Use the CData ODBC Driver for FinancialForce from SharePoint Excel Services

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FinancialForce ODBC Driver

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

Access FinancialForce data like you would a database - read, write, and update FinancialForce Invoices, Expenses, Accounts, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



This article demonstrates how to use the CData ODBC Driver for FinancialForce to connect to FinancialForce data from Excel in on-premises editions of SharePoint. This technique allows SharePoint users to create reports, scorecards, and dashboards featuring FinancialForce data in Excel.

The CData ODBC Driver for FinancialForce can be accessed using the built-in data access tools in Excel. This article demonstrates how to use the CData ODBC Driver for FinancialForce to connect to FinancialForce data from Excel spreadsheets in on-premises editions of SharePoint.

Connect to FinancialForce as an ODBC Data Source

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.

There are several authentication methods available for connecting to FinancialForce: login credentials, SSO, and OAuth.

Authenticating with a Login and Token

Set the User and Password to your login credentials. Additionally, set the SecurityToken. By default, the SecurityToken is required, but you can make it optional by allowing a range of trusted IP addresses.

To disable the security token:

  1. Log in to FinancialForce and enter "Network Access" in the Quick Find box in the setup section.
  2. Add your IP address to the list of trusted IP addresses.

To obtain the security token:

  1. Open the personal information page on FinancialForce.com.
  2. Click the link to reset your security token. The token will be emailed to you.
  3. Specify the security token in the SecurityToken connection property or append it to the Password.

Authenticating with OAuth

If you do not have access to the user name and password or do not want to require them, use the OAuth user consent flow. See the OAuth section in the Help for an authentication guide.

Connecting to FinancialForce Sandbox Accounts

Set UseSandbox to true (false by default) to use a FinancialForce sandbox account. Ensure that you specify a sandbox user name in User.

Configure Excel Services

Once the ODBC DSN is configured, you can configure Excel Services to use the DSN to connect. To do this, you will need to set up the OLE DB provider as a trusted data source. You will also want to decide if you want to use a Secure Store Service to enable single sign-on functionality with the ODBC driver. If you prefer, you can use the Excel Services Unattended account and skip to step 3 below.

  1. First, set up a secure store application to use single sign-on. In SharePoint Central Administration, go to Application Management -> Manage Service Applications. Select your secure store service application or create a new one. Click Manage on the Edit menu to begin editing the application.
  2. Create a new target application. You will be able to set the list of users who have access to this application. After the application is created, you will need to set the credentials on the application so that you can use this later for single sign-on.
  3. Navigate to Application Management -> Manage Service Applications in SharePoint Central Administration. Select the Excel Services application used by your organization or create one if it does not already exist. Click Manage. If you create a new app, check the option to add the service application's proxy to the farm's default proxy list.
  4. Click on Trusted Data Providers and add a new trusted provider. Set 'MSDASQL.1' for the Provider ID and leave the type as 'OLE DB'. Click OK to add this new provider to the list of trusted providers.

Connect to and Import FinancialForce Data in Excel

After you have enabled and secured access to the DSN, you can access the data source from the ribbon in Excel.

  1. In an Excel spreadsheet, open the Data tab and click From Other Sources -> From Data Connection Wizard.
  2. Select 'Other/Advanced' for the type and on the next screen, select the 'Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers'. On the Connection tab, select CData FinancialForce Sys, the system DSN. The driver installation automatically creates matching user and system DSNs: The system DSN is needed to connect from SharePoint.
  3. Select the table you would like to connect to.
  4. On the last step of the wizard, click the 'Authentication Settings' button. Select the 'Use a stored account' and enter the name of the secure store target application you created earlier. Or, if you want to use the Unattended Service Account, select None.
  5. After you finish the wizard, the data is imported into the spreadsheet. You can now update and save FinancialForce data directly in SharePoint.