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Rapidly create and deploy powerful Java applications that integrate with live Excel Spreadsheet content hosted on SharePoint server!

Analyze SharePoint Excel Services Data in R

Use standard R functions and the development environment of your choice to analyze SharePoint Excel Services data with the CData JDBC Driver for SharePoint Excel Services.

Access SharePoint Excel Services data with pure R script and standard SQL on any machine where R and Java can be installed. You can use the CData JDBC Driver for SharePoint Excel Services and the RJDBC package to work with remote SharePoint Excel Services data in R. By using the CData Driver, you are leveraging a driver written for industry-proven standards to access your data in the popular, open-source R language. This article shows how to use the driver to execute SQL queries to SharePoint Excel Services and visualize SharePoint Excel Services data by calling standard R functions.

Install R

You can match the driver's performance gains from multi-threading and managed code by running the multithreaded Microsoft R Open or by running open R linked with the BLAS/LAPACK libraries. This article uses Microsoft R Open 3.2.3, which is preconfigured to install packages from the Jan. 1, 2016 snapshot of the CRAN repository. This snapshot ensures reproducibility.

Load the RJDBC Package

To use the driver, download the RJDBC package. After installing the RJDBC package, the following line loads the package:


Connect to SharePoint Excel Services as a JDBC Data Source

You will need the following information to connect to SharePoint Excel Services as a JDBC data source:

  • Driver Class: Set this to cdata.jdbc.excelservices.ExcelServicesDriver
  • Classpath: Set this to the location of the driver JAR. By default this is the lib subfolder of the installation folder.

The DBI functions, such as dbConnect and dbSendQuery, provide a unified interface for writing data access code in R. Use the following line to initialize a DBI driver that can make JDBC requests to the CData JDBC Driver for SharePoint Excel Services:

driver <- JDBC(driverClass = "cdata.jdbc.excelservices.ExcelServicesDriver", classPath = "MyInstallationDir\lib\cdata.jdbc.excelservices.jar", identifier.quote = "'")

You can now use DBI functions to connect to SharePoint Excel Services and execute SQL queries. Initialize the JDBC connection with the dbConnect function.

The URL, User, and Password properties, under the Authentication section, must be set to valid credentials for SharePoint Online, SharePoint 2010, or SharePoint 2013. Additionally, the Library property must be set to a valid SharePoint Document Library and the File property must be set to a valid .xlsx file in the indicated Library.

Built-in Connection String Designer

For assistance in constructing the JDBC URL, use the connection string designer built into the SharePoint Excel Services JDBC Driver. Either double-click the JAR file or execute the jar file from the command-line.

java -jar cdata.jdbc.excelservices.jar

Fill in the connection properties and copy the connection string to the clipboard.

Below is a sample dbConnect call, including a typical JDBC connection string:

conn <- dbConnect(driver,"jdbc:excelservices:URL=;;Password=password;File=Book1.xlsx;")

Schema Discovery

The driver models SharePoint Excel Services APIs as relational tables, views, and stored procedures. Use the following line to retrieve the list of tables:


Execute SQL Queries

You can use the dbGetQuery function to execute any SQL query supported by the SharePoint Excel Services API:

account <- dbGetQuery(conn,"SELECT Name, AnnualRevenue FROM Account")

You can view the results in a data viewer window with the following command:


Plot SharePoint Excel Services Data

You can now analyze SharePoint Excel Services data with any of the data visualization packages available in the CRAN repository. You can create simple bar plots with the built-in bar plot function:

par(las=2,ps=10,mar=c(5,15,4,2)) barplot(account$AnnualRevenue, main="SharePoint Excel Services Account", names.arg = account$Name, horiz=TRUE)