DBAddin is a ExcelDNA based Add-in for Database interoperability.
First, DBaddin provides DB Functions (see DBFuncs Userdoc), which are an alternative to the Excel built-in MSQuery (integrated statically into worksheets having severe limitations in terms of querying and constructing parameterized queries (MS-Query allows parameterized queries only in simple queries that can be displayed graphically)).
Next, methods for working with database data (DBModifications: DBMapper, DBAction and DBSequences) are included. This also includes a row entry oriented way to modify data in so called DBSheets (see DBSheets).
DBAddin.NET is the successor to the VB6 based Office Database Addin, see also the slideshow for a quick overview.
- .NET 4.7 or higher (usually distributed with Windows)
- Excel (minimum 2007 because of Ribbons)
- ADO 2.5 or higher (usually distributed with Windows, needed as long as ADODB is still used)
If any of these are missing, please install them yourself before starting DBAddin.
Download the latest zip package in https://github.com/rkapl123/DBAddin/tags, unzip to any location and run deployAddin.cmd in the folder Distribution. This copies DBAddin.xll, DBAddin.xll.config, DBaddinUser.config and DBAddinCentral.config to your %appdata%\Microsoft\AddIns folder and starts Excel for activating DBAddin (adding it to the registered Addins).
Settings can be configured in three config files, depending on your distribution requirements:
- DBAddin.xll.config in section appSettings. DBAddin.xll.config has a reference
- to DBAddinCentral.config in the file attribute of the appSettings element and
- to DBaddinUser.config in the configSource attribute of the UserSettings element DBAddin.xll.config is expected in the same folder as the DBAddin.xll (%appdata%\Microsoft\AddIns)
- DBAddinCentral.config (this is a reference copy of the appSettings section, where the key/value pairs override the settings in DBAddin.xll.config). This is meant to be a centrally maintained settings configuration.
- DBaddinUser.config (this is a reference copy of the UserSettings section, where the key/value pairs override both the settings in DBAddin.xll.config and DBAddinCentral.config). This is meant to be a user locally maintained settings configuration.
In the DBAddin settings Group, there is a dropdown named “settings”, where you can modify these three settings inside Excel.
After installation you’d want to adapt the connection strings (ConstConnStringN) that are globally applied if no function-specific connection string is given and environment N is selected. This can be done by modifying DBAddin.xll.config or the referred DBaddinUser.config or DBAddinCentral.config (in this example the settings apply to environment 3):
<appSettings> <add key="ConfigName3" value="MSSQL"/> <add key="ConstConnString3" value="provider=SQLOLEDB;Server=Lenovo-PC;Trusted_Connection=Yes;Database=pubs;Packet Size=32767"/> <add key="ConfigStoreFolder3" value="C:\dev\DBAddin.NET\source\ConfigStore"/> <add key="DBidentifierCCS3" value="Database="/> <add key="DBSheetDefinitions3" value="C:\dev\DBAddin.NET\definitions"/> <add key="dbGetAll3" value="sp_helpdb"/> <add key="dbGetAllFieldName3" value="name"/> <add key="ownerQualifier3" value=".dbo."/> <add key="DBSheetConnString3" value="DRIVER=SQL SERVER;Server=Lenovo-PC;UID=sa;PWD=;Database=pubs;"/> <add key="dbPwdSpec3" value="PWD="/> <add key="ConnStringSearch3" value="provider=SQLOLEDB"/> <add key="ConnStringReplace3" value="driver=SQL SERVER"/> </appSettings>
ConfigNameN: freely definable name for your environment (e.g. Production or your database instance)
ConstConnStringN: the standard connection string used to connect to the database
ConfigStoreFolderN: all config files (*.xcl) under this folder are shown in a hierarchical manner in “load config”
DBidentifierCCSN: used to identify the database within the standard connection string or within DBSheetConnString
DBSheetDefinitionsN: path to the stored DBSheetdefinitions (default directory of assign DBsheet definitions and load/save DBSheet Defintions)
dbGetAllN: command for retrieving all databases/schemas from the database can be entered (for (MS) SQL server this is “
sp_helpdb” for Oracle its “
select username from sys.all_users”.
dbGetAllFieldNameN: If the result of above command has more than one column (like in sqlserver), you have to give the fieldname where the databases can be retrieved from.
ownerQualifierN: default owner qualifier for table when loading DBSheet definitions, if table name is not fully qualified (legacy DBSheet definitions)
DBSheetConnStringN: the connection string used to connect to the database for the DBSheet definitions
dbPwdSpecN: Password entry specifier within DBSheetConnString
ConnStringSearchN: part to be searched for replacement within the standard connection string in DBSetQuery
ConnStringReplaceN: replacement for above
Other settings possible in DBAddin.xll.config (or DBAddinCentral.config):
<add key="LocalHelp" value="C:\dev\DBAddin.NET\docs\doc\rkapl123.github.io\DBAddin\index.html"/> <add key="CmdTimeout" value="30" /> <add key="CnnTimeout" value="15" /> <add key="DefaultDBDateFormatting" value="0" /> <add key="DefaultEnvironment" value="3" /> <add key="DontChangeEnvironment" value="False" /> <add key="maxCellCount" value="300000" /> <add key="maxCellCountIgnore" value="False" /> <add key="DebugAddin" value="False" /> <add key="DBMapperCUDFlagStyle" value="TableStyleLight11" /> <add key="DBMapperStandardStyle" value="TableStyleLight9" /> <add key="maxNumberMassChange" value="10" /> <add key="connIDPrefixDBtype" value="MSSQL" /> <add key="DBSheetAutoname" value="True" /> <add key="disableSettingsDisplay" value="addin"/> <add key="ConfigSelect" value="SELECT TOP 10 * FROM !Table!" /> <add key="ConfigSelectWithCount" value="SELECT (SELECT Count(*) FROM !Table!) Anzahl, TOP 10 * FROM !Table!" /> <add key="ConfigSelect2" value="SELECT * FROM !Table!" /> <add key="ConfigSelectPreference" value="WithCount" /> <add key="updatesMajorVersion" value="1.0.0." /> <add key="updatesDownloadFolder" value="C:\temp\" /> <add key="updatesUrlBase" value="https://github.com/rkapl123/DBAddin/archive/refs/tags/" /> <add key="localUpdateFolder" value="" /> <add key="localUpdateMessage" value="New version available in local update folder, start deployAddin.cmd to install it:" /> <add key="DMLStatementsAllowed" value="True" /> <add key="legacyFunctionMsg" value="True" /> <add key="ExcelVersionForPivot" value="7" />
LocalHelp: the path to local help files downloadable here. To include it, extract the package into the respective folder and assign the file accordingly.
CmdTimeout: the default timeout for a command to execute.
CnnTimeout: the default timeout for connecting.
DefaultDBDateFormatting: default formatting choice for DBDate.
DefaultEnvironment: default selected environment on startup.
DontChangeEnvironment: prevent changing the environment selector (Non-Production environments might confuse some people or lead to errors).
maxCellCount: Cells being filled in Excel Workbook to issue a warning for refreshing DBFunctions (searching for them might take a long time).
maxCellCountIgnore: Don’t issue a warning, therefore ignore above setting.
DebugAddin: activate Info messages to debug addin.
DBMapperCUDFlagStyle: Style for setting Excel data tables when having CUD Flags set on DBMappers.
DBMapperStandardStyle: Style for setting Excel data tables when not having CUD Flags set on DBMappers.
maxNumberMassChange: Threshold of Number of changes in CUDFlag DBMappers to issue a warning.
connIDPrefixDBtype: legacy DBSheet definitions have a Prefix in
connIDbefore the database that needs to be removed, this is the String to remove …
DBSheetAutoname: When inserting DBSheet Definitions, automatically name Worksheet to the table name, if this is set.
disableSettingsDisplay: enter a name here for settings that should not be available for viewing/editing to the user (
ConfigSelectPostfix: Use this template instead of standard config (currently
SELECT TOP 10000 * FROM <Table>) when inserting cell configurations. The respective Table is being replaced into
!Table!. Add Postfix to make different choices, the preferred choice is given in next setting.
ConfigSelectPreference: select the preferred choice if ConfigSelect here by setting Postfix as value. If
ConfigSelectPostfix is not found in the choices, the plain
ConfigSelectis taken. If that is also not found, no template is used and the standard config is taken.
updatesMajorVersion: Usually the versions are numbered 1.0.0.x, in case this is different, the Major Version can be overridden here.
updatesDownloadFolder: You can specify a different download folder here instead of
updatesUrlBase: Here, the URL base for the update zip packages can be overridden.
localUpdateFolder: For updating the DB-Addin Version, you can provide an alternative folder, where the deploy script and the files are maintained for other users.
localUpdateMessage: For the alternative folder update, you can also provide an alternative message to display.
DMLStatementsAllowed: Allows DML Statements in the Adhoc SQL Query Tool.
legacyFunctionMsg: Alternative Message for replacing legacy functions (different language).
ExcelVersionForPivot: The default Version when creating DBSetQuery enabled pivot tables (see DBFuncs Userdoc, 0=2000, 1=2002, 2=2003, 3=2007, 4=2010, 5=2013, 6=2016, 7=2019).
To change the settings, there use the dropdown “settings”, where you can modify the DBAddin.xll.config and the referred DBAddinCentral.config including XML validation. If you have multiple same named entries in your settings files, the last one is taken as the active setting.
About Box, Settings, Log and fix legacy functions
The About Box can be reached by clicking the small dialogBox Launcher in the right bottom corner of the DB Addin settings group of the DBAddin Ribbon:
You can get updates from here, in case there are new versions, this is shown with an orange background and a hint:
There is a possibility to set the future log events displayed (the starting value is set in the config file).
To see the Log, there is a separate Button in the settings group of the DBAddin ribbon that also indicates the existence of warning log entries with a red exclamation mark.
You can also fix legacy DBAddin functions in case you decided to skip the possibility offered on opening a Workbook with the “fix legacy function” button.
In the DBAddin settings Group, there is a dropdown “settings”, where you can modify the DBAddin.xll.config and the referred DBAddinUser.config and DBAddinCentral.config including XML validation.
Right besides that dropdown, there is a shortcut to the Workbook properties (being the standard dialog Advanced Properties, accessible via File/Info) that allows you to change custom properties settings for DBAddin. A green check shows that custom property DBFskip is not set to true for this workbook, therefore refreshing DB functions on opening the Workbook.
Besides the hierarchical menu “DBConfigs” (see DBFuncs Userdoc) and the DBSheet Configuration (see DBSheets) there are other tools in the DB Addin Tools group:
The DBListFetch’s and DBRowFetch’s target areas’ extent is stored in hidden named ranges assigned both to the calling function cell (DBFsource(Key)) and the target (DBFtarget(Key)). These hidden names are used to keep track of the previous content to prevent overwriting, clearing old values, etc. Sometimes during copying and pasting DB Functions, these names can get mixed up, leading to strange results or non-functioning of the “jump” function. In these cases, there is a tool in the DB Addin tools group, which may be used to “purge” these hidden named ranges in case of any strange behaviour due to multiple name assignments to the same area. This button is only usable if clicked while pressing the Shift button. If the purge button is clicked while pressing the Ctrl Button, the hidden names used for the DB functions are unhidden and the Name manager is displayed.
The button “Buttons” is used for switching designmode for DBModifier Buttons (identical to standard Excel button “Design Mode” in Ribbon “Developer tab”, Group “Controls”)
Another tool is the entry of quick (adhoc) SQL Commands in the combo box below the settings dropdown. Changing the combo box or clicking the dialogbox launcher below it, opens the AdHoc SQL Command dialog:
Select Statements (beginning with
select) are executed immediately, empty statements (using a space character in the combobox) don’t execute anything, and everything else is regarded as a DML command and is only executed after confirmation:
For safety reasons, the DML commands an blocked until an additional setting
<add key="DMLStatementsAllowed" value="True" /> is being set. This is indicated by an error message:
Results are shown below the SQL Command text entry, for row returning commands, the rows returned are shown including the time it took to finish the command at the bottom of the dialog. In case of an error the exception from the database command is displayed, for DML commands the records affected are shown (again including the time it took to finish the command):
You can modify the command in the AdHoc SQL Command dialog. By clicking
Execute or pressing
Ctrl-Return the command will be executed. To change the database context, use the dropdown
DB:. To change the environment (connection string), use the dropdown
Env:. To leave the dialog, hit ESC or click
Close, in case the SQL command has changed, you will be prompted whether to add the new command to the combobox:
To transfer the SQL command into the current cell, click
Transfer or press
Shift-Return. Depending on the type selected in the dropdown besides the Transfer button this will either
Cell: put the command into an empty cell, in case there is a DB Function there, replacing any query inside that function (this obviously only makes sense for select statements).
ListFetch: create a
DBListFetchfunction in the current cell and put the command into the functions query (this obviously only makes sense for select statements).
RowFetch: create a
DBRowFetchfunction in the current cell and put the command into the functions query (this obviously only makes sense for select statements).
ListObject: create a
DBSetQueryfunction (targeted to a new ListObject) in the current cell and put the command into the functions query (this obviously only makes sense for select statements).
Pivot: create a
DBSetQueryfunction (targeted to a new Pivot Table) in the current cell and put the command into the functions query (this obviously only makes sense for select statements).
You can always interrupt long running commands by clicking
Close (or hitting ESC) or
Transfer. A question whether to cancel the interruption is provided then.
Issued commands are stored in the dropdown and persisted in the user settings after prompting the user, being reloaded at start-up of the Add-In (Excel).
If you want to remove them, open the User-Settings as described in Settings and remove all unwanted entries starting with
Also the chosen environment and the database context is stored along with each command (subsequent changes to the environment and database are stored without prompting), the transfer type is stored apart from that.
If the general DB-Addin environment is different from the stored environment of the command, a warning/question is displayed that allows to reset the environment to the general environment. If this is done, any changes to the environment and the database are not stored after closing the AdHocSQL Tool.
All packages necessary for building are contained, simply open DBaddin.sln and build the solution. The script
deployForTest.cmd can be used to quickly deploy the built xll and configs to
%appdata%\Microsoft\AddIns after choosing the solution configuration (Release or Debug).
Testing for MS SQL Server and other databases (MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, DB2, Sybase and Access) can be done using the Testing Workbook “DBFuncsTest.xls”. To use that Testing Workbook you’ll need the pubs database, where I have scripts available for Oracle, Sybase, DB2, PostgreSQL and MySql here (the MS-SQLserver version can be downloaded here). I’ve also added a pubs.mdb Access database in the test folder.
When starting the Testworkbook, after waiting for the – probable – connection error, you have to change the connection string(s) to suit your needs (see below for explanations).
Several connection strings for “DBFuncsTest.xls” are placed to the right of the black line, the actual connection is then selected by choosing the appropriate shortname (dropdown) in the yellow input field. After the connection has been changed don’t forget to refresh the queries/DBforms by right clicking and selecting “refresh data”.
Following topics are still to be done:
- Completely getting rid of ADODB (this is a legacy from transforming the code of the old Addin)
- Fixing the problems with shifting formula ranges in case of shifting mode 1 (cells) in DBListFetch
- Utilizing optimistic concurrency for DBSheets (similar to the old Addin, but with ADO.NET support)
docfx generated API documentation
DBFuncs API documentation.