Excel Spreadsheet Automation with the QUERY Formula

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

The CData Excel Add-In for USPS provides formulas that can edit, save, and delete USPS data.The following three steps show how you can automate the following task: Search USPS 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 USPS data records you want to retrieve or the modifications to be made, written in standard SQL.
  • Connection: Either the connection name, such as USPSConnection1, or a connection string. The connection string consists of the required properties for connecting to USPS data, separated by semicolons.

    To authenticate with USPS, set the following connection properties.

    • PostageProvider: The postage provider to use to process requests. Available options are ENDICIA and STAMPS. If unspecified, this property will default to ENDICIA.
    • UseSandbox: This controls whether live or test requests are sent to the production or sandbox servers. If set to true, the Password, AccountNumber, and StampsUserId properties are ignored.
    • StampsUserId: This value is used for logging into authentication to the Stamps servers. This value is not applicable for Endicia and is optional if UseSandbox is true.
    • Password: This value is used for logging into Endicia and Stamps servers. If the postage provider is Endicia, this will be the pass phrase associated with your postage account. It is optional if UseSandbox is true.
    • AccountNumber: The shipper's account number. It is optional if UseSandbox is true.
    • PrintLabelLocation: This property is required to use the GenerateLabels or GenerateReturnLabels stored procedures. This should be set to the folder location where generated labels should be stored.

    The Cache Database

    Many of the useful task available from USPS require a lot of data. To ensure this data is easy to input and recall later, utilize a cache database to make requests. Set the cache connection properties in order to use the cache:

    • CacheLocation: The path to the cache location, for which a connection will be configured with the default cache provider. For example, C:\users\username\documents\uspscache

    As an alternative to CacheLocation, set the combination of CacheConnection and CacheProvider to configure a cache connection using a provider separate from the default.

  • 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 USPS data, such as SenderID.
  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 Senders WHERE SenderID = '"&B5&"'","PostageProvider="&B1&";RequestId="&B2&";Password="&B3&";AccountNumber="&B4&";Provider=USPS",B6)
  4. Change the filter to change the data.