DBAddin

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.

Installation

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

Settings can be configured in three config files, depending on your distribution requirements:

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>

Explanation:

Settings continued

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:" />

Explanation:

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.

Testing

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).

image

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”.

AboutBox, Logs, Purge hidden names and other tools

The Aboutbox can be reached by clicking the small dialogBox Launcher in the right bottom corner of the DB Addin Tools group of the DBAddin Ribbon:

image

You can get updates from here, in case there are new versions, this is shown with an orange background and a hint:

image

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 log group of the DBAddin ribbon that also indicates the existence of warning log entries with a red exclamation mark.

image

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 tool “Buttons” is used for switching designmode for DBModifier Buttons (identical to standard Excel button “Design Mode” in Ribbon “Developer tab”, Group “Controls”)

You can also fix legacy DBAddin functions in case you decided to skip the possibility offered on opening a Workbook with the “repair 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.

Adhoc SQL Commands

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:

image

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:

image

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):

image

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:

image

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

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.

All issued commands are stored in the user settings and reloaded at start-up of the Add-In (Excel), if you want to get rid of them, open the User-Settings as described in Settings and remove all unwanted entries starting with key="AdhocSQLcmd.." Also the chosen environment, database context and transfer type is stored in the user settings, being restored after closing the AdHoc SQL Command dialog or Excel.

Building

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).

Roadmap

Following topics are still to be done:

docfx generated API documentation

DBFuncs API documentation.