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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.

Create SSAS Tabular Models from Excel Online Data



How to build a SQL Server Analysis Service Tabular Model from Excel Online data using the CData ODBC Driver for Excel Online.

SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) is an analytical data engine used in decision support and business analytics. It provides enterprise-grade semantic data models for business reports and client applications, such as Power BI, Excel, Reporting Services reports, and other data visualization tools. When paired with the CData ODBC Driver for Excel Online, you can create a tabular model from Excel Online data for deeper and faster data analysis.

Create a 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.

Creating a Data Source for Excel Online

Start by creating a new Analysis Services Tabular Project in Visual Studio. Next create a Data Source for Excel Online in the project.

  1. In the Tabular Model Explorer, right-click Data Sources and select "New Data Source"
  2. Select "ODBC" from the Other tab and click "Connect"
  3. Select the DSN you previously configured
  4. Choose "Default or Custom" as the authentication option and click "Connect"

Add Tables & Relationships

After creating the data source you are ready to import tables and define the relationships between the tables.

  1. Right-click the new data source, click "Import New Tables" and select the tables to import
  2. After importing the tables, right-click "Relationships" and click "Create Relationships"
  3. Select table(s), and choose the foreign keys, cardinality, and filter direction

Create Measures

After importing the tables and defining the relationships, you are ready to create measures.

  1. Select the column in the table for which you wish to create a measure
  2. In the Extensions menu -> click "Columns" -> "AutoSum" and select your aggregation method

Deploy the Model

Once you create measures, you are ready to deploy the model. Configure the target server and database by right-clicking the project and selecting "Properties." Configure the "Deployment Server" properties and click "OK."

After configuring the deployment server, open the "Build" menu and click "Deploy Solution." You now have a tabular model for Excel Online data in your SSAS instance, ready to be analyzed, reported, and viewed. Get started with a free, 30-day trial of the CData ODBC Driver for Excel Online.