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Build a Simple VCL Application for Google Sheets Data

How to build a simple VCL Application to view Google Sheets data in RAD Studio using the CData FireDAC Components for Google Sheets.

Embarcadero RAD Studio provides a development environment for Delphi and C++Builder applications. With the CData FireDAC Components for Google Sheets, you gain access to live Google Sheets data within RAD Studio, abstracting the data into tables, views, and stored procedures that can be used to retrieve and update Google Sheets data. This article will walk through connecting to Google Sheets and creating a simple VCL application with the Form Designer.

Creating a VCL Application for Google Sheets Data

The following instructions show how to use the Form Designer to create a simple VCL Forms application that shows the basic FireDAC objects needed to connect to Google Sheets from any application.

The following example populates a TDBGrid control.

  1. Create a new VCL Forms Application.
  2. Drop a TFDPhysGoogleSheetsDriverLink and TFDConnection object onto the form.
  3. Double-click the TFDConnection object. The FireDAC Connection Editor is displayed. Select "CData.GoogleSheets" in the DriverId menu and configure the connection properties.

    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.

  4. Drop a TFDQuery object onto the form and set the properties below:

    • Connection - Set this property to the TFDConnection object, if this object is not already specified.
    • SQL - Click the button in the SQL property and enter a query.
    • Active - Set this property to true.
  5. Drop a TDataSource object onto the form and set the following property:

    • DataSet - In the menu for this property, select the name of the TFDQuery object.
  6. Drop a TDBGrid control onto the form and set the following property:

    • DataSource - Select the name of the TDataSource.
  7. Drop a TFDGUIxWaitCursor onto the form. This is required to avoid a run-time error.

You now have an executable application that displays the results of the SQL Query set in the TFDQuery object.