Analyze FTP Data with Power Pivot

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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 walks you through the process of using the CData ODBC Driver for FTP from Power Pivot. You will use the Table Import Wizard to load FTP data. You can visually build the import query or use any SQL supported by the driver.

The ODBC protocol is used by a wide variety of Business Intelligence (BI) and reporting tools to get access to different databases. The CData ODBC Driver for FTP brings the same power and ease of use to FTP data. This article uses the driver to import FTP data into Power Pivot.

Connect to FTP 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.

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.

Connect from Power Pivot

Follow the steps below to connect to the DSN in Power Pivot.

  1. In Excel, click the Power Pivot Window icon on the Power Pivot tab to open Power Pivot.
  2. Launch the Table Import Wizard: Click the Get External Data from Other Data Sources button.
  3. Select the OLEDB/ODBC source option.
  4. Click Build to open the Data Link Properties dialog.
  5. In the Provider tab, select the Microsoft OLEDB Provider for ODBC Drivers option.
  6. In the Connection tab, select the Use Data Source Name option and then select the FTP DSN in the menu.

Select and Filter Tables and Views

Follow the steps below to use the wizard to import FTP tables. As you use the wizard to select, filter, and sort columns of FTP tables, Power Pivot generates the query to be executed.

  1. After selecting the DSN in the Table Import Wizard, select the option to select from a list of tables.

  2. Click Preview & Filter to select specific columns, sort data, and visually build filters. To include or exclude columns, select and clear the option next to the column name.

    To filter based on column values, click the down arrow button next to the column name. In the resulting dialog, select or clear the column values you want to filter. Alternatively, click Number Filters or Text Filters and then select a comparison operator. In the resulting dialog, build the filter criteria.

  3. Return to the Select Tables and Views page of the wizard. You can access filters by clicking the Applied Filters link in the Filter Details column.

Import and Filter with SQL

You can also import with an SQL query. The driver supports the standard SQL, allowing Excel to communicate with FTP APIs.

  1. After selecting the DSN in the Table Import Wizard, select the option to write a query.
  2. In the SQL Statement box, enter the query. Click Validate to check that the syntax of the query is valid. Click Design to preview the results and adjust the query before import.

  3. Finish the wizard to import the data for your chosen query.

Refresh On Demand

Connectivity to FTP APIs enables real-time analysis. To immediately update your workbook with any changes, click Refresh.