Using Microsoft Query in Excel to Connect to JSON

Ready to get started?

Download for a free trial:

Download Now

Learn more:

JSON ODBC Driver

The JSON ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live JSON web services, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access JSON services like you would any standard database - read, write, and update etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



This article uses the CData ODBC driver for JSON to import data in Excel with Microsoft Query. This article also demonstrates how to use parameters with Microsoft Query.

The CData ODBC driver for JSON uses the standard ODBC interface to link JSON services with applications like Microsoft Access and Excel. Follow the steps below to use Microsoft Query to import JSON services into a spreadsheet and provide values to a parameterized query from cells in a spreadsheet.

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.

See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models JSON APIs as bidirectional database tables and JSON files as read-only views (local files, files stored on popular cloud services, and FTP servers). The major authentication schemes are supported, including HTTP Basic, Digest, NTLM, OAuth, and FTP. See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation for authentication guides.

After setting the URI and providing any authentication values, set DataModel to more closely match the data representation to the structure of your data.

The DataModel property is the controlling property over how your data is represented into tables and toggles the following basic configurations.

  • Document (default): Model a top-level, document view of your JSON data. The data provider returns nested elements as aggregates of data.
  • FlattenedDocuments: Implicitly join nested documents and their parents into a single table.
  • Relational: Return individual, related tables from hierarchical data. The tables contain a primary key and a foreign key that links to the parent document.

See the Modeling JSON Data chapter for more information on configuring the relational representation. You will also find the sample data used in the following examples. The data includes entries for people, the cars they own, and various maintenance services performed on those cars.

You can then work with live JSON services in Excel.

  1. In Excel, open the Data tab and choose From Other Sources -> From Microsoft Query.
  2. Choose the JSON DSN. Select the option to use Query Wizard to create/edit queries.
  3. In the Query Wizard, expand the node for the table you would like to import into your spreadsheet. Select the columns you want to import and click the arrow to add them to your query. Alternatively, select the table name to add all columns for that table.
  4. The Filter Data page allows you to specify criteria. For example, you can limit results by setting a date range.
  5. If you want to use parameters in your query, select the option to edit the query in Microsoft Query.
  6. To set a parameter in the query, you will need to modify the SQL statement directly. To do this, click the SQL button in the Query Editor. If you set filter criteria earlier, you should have a WHERE clause already in the query.

    To use a parameter, use a "?" character as the wildcard character for a field's value in the WHERE clause. For example, if you are importing the people, you can set "[ personal.name.last ]=?".

  7. Close the SQL dialog when you are finished editing the SQL statement. You will be prompted to enter a parameter value. In the next step, you will select a cell to provide this value. So, leave the box in the dialog blank.
  8. Close Microsoft Query. The Import Data dialog is displayed. Enter a cell where results should be imported.

  9. Close the Import Data dialog. You will be prompted to enter a parameter value. Click the button next to the parameter box to select a cell. Select the option to automatically refresh the spreadsheet when the value changes.
The data is now imported into Excel. When you change the value in cell B1, the data will be filtered by the specified search criteria.