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Rapidly Develop Google Sheets-Driven Apps with Active Query Builder

Leverage the Active Query Builder SQL interface builder and the ease of .NET data access to create data-driven WinForms and ASP.NET apps.

Write standard .NET to expose Google Sheets data through an SQL interface: Active Query Builder helps developers write SQL interfaces; the CData ODBC Driver for Google Sheets enables standards-based access to Google Sheets. This integration uses the Microsoft ADO.NET Provider for ODBC as a bridge between the ODBC Driver and the Active Query Builder objects to build a visual SQL composer.

Connect to Google Sheets 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.

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.

Use SQL to Interact with Google Sheets

Follow the steps below to create a WinForms visual query builder.

  1. In a new Windows Forms project, drag the QueryBuilder from the Toolbox onto the form.
  2. Add a reference to ActiveQueryBuilder.ODBCMetadataProvider.
  3. Add an OdbcConnection and set the connection string to the DSN that you created in the first section. OdbcConnection connection = new OdbcConnection(); connection.ConnectionString = "DSN=GoogleSheets"
  4. Initialize ODBCMetadataProvider and GeneralSyntaxProvider instances and set the Connection property of the ODBCMetadataProvider object to the OdbcConnection. GenericSyntaxProvider syntaxProvider = new GenericSyntaxProvider(); ODBCMetadataProvider metadataProvider = new ODBCMetadataProvider(); metadataProvider.Connection = connection;
  5. Set the corresponding MetadataProvider and SyntaxProvider properties of the QueryBuilder object. queryBuilder1.MetadataProvider = metadataProvider; queryBuilder1.SyntaxProvider = syntaxProvider;
  6. Call the InitiatelizeDatabaseSchemaTree method of the QueryBuilder class to retrieve Google Sheets metadata and generate a tree view of Google Sheets tables. queryBuilder1.InitializeDatabaseSchemaTree();
  7. After creating the QueryBuilder, connect it to a TextBox or, as we use, the ActiveQueryBuilder SQLTextEditor: Drag and drop an SQLTextEditor onto the designer.

  8. Add the following code to the Validating event for the SQLTextEditor: private void sqlTextEditor1_Validating(object sender, CancelEventArgs e) { try { // Update the query builder with manually edited query text: queryBuilder1.SQL = sqlTextEditor1.Text; } catch (SQLParsingException ex) { e.Cancel = true; // Set caret to error position sqlTextEditor1.SelectionStart = ex.ErrorPos.pos; // Report error MessageBox.Show(ex.Message, "Parsing error"); } }
  9. Add the following to the SQLUpdated event: private void queryBuilder1_SQLUpdated(object sender, EventArgs e) { sqlTextEditor1.Text = queryBuilder1.FormattedSQL; }
  10. You can now build queries visually: Double-click a table in the Columns Pane Area and an entity/relationship diagram is displayed in the Query Building Area. Columns that you select in the diagram are added to the query.