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Posted 18 Aug 2005


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Excel Connectivity in VB.NET

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18 Aug 20053 min read
If you want to fetch data from an Excel stylesheet and show it in a DataGrid then download this source code.


Often we are in a need to convert Excel data to XML stream/XML file which can be used as a feed to various applications like web services or middle tiers such as BizTalk 2004. There will be many situations where we need to validate the format of Excel data sheet against a specified XML schema. We will also be required to generate XML schema based on an Excel Work Sheet. This utility along with the library will help you to accomplish the same.

The following are the salient features of this library:

  1. Usage of Microsoft Jet Engine to connect to Excel.
  2. Conversion of Excel Worksheet/Workbook to XML file and XML Schema.
  3. Generation of XML file and XML Schema based on provided range.
  4. Validation of Excel Worksheet/Workbook against the provided XML Schema.
  5. Provision of batch processing capability.

In this article, we will discuss the implementation of the library functions. The library contains the core functionality to access and manipulate Excel data.

The utility will merely call the appropriate functions from the library. In this way, one can use this same library in ASP.NET applications also with minute changes.

Connectivity Options

There are two ways to manipulate an Excel file. It can be done either by using Microsoft Office Component (check out here) or with Microsoft Jet Engine.

As per Microsoft recommendation, it is not advisable to use Office components on the server. It means that if you want to use this library for a server application, it’s not a good idea to use the Office component. So the connection will be done using Jet Engine.

Connection to Excel using Jet Engine

To connect to Excel, one can use OleDb objects that will treat Excel as a database, and then the required information can be easily fetched by using SQL queries. The important steps that have to be considered while connecting to Excel are as follows:

  • Connection String:

    The connection string should be set to the OleDbConnection object. This is very critical as Jet Engine might not give a proper error message if the appropriate details are not given.

    Syntax: Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=<Full Path of Excel File>; Extended Properties="Excel 8.0; HDR=No; IMEX=1".

  • Definition of Extended Properties:
    • Excel = <No>

      One should specify the version of Excel Sheet here. For Excel 2000 and above, it is set it to Excel 8.0 and for all others, it is Excel 5.0.

    • HDR= <Yes/No>

      This property will be used to specify the definition of header for each column. If the value is ‘Yes’, the first row will be treated as heading. Otherwise, the heading will be generated by the system like F1, F2 and so on.

    • IMEX= <0/1/2>

      IMEX refers to IMport EXport mode. This can take three possible values.

      • IMEX=0 and IMEX=2 will result in ImportMixedTypes being ignored and the default value of ‘Majority Types’ is used. In this case, it will take the first 8 rows and then the data type for each column will be decided.
      • IMEX=1 is the only way to set the value of ImportMixedTypes as Text. Here, everything will be treated as text.

For more info regarding Extended Properties, check this out.

Loading of data in to Dataset

After successfully connecting to Excel using Jet Engine, it is easy to the load the data in to <FONT color=#000000>DataSet</FONT>. One has to write a query similar to ANSI-92 with the only changes being that each Excel sheet will be treated as a table and the table name will be the sheet name with “$”. The range can also be specified after the “$” sign.

 <FONT size=2><P></FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>Public</FONT><FONT size=2> </FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>Function</FONT><FONT size=2> ImportAttendence(</FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>ByVal</FONT><FONT size=2> PrmPathExcelFile </FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>As</FONT><FONT size=2> </FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>String</FONT><FONT size=2>, </FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>ByVal</FONT><FONT size=2> DataGrid1 </FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>As</FONT><FONT size=2> DataGrid)</P><P></FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>Dim</FONT><FONT size=2> MyConnection </FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>As</FONT><FONT size=2> System.Data.OleDb.OleDbConnection</P><P></FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>Try</P></FONT><FONT size=2><P></FONT><FONT color=#008000 size=2>''''''' Fetch Data from Excel</P></FONT><FONT size=2><P></FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>Dim</FONT><FONT size=2> DtSet </FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>As</FONT><FONT size=2> System.Data.DataSet</P><P></FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>Dim</FONT><FONT size=2> MyCommand </FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>As</FONT><FONT size=2> System.Data.OleDb.OleDbDataAdapter</P><P> </P><P>MyConnection = </FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>New</FONT><FONT size=2> System.Data.OleDb.OleDbConnection("provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0; " & _</P><P>"data source='" & PrmPathExcelFile & " '; " & "Extended Properties=Excel 8.0;")</P><P></FONT><FONT color=#008000 size=2>' Select the data from Sheet1 of the workbook.</P></FONT><FONT size=2><P>MyCommand = </FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>New</FONT><FONT size=2> System.Data.OleDb.OleDbDataAdapter("select * from [sheet1$]", MyConnection)</P><P> </P><P>MyCommand.TableMappings.Add("Table", "Attendence")</P><P>DtSet = </FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>New</FONT><FONT size=2> System.Data.DataSet</P><P>MyCommand.Fill(DtSet)</P><P></FONT><FONT color=#008000 size=2>'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''</P></FONT><FONT size=2><P>DataGrid1.DataSource = DtSet.Tables(0)</P><P>MyConnection.Close()</P><P></FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>Catch</FONT><FONT size=2> ex </FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>As</FONT><FONT size=2> Exception</P><P>MyConnection.Close()</P><P></FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>End</FONT><FONT size=2> </FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>Try</P></FONT><FONT size=2><P></FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>End</FONT><FONT size=2> </FONT><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>Function</FONT></P>


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About the Author

India India
Hello My name is Jaspal Singh

Comments and Discussions

QuestionExcel database connection Pin
R. S. Verma6-Jan-13 20:15
MemberR. S. Verma6-Jan-13 20:15 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Bawa90424-Nov-11 22:15
MemberBawa90424-Nov-11 22:15 
GeneralAlternative Pin
FilipKrnjic9-Jul-09 1:28
MemberFilipKrnjic9-Jul-09 1:28 
GeneralBroken link in article Pin
Markus00004-Feb-09 7:43
MemberMarkus00004-Feb-09 7:43 
Generalexcel to datagrid in Pin
CarloSan28-Aug-08 20:01
MemberCarloSan28-Aug-08 20:01 
Generalreading data from excel and storing it into sql server 2005 using 2005 Pin
ravisakee26-Aug-08 18:52
Memberravisakee26-Aug-08 18:52 
QuestionI get error to try read a excel file Pin
jmgoc761-Jul-08 4:10
Memberjmgoc761-Jul-08 4:10 
Questionstreaming data of excel cell when the file is open to text box Pin
Member 435308128-Jun-08 15:46
MemberMember 435308128-Jun-08 15:46 
GeneralVery Urgent [ About the exporting of ole object from vb to Excel] Pin
ramasamy16-Apr-08 1:01
Memberramasamy16-Apr-08 1:01 
QuestionHow to export OLE Object to Excel [Pleeease Sir, Am waiting for ur Response] Pin
ramasamy14-Apr-08 17:58
Memberramasamy14-Apr-08 17:58 
Questionvery urgent Pin
NirmalaKannan24-Mar-08 23:54
MemberNirmalaKannan24-Mar-08 23:54 
AnswerRe: very urgent Pin
FilipKrnjic4-Jun-08 1:23
MemberFilipKrnjic4-Jun-08 1:23 
Questionvery urgent Pin
NirmalaKannan24-Mar-08 23:54
MemberNirmalaKannan24-Mar-08 23:54 
Questionvery urgent Pin
NirmalaKannan24-Mar-08 23:45
MemberNirmalaKannan24-Mar-08 23:45 
Generalexcel data to Pin
adam.wolarczuk30-Sep-07 17:42
Memberadam.wolarczuk30-Sep-07 17:42 
Generalexel and Pin
apchidara27-Aug-07 5:22
Memberapchidara27-Aug-07 5:22 
Questionembeded apostrophe Pin
usfp_nut9-Apr-07 13:22
Memberusfp_nut9-Apr-07 13:22 
AnswerRe: embeded apostrophe Pin
Easy....19-Apr-07 11:34
MemberEasy....19-Apr-07 11:34 
GeneralRe: embeded apostrophe Pin
New78012-May-08 22:37
MemberNew78012-May-08 22:37 
GeneralRe: embeded apostrophe Pin
MarvPerk312-Jan-10 6:11
MemberMarvPerk312-Jan-10 6:11 
QuestionThe other way around? Pin
seppe00129-Mar-07 0:10
Memberseppe00129-Mar-07 0:10 
Questionexcel connectivity to pages Pin
badki11-Mar-07 20:05
Memberbadki11-Mar-07 20:05 
AnswerRe: excel connectivity to pages Pin
Kunal sharma21-Mar-07 22:49
MemberKunal sharma21-Mar-07 22:49 
AnswerRe: excel connectivity to pages Pin
FilipKrnjic31-Aug-09 6:23
MemberFilipKrnjic31-Aug-09 6:23 
QuestionUrgent: Excel Data Type problem Pin
xxxxxxxxxchandra5-Mar-07 23:21
Memberxxxxxxxxxchandra5-Mar-07 23:21 

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