Connect to XML in Power Automate Desktop via ODBC

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XML ODBC Driver

The XML ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live XML data stores, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

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



The CData ODBC Driver for XML enables you to integrate XML data into workflows built using Microsoft Power Automate Desktop.

The CData ODBC Driver for XML enables you to access live XML data in workflow automation tools like Power Automate. This article shows how to integrate XML data into a simple workflow, moving XML data into a CSV file.

Through optimized data processing, CData ODBC Drivers offer unmatched performance for interacting with live XML data in Microsoft Power Automate. When you issue complex SQL queries from Power Automate to XML, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to XML and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations client-side (e.g. SQL functions and JOIN operations).

Connect to XML 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.

See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models XML APIs as bidirectional database tables and XML 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 XML 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 XML 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.

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 workflows.

Integrate XML Data into Power Automate Workflows

After configuring the DSN for XML, you are ready to integrate XML data into your Power Automate workflows. Open Microsoft Power Automate, add a new flow, and name the flow.

In the flow editor, you can add the actions to connect to XML, query XML using SQL, and write the query results to a CSV document.

Add an Open SQL Connection Action

Add an "Open SQL connection" action (Actions -> Database) and configure the properties.

  • Connection string: DSN=CData XML Source

After configuring the action, click Save.

Add an Execute SQL Statement Action

Add an "Execute SQL statement" action (Actions -> Database) and configure the properties.

  • Get connection by: SQL connection variable
  • SQL connection: %SQLConnection% (the variable from the "Open SQL connection" action above)
  • SQL statement: SELECT * FROM people

After configuring the action, click Save.

Add a Write to CSV File Action

Add a "Write to CSV file" action (Actions -> File) and configure the properties.

  • Variable to write to: %QueryResult% (the variable from the "Execute SQL statement" action above)
  • File path: set to a file on disk
  • Configure Advanced settings as needed.

After configuring the action, click Save.

Add a Close SQL Connection Action

Add a "Close SQL connection" action (Actions -> Database) and configure the properties.

  • SQL Connection: %SQLConnection% (the variable from the "Open SQL connection" action above)

After configuring the action, click Save.

Save & Run the Flow

Once you have configured all the actions for the flow, click the disk icon to save the flow. Click the play icon to run the flow.

Now you have a workflow to move XML data into a CSV file.

With the CData ODBC Driver for XML, you get live connectivity to XML data within your Microsoft Power Automate workflows.

Related Power Automate Articles

This article walks through using the CData ODBC Driver for XML with Power Automate Desktop. Check out our other articles for more ways to work with Power Automate (Desktop & Online):