How-To Add an Ado.Net Data Source to Excel and SQL Server | Visual Studio

This part 2 of a three part tutorial. Part 1 created the Excel Application in Visual Studio and created the database table that I will use for the Data Source and CRUD Operations. In Part 3, I will create a Ribbon and add code to load and update (Insert, Update, Delete) data from Excel to SQL Server.

Create and configure a Data Source

Creating a Data Source for the Excel client is very easy with Visual Studio 2008.

Show Data Source Pane
Show Data Source Pane
In Visual Studio navigate to:
Data -> Show Data Sources

Create New Data Source (Wizard)
Create New Data Source (Wizard)

Data Sources panel appears. Click New Data Source

Select Database Object

Choose Database Connection
Choose Database Connection

Select an existing Connection or Create New Connection.
If you don’t have a connection to the database where you created the table go ahead and create one.

New Database Connection
New Database Connection
Perform this step only if you need to create a new Database Connection:
Right-click on “Data Connections”. From the context menu click “Add Connection”.
In the “Add Connection” wizard enter the name of your server. Example “MyDevLaptop” for the server. You need to add the name of your server exactly as you created when you created the SQL Server Express or networked SQL Server.

Leave the Authentication at “Windows Authentication” unless you really need to use a SQL User. Finally enter the name of the database where the table that you created is stored. In my database, it is SRM (Software Requirement Management).

Click OK to close the wizard and allow Visual Studio to create the connection.

Choose Table and Name DataSet
Choose Table and Name DataSet
Back in the New Data Source Wizard, click “Next” and Choose the Database Object. This would be the table that was created in Part 1.

Name the Typed DataSet “ExcelDS” and click “Ok” to let the Wixard create the Data Source.

Click Ok to close the wizard and allow VS2008 to create the Data Source. Data Source is created and Typed Dataset is created
That’s it for the DataSource. Next II am going to add the DataSource to the Excel file (client) .

Select ExcelDS in Data Source Pane
Select ExcelDS in Data Source Pane

Actually adding the DataSet to the Excel Application is very easy. First you need to open either Sheet1.cs, Sheet2.cs or Sheet3.cs by double-clicking in the corresponding file in the Solution Explorer.

From Data Source window select the new Data Source "ExcelDS" and click drop down arrow next to data source and select “ListObject” from the choices.

Drag and drop datasource unto cell “A1” of ether of the open sheets. the Columns will be automatically created to match the “ProjectIdentification” table in the data source.

Data Binding Objects
Data Binding Objects

DataSet, TableAdapter, AdapterManager and BindingSource objects created automatically and are displayed just below the open Excel Worksheet.

Next I am going to add some additional CRUD operations to the default methods that are created by the wizard. Open the DataSet “ExcelDS” by double clicking on the file. The DataSet will open in the DataSet Designer.


TableAdapter in Designer
TableAdapter in Designer
TableAdapter CRUD Properties
TableAdapter CRUD Properties

The Data Source wizard created the DataTable and TableAdapter for you. This process also added two methods to the TableAdapter. By default its Fill and GetData(). Select the TableAdapter and if you look in the Properties window you should see that you have a SelectCommand and an InsertCommand already defined. You will also want to define an UpdateCommand and a DeleteCommand commands.

Query Builder
Query Builder

To do so, click on the UpdateCommand drop down arrow and select “New”.This will create an empty UpdateCommand. Now expand the UpdateCommand node. Select the CommandText property and click on the “ellipsis” button to bring up the Query Builder.

UPDATE              ProjectIdentification
SET                       ProjectNumber =@ProjectNumber, ProjectName =@ProjectName, ProjectIntroduction =@ProjectIntro
In the Add Table window select the table you created before and click “ok” to add it the Query Builder. In the Query Builder select all the columns by checking each of the checkboxes next to the columns. This will add the column names to the query string (see screenshot). Next add the following variables(@ProjectNumber, @ProjectName and @ProjectIntro) to the SET statement:

Newly Created Variables
Newly Created Variables
Click “ok” to close the Query Builder. Click on the “Parameters” Collection ellipsis button. Notice how the variables were automatically created for you.

DELETE FROM ProjectIdentification
WHERE              (ProjectNumber = @ProjectNumber)

You will do the same process for the DeleteCommand as with the UpdateCommand. In the Query Builder you will add this query to delete a project from the table:


This completes the Data Source part of this tutorial. Next will Part 3

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