel Online from any application.

The following example populates a TDBGrid control.

  1. Create a new VCL Forms Application.
  2. Drop a TFDPhysExcelOnlineDriverLink and TFDConnection object onto the form.
  3. Double-click the TFDConnection object. The FireDAC Connection Editor is displayed. Select "CData.ExcelOnline" in the DriverId menu and configure the connection properties.

    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. Drop a TFDQuery object onto the form and set the properties below:

    • Connection - Set this property to the TFDConnection object, if this object is not already specified.
    • SQL - Click the button in the SQL property and enter a query.
    • Active - Set this property to true.
  5. Drop a TDataSource object onto the form and set the following property:

    • DataSet - In the menu for this property, select the name of the TFDQuery object.
  6. Drop a TDBGrid control onto the form and set the following property:

    • DataSource - Select the name of the TDataSource.
  7. Drop a TFDGUIxWaitCursor onto the form. This is required to avoid a run-time error.

You now have an executable application that displays the results of the SQL Query set in the TFDQuery object.