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Work with SFTP Data in MS Excel on Mac OS X

Create a Data Source Name in iODBC with the CData ODBC Driver for SFTP and work with SFTP data in Microsoft Excel on Mac OS X.

Microsoft Excel features calculations, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language that allows users to work with data in many of the ways that suit their needs, whether on a Windows machine or a Macintosh machine. This article walks through creating a DSN for SFTP data in iODBC and accessing SFTP data in Microsoft Excel, all on a machine running Mac OS X.

Installing the CData ODBC Drivers on Mac OS X

The CData ODBC Driver for SFTP is preconfigured for the iODBC driver manager, as are many other products like Microsoft Excel. This makes the driver easy to use with these tools.

Licensing the Driver

In a terminal run the following commands to license the driver. To activate a trial license, omit the key input.

cd "/Applications/CData ODBC Driver for SFTP/bin"
sudo ./install-license <key>

Defining a DSN for iODBC with odbc.ini

You can define ODBC data sources in sections in the odbc.ini file. User data sources can only be accessed by the user account whose home folder the odbc.ini is located in. System data sources can be accessed by all users. You can find the correct odbc.ini in the following paths:

Privileges  Path
User/Users/myuser/Library/ODBC/odbc.ini
System/Library/ODBC/odbc.ini

Modifying iODBC's system-wide settings requires elevated permissions; to do so, you can use following to open a text editor from the terminal:

sudo nano /Library/ODBC/odbc.ini

SFTP can be used to transfer files to and from SFTP servers using the SFTP Protocol. To connect, specify the RemoteHost;. service uses the User and Password and public key authentication (SSHClientCert). Choose an SSHAuthMode and specify connection values based on your selection.

Set the following connection properties to control the relational view of the file system:

  • RemotePath: Set this to the current working directory.
  • TableDepth: Set this to control the depth of subfolders to report as views.
  • FileRetrievalDepth: Set this to retrieve files recursively and list them in the Root table.
Stored Procedures are available to download files, upload files, and send protocol commands. See gdatamodel for more on using SQL to interact with the server.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

In addition to the connection properties required to connect to SFTP, the Driver property specifies either a driver definition in the odbcinst.ini file or the path to the driver library. Place your connection properties at the beginning of odbc.ini:

[CData SFTP Sources]
Driver = CData ODBC Driver for SFTP
RemoteHost = MyFTPServer

If you wish to authenticate using OAuth, you will need to add an additional connection property to ensure that the OAuth flow can execute properly:

Other = CheckPromptMode=False

Additionally, in the ODBC Data Sources section, the DSN must be set to a driver defined in the odbcinst.ini file. For example, below is the entry for the DSN created during the driver install:

[ODBC Data Sources]
CData SFTP Source = CData ODBC Driver for SFTP

Registering a DSN for iODBC with odbcinst.ini

You may need to modify the installed driver definition if you change the path to the driver library. To register an ODBC driver, modify the odbcinst.ini file. With iODBC, drivers can be available to only one user account or drivers can be available system wide. You can find the correct odbcinst.ini in the following paths:

Privileges  Path
User/Users/myuser/Library/ODBC/odbcinst.ini
System/Library/ODBC/odbcinst.ini

Drivers are defined in sections in the odbcinst.ini file. The section name specifies the name of the driver. In this section, the Driver property specifies the path to the driver library. The driver library is the .dylib file located in the lib subfolder of the installation directory, by default in /Applications/CData ODBC Driver for SFTP.

[CData ODBC Driver for SFTP]
Driver = /Applications/CData ODBC Driver for CData/lib/libsftp.odbc.dylib

The ODBC Drivers section must also contain a property with the driver name, set to "Installed".

[ODBC Drivers]
CData ODBC Driver for SFTP = Installed

Testing the Connection

You can test your connection using the iODBC administrator.

  1. Open a terminal and enter the following command to start the iODBC Administrator with the necessary permissions:
    sudo /Applications/iODBC/iODBC\ Administrator64.app/Contents/MacOS/iODBC\ Administrator64
    
  2. On the Users tab, select CData SFTP Source.
  3. Click the Test button.

Accessing SFTP Data from Microsoft Excel

You can use the DSN configured above to access SFTP data from Microsoft Excel.

  1. Open Microsoft Excel and open a spreadsheet (new or existing).
  2. Navigate to the data ribbon and select New Database Query From Database
  3. Select the User or System DSN that you previously configured and click OK.
  4. Build your SQL query in the Microsoft Query wizard:
  5. Click Return Data to execute the query and pull data into Excel.

Using the CData ODBC Driver for SFTP, you can easily pull your SFTP data directly into Excel. Once there, you can leverage all of the powerful features native to Excel to analyze, report, transform your SFTP data, and more!