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Tip: Integrate Microsoft Excel with SQL Server using OLEDB

Updated on October 24, 2011

Microsoft Excel is an excellent financial analysis tool, but contrary to many users, it makes a lousy database. SQL Server on the other hand is a first class RDBMS and offer several technologies to allow software like Microsoft Excel to interface with it. Using Oledb, Microsoft Excel can also serve as a client and interface with SQL Server.

A developer can elect to send a single value, a range or a whole sheet to SQL Server using standard SQL language and Oledb API.

Excel as a oledb Client

The following code demonstrates capturing a range value. This sub can be called when a user enters a cell or leaves a cell. The Range object can also be used to retrieve a cell value from another cell on the same sheet.

Public Sub SendRangeValueToSQLServer(ByVal Target As Range)
On Error GoTo errorHandler

Dim rangeValue
Dim rangeAddress
Dim anotherValue


Set rangeValue  = Target.Value2 
Set rangeAddress = Target.Address
Set anotherValue = Target.Worksheet.Cells(2, "A")

DbConnection rangeValue, rangeAddress, anotherValue
             
Exit Sub
errorHandler:
   ' MsgBox Err.Description, vbCritical, "Application Error"
    Resume Next
End Sub

Oledb Operation

This method, DbConnection, uses standard oledb syntax to setup an AdoDB Connection, Command and Parameters.

Sub DbConnection(rangeValue As String, rangeAddress As String, anotherValue As String)
On Error GoTo errorHandle
    Dim cnn As ADODB.Connection
    Dim cmd As ADODB.Command
    Dim cnnStr As String
    
    Dim rng As ADODB.Parameter
    Dim rngAddr As ADODB.Parameter
    Dim rngValue As ADODB.Parameter    
    
    cnnStr = "Provider=SQLOLEDB;Data Source=servername;Initial Catalog=DatabaseName;Integrated Security=SSPI;"

    Set cnn = New ADODB.Connection
    cnn.ConnectionString = cnnStr
    cnn.Open
    If cnn.State = adStateOpen Then

          Set cmd = New ADODB.Command
          
          
          'Set up the command object and execute
          With cmd
            .ActiveConnection = cnn
            .CommandText = "InsertRangeValues"
            .CommandType = adCmdStoredProc
            
            Set rng = .CreateParameter("@rng", adVarchar, adParamInput, 50, rangeValue)
            .Parameters.Append rng
            Set rngAddr = .CreateParameter("@rngAddr", adVarchar, adParamInput, 10, rangeAddress)
            .Parameters.Append rngAddr
            Set rngValue = .CreateParameter("@rngValue", adVarchar, adParamInput, 20, anotherValue)
            .Parameters.Append rngValue
                      
            .Execute
         
          End With
    End If
Exit Sub
errorHandle:
    'Err.Description
    MsgBox Err.Description, vbOKOnly, "error"


End Sub

Oledb Alternate Solution

An alternate version of DbConnection can insert the contents of an entire sheet as if it was a database table.

Sub DbConnection()
On Error GoTo errorHandle
    Dim cnn As ADODB.Connection
    Dim cmd As ADODB.Command
    Dim cnnStr As String   
    
    cnnStr = "Provider=SQLOLEDB;Data Source=servername;Initial Catalog=DatabaseName;Integrated Security=SSPI;"

    Set cnn = New ADODB.Connection
    cnn.ConnectionString = cnnStr
    cnn.Open
    If cnn.State = adStateOpen Then

          Set cmd = New ADODB.Command
          
          
          'Set up the command object and execute
          With cmd
            .ActiveConnection = cnn
            .CommandText = "Insert into a sqlTable
Select * from ExcelSheetName"
            .CommandType = adCmdText
                                 
            .Execute
         
          End With
    End If
Exit Sub
errorHandle:
    'Err.Description
    MsgBox Err.Description, vbOKOnly, "error"


End Sub

References

References
At a minimum, you need to Microsoft.ActiveX Data Objects depending on the Excel version on your computer. You also may need to use Microsoft ActiveX Data Objects Recordset 2.8 Library or the version corresponding to your Excel version.

oledb references
oledb references

In Summary

Microsoft has put considerable effort in developing an extensive API for data manipulation across all its products. They are all designed for ease of use to help keep the cost of ownership at a minimum and a trough Rapid Application Development environment.

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