Using Microsoft Query in Excel to Connect to FTP

Ready to get started?

Download for a free trial:

Download Now

Learn more:

FTP ODBC Driver

The FTP ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from remote files and directories, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access remote data like you would a database through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



This article uses the CData ODBC driver for FTP to import data in Excel with Microsoft Query. This article also demonstrates how to use parameters with Microsoft Query.

The CData ODBC driver for FTP uses the standard ODBC interface to link FTP data with applications like Microsoft Access and Excel. Follow the steps below to use Microsoft Query to import FTP data into a spreadsheet and provide values to a parameterized query from cells in a spreadsheet.

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.

To connect to FTP or SFTP servers, specify at least RemoteHost and FileProtocol. Specify the port with RemotePort.

Set User and Password to perform Basic authentication. Set SSHAuthMode to use SSH authentication. See the Getting Started section of the data provider help documentation for more information on authenticating via SSH.

Set SSLMode and SSLServerCert to secure connections with SSL.

The data provider lists the tables based on the available folders in your FTP server. Set the following connection properties to control the relational view of the file system:

  • RemotePath: Set this to the current working directory.
  • TableDepth: Set this to control the depth of folders to list as views.
  • FileRetrievalDepth: Set this to retrieve and list files recursively from the root table.

Stored Procedures are available to download files, upload files, and send protocol commands. See the Data Model chapter of the FTP data provider documentation for more information.

You can then work with live FTP data in Excel.

  1. In Excel, open the Data tab and choose From Other Sources -> From Microsoft Query.
  2. Choose the FTP DSN. Select the option to use Query Wizard to create/edit queries.
  3. In the Query Wizard, expand the node for the table you would like to import into your spreadsheet. Select the columns you want to import and click the arrow to add them to your query. Alternatively, select the table name to add all columns for that table.
  4. The Filter Data page allows you to specify criteria. For example, you can limit results by setting a date range.
  5. If you want to use parameters in your query, select the option to edit the query in Microsoft Query.
  6. To set a parameter in the query, you will need to modify the SQL statement directly. To do this, click the SQL button in the Query Editor. If you set filter criteria earlier, you should have a WHERE clause already in the query.

    To use a parameter, use a "?" character as the wildcard character for a field's value in the WHERE clause. For example, if you are importing the MyDirectory, you can set "FilePath=?".

  7. Close the SQL dialog when you are finished editing the SQL statement. You will be prompted to enter a parameter value. In the next step, you will select a cell to provide this value. So, leave the box in the dialog blank.
  8. Close Microsoft Query. The Import Data dialog is displayed. Enter a cell where results should be imported.

  9. Close the Import Data dialog. You will be prompted to enter a parameter value. Click the button next to the parameter box to select a cell. Select the option to automatically refresh the spreadsheet when the value changes.
The data is now imported into Excel. When you change the value in cell B1, the data will be filtered by the specified search criteria.