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Excel Spreadsheet Automation with the QUERY Formula

Pull data, automate spreadsheets, and more with the QUERY formula.

The CData Excel Add-In for Facebook provides formulas that can edit, save, and delete Facebook data.The following three steps show how you can automate the following task: Search Facebook data for a user-specified value and then organize the results into an Excel spreadsheet.

The syntax of the CDATAQUERY formula is the following: =CDATAQUERY(Query, [Connection], [Parameters], [ResultLocation]);

This formula requires three inputs:

  • Query: The declaration of the Facebook data records you want to retrieve or the modifications to be made, written in standard SQL.
  • Connection: Either the connection name, such as FacebookConnection1, or a connection string. The connection string consists of the required properties for connecting to Facebook data, separated by semicolons.

    Most tables require user authentication as well as application authentication. Facebook uses the OAuth authentication standard. To authenticate to Facebook, you can use the embedded OAuthClientId, OAuthClientSecret, and CallbackURL or you can obtain your own by registering an app with Facebook.

    See the Getting Started chapter of the help documentation for a guide to using OAuth.

  • ResultLocation: The cell that the output of results should start from.

Pass Spreadsheet Cells as Inputs to the Query

The procedure below results in a spreadsheet that organizes all the formula inputs in the first column.

  1. Define cells for the formula inputs. In addition to the connection inputs, add another input to define a criterion for a filter to be used to search Facebook data, such as Target.
  2. In another cell, write the formula, referencing the cell values from the user input cells defined above. Single quotes are used to enclose values such as addresses that may contain spaces.
  3. =CDATAQUERY("SELECT * FROM Posts WHERE Target = '"&B1&"'",";Provider=Facebook",B2)
  4. Change the filter to change the data.