DataBind Controls to Excel Online Data in Delphi

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Excel Online ODBC Driver

The Excel Online ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live Excel Online data, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Excel Online Spreadsheet data like you would a database - read, write, and update data through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



DataBind to Excel Online data in Delphi with standard data access components and controls.

The CData ODBC Driver for Excel Online supports the ODBC standard to enable integration of live Excel Online data with visual form designers and other rapid development tools in Delphi. The ODBC driver simplifies data access strategies for applications that share a single codebase like Delphi by providing a single API for database development. This article shows how to how to connect to Excel Online data and query data from a simple visual component library (VCL) application, as well as from Delphi code.

Create a FireDAC Connection to Excel Online Data

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

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.

You can then follow the steps below to use the Data Explorer to create a FireDAC connection to Excel Online data.

  1. In a new VCL Forms application, expand the FireDAC node in the Data Explorer.
  2. Right-click the ODBC Data Source node in the Data Explorer.
  3. Click Add New Connection.
  4. Enter a name for the connection.
  5. In the FireDAC Connection Editor that appears, set the DataSource property to the name of the ODBC DSN for Excel Online.

Create VCL Applications with Connectivity to Excel Online Data

Follow the procedure below to start executing queries to Excel Online data from a simple VCL application that displays the results of a query in a grid.

  1. Drop a TFDConnection component onto the form and set the following properties:

    • ConnectionDefName: Select the FireDAC connection to Excel Online data.
    • Connected: Select True from the menu and, in the dialog that appears, enter your credentials.
  2. Drop a TFDQuery component onto the form and set the properties below:

    • Connection: Set this property to the TFDConnection component, if this component is not already specified.
    • SQL: Click the button in the SQL property and enter a query. For example:

      SELECT Id, Column1 FROM Test_xlsx_Sheet1
    • Active: Set this property to true.
  3. Drop a TDataSource component onto the form and set the following property:

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

    • DataSource: Select the name of the TDataSource.
  5. Drop a TFDGUIxWaitCursor onto the form — this is required to avoid a run-time error.

Execute Commands to Excel Online with FireDAC Components

You can use the TFDConnection and TFQuery components to execute queries to Excel Online data. This section provides Excel Online data-specific examples of executing queries with the TFQuery component.

Connect to Excel Online Data

To connect to the data source, set the Connected property of the TFDConnection component to true. You can set the same properties from code:

FDConnection1.ConnectionDefName := 'myexcelonline'; FDConnection1.Connected := true;

Create Parameterized Queries

Parameterized resources can improve performance: Preparing statements is costly in system resources and time. The connection must be active and open while a statement is prepared. By default, FireDAC prepares the query to avoid recompiling the same query over and over. To disable statement preparation, set ResourceOptions.DirectExecute to True; for example, when you need to execute a query only once.

Execute a Query

To execute a query that returns a result set, such as a select query, use the Open method. The Open method executes the query, returns the result set, and opens it. The Open method will return an error if the query does not produce a result set.

FDQuery1.Open('select * from Test_xlsx_Sheet1 where Column2 = :Column2',['Bob']);

To execute a query that does not return a result set, such as a delete, use the ExecSQL method. The ExecSQL method will return an error if the query returns a result set. To retrieve the count of affected rows, use the TFD.RowsAffected property.

FDQuery1.ExecSQL('delete from Test_xlsx_Sheet1 where Id= :myId',['x12345']); i := FDQuery1.RowsAffected;