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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 FreshBooks provides formulas that can edit, save, and delete FreshBooks data.The following three steps show how you can automate the following task: Search FreshBooks 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 FreshBooks data records you want to retrieve or the modifications to be made, written in standard SQL.
  • Connection: Either the connection name, such as FreshBooksConnection1, or a connection string. The connection string consists of the required properties for connecting to FreshBooks data, separated by semicolons.

    To connect to FreshBooks, you can set the CompanyName and Token connection properties. Alternatively, you can use the OAuth authentication standard.

    OAuth can be used to enable other users to access their own company data. To authenticate using OAuth, you will need to obtain the OAuthClientId and OAuthClientSecret by registering an app. 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 FreshBooks data, such as Email.
  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 Clients WHERE Email = '"&B3&"'","CompanyName="&B1&";Token="&B2&";Provider=FreshBooks",B4)
  4. Change the filter to change the data.