Work with Gmail Data in MS Excel on Mac OS X

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Gmail ODBC Driver

The Gmail ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live Internet E-mail (Gmail), directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Gmail folders and message data like you would a database - read, write, and send E-mails through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Create a Data Source Name in iODBC with the CData ODBC Driver for Gmail and work with Gmail data in Microsoft Excel on Mac OS X.

Microsoft Excel features calculations, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language that allows users to work with data in many of the ways that suit their needs, whether on a Windows machine or a Macintosh machine. This article walks through creating a DSN for Gmail data in iODBC and accessing Gmail data in Microsoft Excel, all on a machine running Mac OS X.

Installing the CData ODBC Drivers on Mac OS X

The CData ODBC Driver for Gmail is preconfigured for the iODBC driver manager, as are many other products like Microsoft Excel. This makes the driver easy to use with these tools.

Licensing the Driver

In a terminal run the following commands to license the driver. To activate a trial license, omit the key input.

cd "/Applications/CData ODBC Driver for Gmail/bin"
sudo ./install-license <key>

Defining a DSN for iODBC with odbc.ini

You can define ODBC data sources in sections in the odbc.ini file. User data sources can only be accessed by the user account whose home folder the odbc.ini is located in. System data sources can be accessed by all users. You can find the correct odbc.ini in the following paths:

Privileges  Path
User/Users/myuser/Library/ODBC/odbc.ini
System/Library/ODBC/odbc.ini

Modifying iODBC's system-wide settings requires elevated permissions; to do so, you can use following to open a text editor from the terminal:

sudo nano /Library/ODBC/odbc.ini

There are two ways to authenticate to Gmail. Before selecting one, first ensure that you have enabled IMAP access in your Gmail account settings. See the "Connecting to Gmail" section under "Getting Started" in the installed documentation for a guide.

The User and Password properties, under the Authentication section, can be set to valid Gmail user credentials.

Alternatively, instead of providing the Password, you can use the OAuth authentication standard. To access Google APIs on behalf on individual users, you can use the embedded credentials or you can register your own OAuth app.

OAuth also enables you to use a service account to connect on behalf of users in a Google Apps domain. To authenticate with a service account, you will need to register an application to obtain the OAuth JWT values.

In addition to the OAuth values, you will need to provide the User. See the "Getting Started" chapter in the help documentation for a guide to using OAuth.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

In addition to the connection properties required to connect to Gmail, the Driver property specifies either a driver definition in the odbcinst.ini file or the path to the driver library. Place your connection properties at the beginning of odbc.ini:

[CData Gmail Sources]
Driver = CData ODBC Driver for Gmail
User = username
Password = password

If you wish to authenticate using OAuth, you will need to add an additional connection property to ensure that the OAuth flow can execute properly:

Other = CheckPromptMode=False

Additionally, in the ODBC Data Sources section, the DSN must be set to a driver defined in the odbcinst.ini file. For example, below is the entry for the DSN created during the driver install:

[ODBC Data Sources]
CData Gmail Source = CData ODBC Driver for Gmail

Registering a DSN for iODBC with odbcinst.ini

You may need to modify the installed driver definition if you change the path to the driver library. To register an ODBC driver, modify the odbcinst.ini file. With iODBC, drivers can be available to only one user account or drivers can be available system wide. You can find the correct odbcinst.ini in the following paths:

Privileges  Path
User/Users/myuser/Library/ODBC/odbcinst.ini
System/Library/ODBC/odbcinst.ini

Drivers are defined in sections in the odbcinst.ini file. The section name specifies the name of the driver. In this section, the Driver property specifies the path to the driver library. The driver library is the .dylib file located in the lib subfolder of the installation directory, by default in /Applications/CData ODBC Driver for Gmail.

[CData ODBC Driver for Gmail]
Driver = /Applications/CData ODBC Driver for CData/lib/libgmail.odbc.dylib

The ODBC Drivers section must also contain a property with the driver name, set to "Installed".

[ODBC Drivers]
CData ODBC Driver for Gmail = Installed

Testing the Connection

You can test your connection using the iODBC administrator.

  1. Open a terminal and enter the following command to start the iODBC Administrator with the necessary permissions:
    sudo /Applications/iODBC/iODBC\ Administrator64.app/Contents/MacOS/iODBC\ Administrator64
    
  2. On the Users tab, select CData Gmail Source.
  3. Click the Test button.

Accessing Gmail Data from Microsoft Excel

You can use the DSN configured above to access Gmail data from Microsoft Excel.

  1. Open Microsoft Excel and open a spreadsheet (new or existing).
  2. Navigate to the data ribbon and select New Database Query From Database
  3. Select the User or System DSN that you previously configured and click OK.
  4. Build your SQL query in the Microsoft Query wizard:
  5. Click Return Data to execute the query and pull data into Excel.

Using the CData ODBC Driver for Gmail, you can easily pull your Gmail data directly into Excel. Once there, you can leverage all of the powerful features native to Excel to analyze, report, transform your Gmail data, and more!