Introduction

There are two ways to import SQL Server data into Microsoft Excel using VBA:

  1. To create a QueryTable connected to a database table using Excel or VBA.
  2. To insert database data to a range using ADO Recordset or Excel add-ins.

The QueryTable object has a native Excel feature to refresh data.

To refresh data inserted using ADO, just insert the data again.

There are two ways to export Excel data to SQL Server using VBA:

  1. To use ADO.
  2. To use Excel add-ins that allow saving data and support VBA integration.

You may download the example and continue reading when you try the code.

The attached VBA code example works in Microsoft Excel 2003-2016.

The example works with data in Microsoft Azure SQL Database. So, you can test the solution right after download.

Before to continue

This article was written in June 2011. It contains the tested code that you may use. I have a lot of thanks.

I would like to recommend you to take a look at my e-book "Excel Applications. 10 Steps for VBA Developers."

You may also download the workbook examples and the SaveToDB add-in used as a free VBA library.

With the SaveToDB add-in, you may create more functional VBA applications with fewer efforts.

For example, you may save data changes from Excel to a database using a single call like GetAddIn().Save.

Table of Contents

SQL Server Data Import to Excel using QueryTable

Function ImportSQLtoQueryTable

The function creates a native Excel QueryTable connected to the OLE DB data source specified by the conString parameter.

The result is nearly the same as using the standard Excel connection dialog box.

Function ImportSQLtoQueryTable(ByVal conString As String, ByVal query As String, _
    ByVal target As Range) As Integer

    On Error Resume Next

    Dim ws As Worksheet
    Set ws = target.Worksheet

    Dim address As String
    address = target.Cells(1, 1).address

    ' Procedure recreates ListObject or QueryTable

    If Not target.ListObject Is Nothing Then     ' Created in Excel 2007 or higher
        target.ListObject.Delete
    ElseIf Not target.QueryTable Is Nothing Then ' Created in Excel 2003
        target.QueryTable.ResultRange.Clear
        target.QueryTable.Delete
    End If

    If Application.Version >= "12.0" Then        ' Excel 2007 or higher
        With ws.ListObjects.Add(SourceType:=0, Source:=Array("OLEDB;" & conString), _
            Destination:=Range(address))

            With .QueryTable
                .CommandType = xlCmdSql
                .CommandText = StringToArray(query)
                .BackgroundQuery = True
                .SavePassword = True
                .Refresh BackgroundQuery:=False
            End With
        End With
    Else                                          ' Excel 2003
        With ws.QueryTables.Add(Connection:=Array("OLEDB;" & conString), _
            Destination:=Range(address))

            .CommandType = xlCmdSql
            .CommandText = StringToArray(query)
            .BackgroundQuery = True
            .SavePassword = True
            .Refresh BackgroundQuery:=False
        End With
    End If

    ImportSQLtoQueryTable = 0

End Function

' Source: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816562

Function StringToArray(Str As String) As Variant

    Const StrLen = 127
    Dim NumElems As Integer
    Dim Temp() As String
    Dim i As Integer

    NumElems = (Len(Str) / StrLen) + 1
    ReDim Temp(1 To NumElems) As String

    For i = 1 To NumElems
       Temp(i) = Mid(Str, ((i - 1) * StrLen) + 1, StrLen)
    Next i

    StringToArray = Temp
End Function

Code comments:

  • The query parameter can contain a SELECT or EXECUTE query.
  • The resulting data will be inserted starting from the top left cell of the target range.
  • If the target range contains a ListObject or QueryTable object, it will be deleted, and a new object will be created instead.
    If you need to change the query only, just change the QueryTable.CommandText property.
  • Pay attention to the .SavePassword = True line.
    Microsoft Excel stores passwords without encryption.
    If possible, use the trusted connection. However, it is not supported by Microsoft Azure SQL Database yet.

Test Code of SQL Server Data Import to Excel using QueryTable

Sub TestImportUsingQueryTable()

    Dim conString As String
    conString = GetTestConnectionString()

    Dim query As String
    query = GetTestQuery()

    Dim target As Range
    Set target = ThisWorkbook.Sheets(1).Cells(3, 2)

    Select Case ImportSQLtoQueryTable(conString, query, target)
        Case Else
    End Select

End Sub

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SQL Server Data Import to Excel using ADO

Function ImportSQLtoRange

The function inserts SQL Server data to the target Excel range using ADO.

Function ImportSQLtoRange(ByVal conString As String, ByVal query As String, _
    ByVal target As Range) As Integer

    On Error Resume Next

    ' Object type and CreateObject function are used instead of ADODB.Connection,
    ' ADODB.Command for late binding without reference to
    ' Microsoft ActiveX Data Objects 2.x Library

    ' ADO API Reference
    ' http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms678086(v=VS.85).aspx

    ' Dim con As ADODB.Connection
    Dim con As Object
    Set con = CreateObject("ADODB.Connection")

    con.ConnectionString = conString

    ' Dim cmd As ADODB.Command
    Dim cmd As Object
    Set cmd = CreateObject("ADODB.Command")

    cmd.CommandText = query
    cmd.CommandType = 1         ' adCmdText

    ' The Open method doesn't actually establish a connection to the server
    ' until a Recordset is opened on the Connection object
    con.Open
    cmd.ActiveConnection = con

    ' Dim rst As ADODB.Recordset
    Dim rst As Object
    Set rst = cmd.Execute

    If rst Is Nothing Then
        con.Close
        Set con = Nothing

        ImportSQLtoRange = 1
        Exit Function
    End If

    Dim ws As Worksheet
    Dim col As Integer

    Set ws = target.Worksheet

    ' Column Names
    For col = 0 To rst.Fields.Count - 1
        ws.Cells(target.row, target.Column + col).Value = rst.Fields(col).Name
    Next
    ws.Range(ws.Cells(target.row, target.Column), _
        ws.Cells(target.row, target.Column + rst.Fields.Count)).Font.Bold = True

    ' Data from Recordset
    ws.Cells(target.row + 1, target.Column).CopyFromRecordset rst

    rst.Close
    con.Close

    Set rst = Nothing
    Set cmd = Nothing
    Set con = Nothing

    ImportSQLtoRange = 0

End Function

Code comments:

  • The query parameter can contain a SELECT or EXECUTE query.
  • The resulting data will be inserted starting from the top left cell of the target range.
  • Using Object types and the CreateObject function instead of direct use of ADO types
    lets to avoid setting ActiveX Data Objects 2.x Library references on user computers.
    This code works in Microsoft Excel 2003-2016.
  • Always use Set Nothing statements for ADODB.Connection and ADODB.Recordset objects to free resources.

Test Code of SQL Server Data Import to Excel using ADO

Sub TestImportUsingADO()

    Dim conString As String
    conString = GetTestConnectionString()

    Dim query As String
    query = GetTestQuery()

    Dim target As Range
    Set target = ThisWorkbook.Sheets(2).Cells(3, 2)

    target.CurrentRegion.Clear

    Select Case ImportSQLtoRange(conString, query, target)
        Case 1
            MsgBox "Import database data error", vbCritical
        Case Else
    End Select

End Sub

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SQL Server Data Import to Excel using SaveToDB Add-In

The SaveToDB add-in allows connecting to databases, to text files, and the web using Data Connection Wizard, and supports OLE DB, ODBC, .NET and internal providers.

You may reload data using the Reload button at the ribbon or in the Context menu, or from VBA macros.

However, the add-in does not support connecting to new data sources from macros.

The add-in can save a lot of developer time when you need to implement changing query parameters.
You may modify the parameters by setting new values to named cells like Range("Company") = "ABC".
You may learn about this feature in the attached SaveToDB examples for VBA developers.

Procedure TestImportUsingSaveToDB

The procedure reloads active table data.
The table is a native Excel ListObject connected using the Data Connection Wizard.

Sub TestImportUsingSaveToDB()

    Dim addIn As COMAddIn
    Dim addInObj As Object

    Set addIn = Application.COMAddIns("SaveToDB")
    Set addInObj = addIn.Object

    addInObj.Load

End Sub

Code comments:

If the table is an Excel ListObject connected to a database using OLE DB or ODBC, then the action is the same as ListObject.QueryTable.Refresh BackgroundQuery:=False.

In other cases (the web and file connections or databases through .NET providers), the add-in refreshes data using internal procedures. Moreover, the macro remains the same.

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Excel Data Export to SQL Server using ADO

Function ExportRangeToSQL

The function exports the sourceRange data to a specified database table.

The optional beforeSQL code is executed before exporting, and the optional afterSQL code is executed after exporting.

The following logic of the export process is used in the example:

  1. Delete all data from a temporary import table.
  2. Export Excel data to the empty temporary import table.
  3. Update desired tables from the temporary import table data.

Specially developed stored procedures are used in the first and third steps.
You may adapt them to your task.
Moreover, a universal code is used to transfer Excel data to a destination table.

Function ExportRangeToSQL(ByVal sourceRange As Range, _
    ByVal conString As String, ByVal table As String, _
    Optional ByVal beforeSQL = "", Optional ByVal afterSQL As String) As Integer

    On Error Resume Next

    ' Object type and CreateObject function are used instead of ADODB.Connection,
    ' ADODB.Command for late binding without reference to
    ' Microsoft ActiveX Data Objects 2.x Library
    ' ADO API Reference
    ' http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms678086(v=VS.85).aspx
    ' Dim con As ADODB.Connection
    Dim con As Object
    Set con = CreateObject("ADODB.Connection")

    con.ConnectionString = conString
    con.Open

    ' Dim cmd As ADODB.Command
    Dim cmd As Object
    Set cmd = CreateObject("ADODB.Command")

    ' BeginTrans, CommitTrans, and RollbackTrans Methods (ADO)
    ' http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms680895(v=vs.85).aspx

    Dim level As Long
    level = con.BeginTrans

    cmd.CommandType = 1             ' adCmdText
    If beforeSQL > "" Then
        cmd.CommandText = beforeSQL
        cmd.ActiveConnection = con
        cmd.Execute
    End If

    ' Dim rst As ADODB.Recordset
    Dim rst As Object
    Set rst = CreateObject("ADODB.Recordset")

    With rst
        Set .ActiveConnection = con
        .Source = "SELECT * FROM " & table
        .CursorLocation = 3         ' adUseClient
        .LockType = 4               ' adLockBatchOptimistic
        .CursorType = 0             ' adOpenForwardOnly
        .Open

        ' Column mappings

        Dim tableFields(100) As Integer
        Dim rangeFields(100) As Integer

        Dim exportFieldsCount As Integer
        exportFieldsCount = 0

        Dim col As Integer
        Dim index As Integer

        For col = 0 To .Fields.Count - 1
            index = Application.Match(.Fields(col).Name, sourceRange.Rows(1), 0)
            If index > 0 Then
                exportFieldsCount = exportFieldsCount + 1
                tableFields(exportFieldsCount) = col
                rangeFields(exportFieldsCount) = index
            End If
        Next

        If exportFieldsCount = 0 Then
            ExportRangeToSQL = 1
            Goto ConnectionEnd
        End If

        ' Fast read of Excel range values to an array
        ' for further fast work with the array

        Dim arr As Variant
        arr = sourceRange.Value

        ' The range data transfer to the Recordset

        Dim row As Long
        Dim rowCount As Long
        rowCount = UBound(arr, 1)

        Dim val As Variant

        For row = 2 To rowCount
            .AddNew
            For col = 1 To exportFieldsCount
                val = arr(row, rangeFields(col))
                If IsEmpty(val) Then
                Else
                    .Fields(tableFields(col)) = val
                End If
            Next
        Next

        .UpdateBatch
    End With

    rst.Close
    Set rst = Nothing

    If afterSQL > "" Then
        cmd.CommandText = afterSQL
        cmd.ActiveConnection = con
        cmd.Execute
    End If

    ExportRangeToSQL = 0

ConnectionEnd:

    con.CommitTrans

    con.Close
    Set cmd = Nothing
    Set con = Nothing

End Function

Code comments:

  • The preliminary column mappings are used for fast transferring Excel range column data to a Recordset column.
  • Excel data types are not verified.
  • Using Object types and the CreateObject function instead of direct use of ADO types
    lets to avoid setting ActiveX Data Objects 2.x Library references on user computers.
    This code works in Microsoft Excel 2003-2016.
  • Always use Set Nothing statements for ADODB.Connection and ADODB.Recordset objects to free resources.

Test Code of Excel Data Export to SQL Server

The temporary dbo04.ExcelTestImport table is used for inserting Excel data.

This table is cleared before exporting by the dbo04.uspImportExcel_Before stored procedure.

The dbo04.uspImportExcel_After stored procedure updates the source dbo04.ExcelTest table with values from dbo04.ExcelTestImport.

This technique simplifies the Excel part of an application but requires additional database objects and server side coding.

Sub TestExportUsingADO()

    Dim conString As String
    conString = GetTestConnectionString()

    Dim table As String
    table = "dbo04.ExcelTestImport"

    Dim beforeSQL As String
    Dim afterSQL As String

    beforeSQL = "EXEC dbo04.uspImportExcel_Before"
    afterSQL = "EXEC dbo04.uspImportExcel_After"

    Dim ws As Worksheet
    Set ws = ThisWorkbook.ActiveSheet

    Dim qt As QueryTable
    Set qt = GetTopQueryTable(ws)

    Dim sourceRange As Range

    If Not qt Is Nothing Then
        Set sourceRange = qt.ResultRange
    Else
        Set sourceRange = ws.Cells(3, 2).CurrentRegion
    End If

    Select Case ExportRangeToSQL(sourceRange, conString, table, beforeSQL, afterSQL)
        Case 1
            MsgBox "The source range does not contain required headers", vbCritical
        Case Else
    End Select

    ' Refresh the data
    If Not qt Is Nothing Then
        Call RefreshWorksheetQueryTables(ws)
    ElseIf ws.Name = ws.Parent.Worksheets(1).Name Then
    Else
        Call TestImportUsingADO
    End If

End Sub

The called RefreshWorksheetQueryTables procedure updates all worksheet QueryTables and ListObjects.

Sub RefreshWorksheetQueryTables(ByVal ws As Worksheet)

    On Error Resume Next

    Dim qt As QueryTable

    For Each qt In ws.QueryTables
        qt.Refresh BackgroundQuery:=True
    Next

    Dim lo As ListObject

    For Each lo In ws.ListObjects
        lo.QueryTable.Refresh BackgroundQuery:=True
    Next

End Sub

The called GetTopQueryTable function returns the most top QueryTable object connected to a database.

Function GetTopQueryTable(ByVal ws As Worksheet) As QueryTable

    On Error Resume Next

    Set GetTopQueryTable = Nothing

    Dim lastRow As Long
    lastRow = 0

    Dim qt As QueryTable
    For Each qt In ws.QueryTables
        If qt.ResultRange.row > lastRow Then
            lastRow = qt.ResultRange.row
            Set GetTopQueryTable = qt
        End If
    Next

    Dim lo As ListObject

    For Each lo In ws.ListObjects
        If lo.SourceType = xlSrcQuery Then
            If lo.QueryTable.ResultRange.row > lastRow Then
                lastRow = lo.QueryTable.ResultRange.row
                Set GetTopQueryTable = lo.QueryTable
            End If
        End If
    Next

End Function

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Excel Data Export to SQL Server using SaveToDB Add-In

The SaveToDB add-in allows saving data changes from Excel to databases.

You may save data using the Save button at the ribbon or from VBA macros.

The simplest scenario is saving changes to a single target table. It works without coding.
Moreover, you may load data from tables, views, or stored procedures.

If you need to save the data to multiple normalized tables, you have to use stored procedures for INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE operations. It is not so hard.

Procedure TestExportUsingSaveToDB

The macro saves data changes of the active table to a database and reloads the data.

Sub TestExportUsingSaveToDB()

    Dim addIn As COMAddIn
    Dim addInObj As Object

    Set addIn = Application.COMAddIns("SaveToDB")
    Set addInObj = addIn.Object

    addInObj.Save

End Sub

Code comments:

The SaveToDB add-in makes a lot of work behind the scene.

It saves table metadata, a copy of loaded data, and data changes on hidden sheets.
You may even close the workbook. When the Save action is called, it builds and sends
INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE statements (or specified stored procedures) to a database.

You may learn hidden sheets using the SaveToDB, Options, Developer Options tab, and generated SQL commands using the SaveToDB, Save, View Save Changes SQL menu item.

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Connection String Functions

The example contains several useful functions for working with connection strings.

Function OleDbConnectionString

If the Username parameter is empty, the function returns an OLE DB connection string for trusted connection.

Function OleDbConnectionString(ByVal Server As String, ByVal Database As String, _
    ByVal Username As String, ByVal Password As String) As String

    If Username = "" Then
        OleDbConnectionString = "Provider=SQLOLEDB.1;Data Source=" & Server _
            & ";Initial Catalog=" & Database _
            & ";Integrated Security=SSPI;Persist Security Info=False;"
    Else
        OleDbConnectionString = "Provider=SQLOLEDB.1;Data Source=" & Server _
            & ";Initial Catalog=" & Database _
            & ";User ID=" & Username & ";Password=" & Password & ";"
    End If

End Function

Function OdbcConnectionString

If the Username parameter is empty, the function returns an ODBC connection string for trusted connection.

Function OdbcConnectionString(ByVal Server As String, ByVal Database As String, _
    ByVal Username As String, ByVal Password As String) As String

    If Username = "" Then
        OdbcConnectionString = "Driver={SQL Server};Server=" & Server _
            & ";Trusted_Connection=Yes;Database=" & Database
    Else
        OdbcConnectionString = "Driver={SQL Server};Server=" & Server _
            & ";UID=" & Username & ";PWD=" & Password & ";Database=" & Database
    End If

End Function

Function GetTestConnectionString

You may use this code to test the example deployed in Microsoft Azure SQL Database.

Function GetTestConnectionString() As String

    GetTestConnectionString = OleDbConnectionString( _
        "ko7h266q17.database.windows.net", "AzureDemo50", _
        "excel_user@ko7h266q17", "ExSQL_#02")
    ' GetTestConnectionString = OleDbConnectionString(".", "AzureDemo50", "", "")

End Function

Function GetTestQuery

You may try any of SELECT or EXECUTE queries.

Function GetTestQuery() As String

    GetTestQuery = "SELECT * FROM dbo04.ExcelTest"
    ' GetTestQuery = "EXEC dbo04.uspExcelTest"

End Function

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Conclusion

You can use the attached example code to import-export data between Microsoft Excel and SQL Server.

The code works fine with Microsoft SQL Server 2005-2016 and Microsoft Azure SQL Database, and in Microsoft Excel 2003-2016.
You may adapt it to another database platforms like MySQL, Oracle, or DB2 as the code uses OLE DB and ODBC connections.

You may also use the SaveToDB add-in as a database layer starting Excel 2007.
SaveToDB allows implementing projects with fewer efforts as it solves database layer tasks from the box.

Download

Example Source Code
Importing and Exporting Excel and SQL Server Data Using VBA
Includes source codes and examples for working with SQL Server using VBA
Version: 1.8 | 07/06/2017 | 0.1MB | Article
SaveToDB Add-In and Examples
SaveToDB Add-In for Microsoft Excel
The add-in allows using Microsoft Excel as a client application platform
Version: 7.8.1 | 07/17/2017 | 17.7MB | Homepage | Article 1 | Article 2
SaveToDB Examples for VBA Developers
The package includes Excel application examples with source codes for VBA developers
Version: 7.8 | 07/05/2017 | 15.9MB | Homepage | Article
E-books
E-book. Excel Applications. 10 Steps for Database Developers
The e-book shows how to create database client applications using Excel
Version: 1.0 | 03/20/2017 | 2.3MB
E-book. Excel Applications. 10 Steps for VBA Developers
The e-book shows how to create database client applications with VBA
Version: 1.0 | 03/20/2017 | 2.4MB
E-book. Excel Applications. 11 Steps for Advanced Users
The e-book shows how to create multi-user Excel applications with no SQL or VBA use
Version: 1.0 | 03/20/2017 | 2.7MB

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