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4D Database Export to Excel using ODBC

Posted on 2008-09-29
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Hi Folks

I am a power user/ certified external consultant of a third party developed industry specific package that is based on the 4D database engine. I'm based in Australia and the package was developed here as well. I want to enhance the standard reports provided by the package by extracting the data via ODBC to Excel. The third party developer is not willing to assist me as they see me as a competitor in terms of consulting income.

I'm an accountant, not a developer and I don't have programing skills. However, I have been around PCs a long time and am not afraid to tinker with software.

I'd love to receive your advice about:
(a) which ODBC to use,
(b) how to configure it to talk to the 4D database
(c) how to extract the data via the ODBC to Excel

Thanks in advance
Ozzie
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Question by:MauriceLSmith
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8 Comments
 
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Badotz earned 252 total points
ID: 22595857
This has helped me with connection strings in the past:

 1. In Notepad, or any other text editor, create a file named Temp.udl  

 2. Leave the file empty and save it to the Desktop

 3. Double-click the Temp.udl file

 4. The Data Link Properties dialog box appears

 5. In the Data Link Properties dialog box, click Provider. Select the appropriate provider from the list

 6. Click Connection and select the corresponding name of the server and the database
    Type the User Name and the Password
 
 7. Click Test Connection to test the connection

 8. Click OK

 9. Right-click Temp.udl and click 'Open With'
   
    If Notepad shows up as an option, click it, otherwise click 'Choose Program' and navigate
    through the list to notepad and select it

10. Copy the connection string to your application

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Author Comment

by:MauriceLSmith
ID: 22612708
Hi Badotz Thank you for your assistance.

I only managed to get to the first part of Point 5 without hassles. When I opened the Data Link Properties box the application is not listed there, I chose the "Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers" (is this the correct selection?). Then for Step 6 for the "data source name" I pasted in the directory path name to the application database. I entered the user name and password. Then I tested the connection. I received the following error message " Microsoft Data Link Error" "Data Source Name Too Long". No matter what I try in this section I receive the same message.

Your further assistance would be appreciated.

TIA
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Badotz
ID: 22613835
Make sure, in Step 4, you are on the first tab.

If your app is not ODBC-compliant, or the driver is not listed, then I cannot help you further.

You might search Google for downloadable drivers and try it again?
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LVL 51

Assisted Solution

by:Mark Wills
Mark Wills earned 248 total points
ID: 22616686
What version is it ?

Following might help a bit more with getting the ADO type coinnection using the udl link. http://www.4d.com/docs/CMU/CMU18426.HTM

Drivers can be retrieved from : http://www.4d.com/products/odbcdriver.html  or from http://www.downloaddatabase.com/databasemanagement/4d-odbc.html
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LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Mark Wills
ID: 22616759
That first link, wahty I was trying to say was, you will need to simply apply what it is saying into the new method using the ADO link...
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LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Mark Wills
ID: 22649617
Once you have established a link to the 4D database, or have the ODBC drivers installed, then in Excel you can start to query that database.

As a starting point, use the import external data wizard - found via "DATA" on the menu bar. Use the odbcdriver for 4d, and follow the prompts / directions. You can use MSQuery to get more programatic queries on the database...

And aplogies for the shocking typo's and grammar on the previous posting.
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