Excel Spreadsheet Automation with the QUERY Formula

Ready to get started?

Download for a free trial:

Download Now

Learn more:

Excel Add-In for IBM Cloud Object Storage

The IBM Cloud Object Storage Excel Add-In is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live IBM Cloud Object Storage data, directly from Microsoft Excel.

Use Excel to read, write, and update IBM Cloud Object Storage IBMCloudObject, etc. Perfect for mass imports / exports / updates, data cleansing & de-duplication, Excel based data analysis, and more!



Pull data, automate spreadsheets, and more with the QUERY formula.

The CData Excel Add-In for IBM Cloud Object Storage provides formulas that can query IBM Cloud Object Storage data. The following three steps show how you can automate the following task: Search IBM Cloud Object Storage data for a user-specified value and then organize the results into an Excel spreadsheet.

The syntax of the CDATAQUERY formula is the following: =CDATAQUERY(Query, [Connection], [Parameters], [ResultLocation]);

This formula requires three inputs:

  • Query: The declaration of the IBM Cloud Object Storage data records you want to retrieve, written in standard SQL.
  • Connection: Either the connection name, such as IBMCloudObjectStorageConnection1, or a connection string. The connection string consists of the required properties for connecting to IBM Cloud Object Storage data, separated by semicolons.

    Register a New Instance of Cloud Object Storage

    If you do not already have Cloud Object Storage in your IBM Cloud account, follow the procedure below to install an instance of SQL Query in your account:

    1. Log in to your IBM Cloud account.
    2. Navigate to the page, choose a name for your instance and click Create. You will be redirected to the instance of Cloud Object Storage you just created.

    Connecting using OAuth Authentication

    There are certain connection properties you need to set before you can connect. You can obtain these as follows:

    API Key

    To connect with IBM Cloud Object Storage, you need an API Key. You can obtain this as follows:

    1. Log in to your IBM Cloud account.
    2. Navigate to the Platform API Keys page.
    3. On the middle-right corner click "Create an IBM Cloud API Key" to create a new API Key.
    4. In the pop-up window, specify the API Key name and click "Create". Note the API Key as you can never access it again from the dashboard.

    Cloud Object Storage CRN

    If you have multiple accounts, you will need to specify the CloudObjectStorageCRN explicitly. To find the appropriate value, you can:

    • Query the Services view. This will list your IBM Cloud Object Storage instances along with the CRN for each.
    • Locate the CRN directly in IBM Cloud. To do so, navigate to your IBM Cloud Dashboard. In the Resource List, Under Storage, select your Cloud Object Storage resource to get its CRN.

    Connecting to Data

    You can now set the following to connect to data:

    • InitiateOAuth: Set this to GETANDREFRESH. You can use InitiateOAuth to avoid repeating the OAuth exchange and manually setting the OAuthAccessToken.
    • ApiKey: Set this to your API key which was noted during setup.
    • CloudObjectStorageCRN (Optional): Set this to the cloud object storage CRN you want to work with. While the connector attempts to retrieve this automatically, specifying this explicitly is recommended if you have more than Cloud Object Storage account.

    When you connect, the connector completes the OAuth process.

    1. Extracts the access token and authenticates requests.
    2. Saves OAuth values in OAuthSettingsLocation to be persisted across connections.
  • ResultLocation: The cell that the output of results should start from.

Pass Spreadsheet Cells as Inputs to the Query

The procedure below results in a spreadsheet that organizes all the formula inputs in the first column.

  1. Define cells for the formula inputs. In addition to the connection inputs, add another input to define a criterion for a filter to be used to search IBM Cloud Object Storage data, such as Bucket.
  2. In another cell, write the formula, referencing the cell values from the user input cells defined above. Single quotes are used to enclose values such as addresses that may contain spaces.
  3. =CDATAQUERY("SELECT * FROM Objects WHERE Bucket = '"&B6&"'","ApiKey="&B1&";CloudObjectStorageCRN="&B2&";Region="&B3&";OAuthClientId="&B4&";OAuthClientSecret="&B5&";Provider=IBMCloudObjectStorage",B7)
  4. Change the filter to change the data.