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Access Google Sheets Data with Entity Framework 6

This article shows how to access Google Sheets data using an Entity Framework code-first approach. Entity Framework 6 is available in .NET 4.5 and above.

Entity Framework is an object-relational mapping framework that can be used to work with data as objects. While you can run the ADO.NET Entity Data Model wizard in Visual Studio to handle generating the Entity Model, this approach, the model-first approach, can put you at a disadvantage if there are changes in your data source or if you want more control over how the entities operate. In this article you will complete the code-first approach to accessing Google Sheets data using the CData ADO.NET Provider.

  1. Open Visual Studio and create a new Windows Form Application. This article uses a C# project with .NET 4.5.
  2. Run the command 'Install-Package EntityFramework' in the Package Manger Console in Visual Studio to install the latest release of Entity Framework.
  3. Modify the App.config file in the project to add a reference to the Google Sheets Entity Framework 6 assembly and the connection string.

    You can connect to a spreadsheet by providing authentication to Google and then setting the Spreadsheet connection property to the name or feed link of the spreadsheet. If you want to view a list of information about the spreadsheets in your Google Drive, execute a query to the Spreadsheets view after you authenticate.

    ClientLogin (username/password authentication) has been officially deprecated since April 20, 2012 and is now no longer available. Instead, use the OAuth 2.0 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.

    See the Getting Started chapter in the help documentation to connect to Google Sheets from different types of accounts: Google accounts, Google Apps accounts, and accounts using two-step verification. <configuration> ... <connectionStrings> <add name="GoogleSheetsContext" connectionString="Offline=False;Spreadsheet=MySheet;InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH" providerName="System.Data.CData.GoogleSheets" /> </connectionStrings> <entityFramework> <providers> ... <provider invariantName="System.Data.CData.GoogleSheets" type="System.Data.CData.GoogleSheets.GoogleSheetsProviderServices, System.Data.CData.GoogleSheets.Entities.EF6" /> </providers> <entityFramework> </configuration> </code>

  4. Add a reference to System.Data.CData.GoogleSheets.Entities.EF6.dll, located in the lib -> 4.0 subfolder in the installation directory.
  5. Build the project at this point to ensure everything is working correctly. Once that's done, you can start coding using Entity Framework.
  6. Add a new .cs file to the project and add a class to it. This will be your database context, and it will extend the DbContext class. In the example, this class is named GoogleSheetsContext. The following code example overrides the OnModelCreating method to make the following changes:
    • Remove PluralizingTableNameConvention from the ModelBuilder Conventions.
    • Remove requests to the MigrationHistory table.
    using System.Data.Entity; using System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure; using System.Data.Entity.ModelConfiguration.Conventions; class GoogleSheetsContext : DbContext { public GoogleSheetsContext() { } protected override void OnModelCreating(DbModelBuilder modelBuilder) { // To remove the requests to the Migration History table Database.SetInitializer<GoogleSheetsContext>(null); // To remove the plural names modelBuilder.Conventions.Remove<PluralizingTableNameConvention>(); } }
  7. Create another .cs file and name it after the Google Sheets entity you are retrieving, for example, Orders. In this file, define both the Entity and the Entity Configuration, which will resemble the example below: using System.Data.Entity.ModelConfiguration; using System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.Schema; [System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.Schema.Table("Orders")] public class Orders { [System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.Key] public System.String Shipcountry { get; set; } public System.String OrderPrice { get; set; } }
  8. Now that you have created an entity, add the entity to your context class: public DbSet<Orders> Orders { set; get; }
  9. With the context and entity finished, you are now ready to query the data in a separate class. For example: GoogleSheetsContext context = new GoogleSheetsContext(); context.Configuration.UseDatabaseNullSemantics = true; var query = from line in context.Orders select line;