How To - Guide to Importing Data from a MySQL Database to Excel using MySQL for Excel
By Javier Treviño on Dec 07, 2012
Fetching data from a database to then get it into an Excel spreadsheet to do analysis, reporting, transforming, sharing, etc. is a very common task among users. There are several ways to extract data from a MySQL database to then import it to Excel; for example you can use the MySQL Connector/ODBC to configure an ODBC connection to a MySQL database, then in Excel use the Data Connection Wizard to select the database and table from which you want to extract data from, then specify what worksheet you want to put the data into. Another way is to somehow dump a comma delimited text file with the data from a MySQL table (using the MySQL Command Line Client, MySQL Workbench, etc.) to then in Excel open the file using the Text Import Wizard to attempt to correctly split the data in columns.
These methods are fine, but involve some degree of technical knowledge to make the magic happen and involve repeating several steps each time data needs to be imported from a MySQL table to an Excel spreadsheet. So, can this be done in an easier and faster way? With MySQL for Excel you can.
MySQL for Excel features an Import MySQL Data action where you can import data from a MySQL Table, View or Stored Procedure literally with a few clicks within Excel. Following is a quick guide describing how to import data using MySQL for Excel.
This guide assumes you already have a working MySQL Server instance, Microsoft Office Excel 2007 or 2010 and MySQL for Excel installed.
1. Opening MySQL for Excel
Being an Excel Add-In, MySQL for Excel is opened from within Excel, so to use it open Excel, go to the Data tab located in the Ribbon and click MySQL for Excel at the far right of the Ribbon.
2. Creating a MySQL Connection (may be optional)
If you have MySQL Workbench installed you will automatically see the same connections that you can see in MySQL Workbench, so you can use any of those and there may be no need to create a new connection.
If you want to create a new connection (which normally you will do only once), in the Welcome Panel click New Connection, which opens the Setup New Connection dialog. Here you only need to give your new connection a distinctive Connection Name, specify the Hostname (or IP address) where the MySQL Server instance is running on (if different than localhost), the Port to connect to and the Username for the login.
If you wish to test if your setup is good to go, click Test Connection and an information dialog will pop-up stating if the connection is successful or errors were found.
3.Opening a connection to a MySQL Server
To open a pre-configured connection to a MySQL Server you just need to double-click it, so the Connection Password dialog is displayed where you enter the password for the login.
4. Selecting a MySQL Schema
After opening a connection to a MySQL Server, the Schema Selection Panel is shown, where you can select the Schema that contains the Tables, Views and Stored Procedures you want to work with. To do so, you just need to either double-click the desired Schema or select it and click Next >.
5. Importing data…
All previous steps were really the basic minimum needed to drill-down to the DB Object Selection Panel where you can see the Database Objects (grouped by type: Tables, Views and Procedures in that order) that you want to perform actions against; in the case of this guide, the action of importing data from them.
a. From a MySQL Table
To import from a Table you just need to select it from the list of Database Objects’ Tables group, after selecting it you will note actions below the list become available; then click Import MySQL Data.
The Import Data dialog is displayed; you can see some basic information here like the name of the Excel worksheet the data will be imported to (in the window title), the Table Name, the total Row Count and a 10 row preview of the data meant for the user to see the columns that the table contains and to provide a way to select which columns to import.
The Import Data dialog is designed with defaults in place so all data is imported (all rows and all columns) by just clicking Import; this is important to minimize the number of clicks needed to get the job done. After the import is performed you will have the data in the Excel worksheet formatted automatically.
If you need to override the defaults in the Import Data dialog to change the columns selected for import or to change the number of imported rows you can easily do so before clicking Import. In the screenshot below the defaults are overridden to import only the first 3 columns and rows 10 – 60 (Limit to 50 Rows and Start with Row 10).
If the number of rows to be imported exceeds the maximum number of rows Excel can hold in its worksheet, a warning will be displayed in the dialog, meaning the imported number of rows will be limited by that maximum number (65,535 rows if the worksheet is in Compatibility Mode). In the screenshot below you can see the Table contains 80,559 rows, but only 65,534 rows will be imported since the first row is used for the column names if the Include Column Names as Headers checkbox is checked.
b. From a MySQL View
Similar to the way of importing from a Table, to import from a View you just need to select it from the list of Database Objects’ Views group, then click Import MySQL Data.
The Import Data dialog is displayed; identically to the way everything looks when importing from a table, the dialog displays the View Name, the total Row Count and the data preview grid.
Since Views are really a filtered way to display data from Tables, it is actually as if we are extracting data from a Table; so the Import Data dialog is actually identical for those 2 Database Objects.
Note that you can override the defaults in the Import Data dialog in the same way described above for importing data from Tables. Also the Compatibility Mode warning will be displayed if data exceeds the maximum number of rows explained before.
c. From a MySQL Procedure
Too import from a Procedure you just need to select it from the list of Database Objects’ Procedures group (note you can see Procedures here but not Functions since these return a single value, so by design they are filtered out). After the selection is made, click Import MySQL Data.
The Import Data dialog is displayed, but this time you can see it looks different to the one used for Tables and Views. Given the nature of Store Procedures, they require first that values are supplied for its Parameters and also Procedures can return multiple Result Sets; so the Import Data dialog shows the Procedure Name and the Procedure Parameters in a grid where their values are input. After you supply the Parameter Values click Call.
After calling the Procedure, the Result Sets returned by it are displayed at the bottom of the dialog; output parameters and the return value of the Procedure are appended as the last Result Set of the group. You can see each Result Set is displayed as a tab so you can see a preview of the returned data. You can specify if you want to import the Selected Result Set (default), All Result Sets – Arranged Horizontally or All Result Sets – Arranged Vertically using the Import drop-down list; then click Import.
After the import is performed, the data in the Excel spreadsheet looks like the following screenshot. Note in this example all Result Sets were imported and arranged vertically.
As you can see using MySQL for Excel importing data from a MySQL database becomes an easy task that requires very little technical knowledge, so it can be done by any type of user. Hope you enjoyed this guide!
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