Excel connection strings

CData ADO.NET Provider for Excel

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Microsoft ACE OLEDB 12.0

  • Xlsx files

    Connect to Excel 2007 (and later) files with the Xlsx file extension. That is the Office Open XML format with macros disabled.

    Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0;Data Source=c:\myFolder\myExcel2007file.xlsx;
    Extended Properties
    ="Excel 12.0 Xml;HDR=YES";

    "HDR=Yes;" indicates that the first row contains columnnames, not data. "HDR=No;" indicates the opposite.

  • Treating data as text

    Use this one when you want to treat all data in the file as text, overriding Excels column type "General" to guess what type of data is in the column.

    Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0;Data Source=c:\myFolder\myExcel2007file.xlsx;
    Extended Properties
    ="Excel 12.0 Xml;HDR=YES;IMEX=1";

    If you want to read the column headers into the result set (using HDR=NO even though there is a header) and the column data is numeric, use IMEX=1 to avoid crash.

    To always use IMEX=1 is a safer way to retrieve data for mixed data columns. Consider the scenario that one Excel file might work fine cause that file's data causes the driver to guess one data type while another file, containing other data, causes the driver to guess another data type. This can cause your app to crash.

  • Xlsb files

    Connect to Excel 2007 (and later) files with the Xlsb file extension. That is the Office Open XML format saved in a binary format. I e the structure is similar but it's not saved in a text readable format as the Xlsx files and can improve performance if the file contains a lot of data.

    Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0;
    Data Source
    =c:\myFolder\myBinaryExcel2007file.xlsb;
    Extended Properties
    ="Excel 12.0;HDR=YES";

    You can also use this connection string to connect to older 97-2003 Excel workbooks.

    "HDR=Yes;" indicates that the first row contains columnnames, not data. "HDR=No;" indicates the opposite.

  • Xlsm files

    Connect to Excel 2007 (and later) files with the Xlsm file extension. That is the Office Open XML format with macros enabled.

    Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0;Data Source=c:\myFolder\myExcel2007file.xlsm;
    Extended Properties
    ="Excel 12.0 Macro;HDR=YES";

    "HDR=Yes;" indicates that the first row contains columnnames, not data. "HDR=No;" indicates the opposite.

  • Excel 97-2003 Xls files with ACE OLEDB 12.0

    You can use this connection string to use the Office 2007 OLEDB driver (ACE 12.0) to connect to older 97-2003 Excel workbooks.

    Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0;Data Source=c:\myFolder\myOldExcelFile.xls;
    Extended Properties
    ="Excel 8.0;HDR=YES";

    "HDR=Yes;" indicates that the first row contains columnnames, not data. "HDR=No;" indicates the opposite.

Microsoft Jet OLE DB 4.0

  • Standard (Excel)

    Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=C:\MyExcel.xls;
    Extended Properties
    ="Excel 8.0;HDR=Yes;IMEX=1";
  • Standard alternative

    Try this one if the one above is not working. Some reports that Excel 2003 need the exta OLEDB; section in the beginning of the string.

    OLEDB;Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=C:\MyExcel.xls;
    Extended Properties
    ="Excel 8.0;HDR=Yes;IMEX=1";

    "HDR=Yes;" indicates that the first row contains columnnames, not data. "HDR=No;" indicates the opposite.

    "IMEX=1;" tells the driver to always read "intermixed" (numbers, dates, strings etc) data columns as text. Note that this option might affect excel sheet write access negative.

    SQL syntax "SELECT [Column Name One], [Column Name Two] FROM [Sheet One$]". I.e. excel worksheet name followed by a "$" and wrapped in "[" "]" brackets.

    "SELECT * FROM [Sheet1$a5:d]", start picking the data as of row 5 and up to column D.

    Check out the [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Jet\4.0\Engines\Excel] located registry REG_DWORD "TypeGuessRows". That's the key to not letting Excel use only the first 8 rows to guess the columns data type. Set this value to 0 to scan all rows. This might hurt performance. Please also note that adding the IMEX=1 option might cause the IMEX feature to set in after just 8 rows. Use IMEX=0 instead to be sure to force the registry TypeGuessRows=0 (scan all rows) to work.

    If the Excel workbook is protected by a password, you cannot open it for data access, even by supplying the correct password with your connection string. If you try, you receive the following error message: "Could not decrypt file."

    A workaround for the "could not decrypt file" problem

.NET Framework Data Provider for OLE DB

  • Use an OLE DB provider from .NET

    Provider=any oledb provider's name;OledbKey1=someValue;OledbKey2=someValue;

    See the respective OLEDB provider's connection strings options. The .net OleDbConnection will just pass on the connection string to the specified OLEDB provider. Read more here.

Microsoft Excel 2007 ODBC Driver

Microsoft Excel ODBC Driver

  • Standard

    Driver={Microsoft Excel Driver (*.xls)};DriverId=790;Dbq=C:\MyExcel.xls;
    DefaultDir
    =c:\mypath;

    SQL syntax "SELECT [Column Name One], [Column Name Two] FROM [Sheet One$]". I.e. excel worksheet name followed by a "$" and wrapped in "[" "]" brackets.

  • Specify ReadOnly

    [Microsoft][ODBC Excel Driver] Operation must use an updateable query. Use this connection string to avoid the error.

    Driver={Microsoft Excel Driver (*.xls)};Dbq=C:\MyExcel.xls;ReadOnly=0;

    ReadOnly = 0 specifies the connection to be updateable.

.NET Framework Data Provider for ODBC

  • Use an ODBC driver from .NET

    Driver={any odbc driver's name};OdbcKey1=someValue;OdbcKey2=someValue;

    See the respective ODBC driver's connection strings options. The .net OdbcConnection will just pass on the connection string to the specified ODBC driver. Read more here.

.NET xlReader for Microsoft Excel

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