An Excel-based DQL Query Tool

One of the items on my personal to do list was to create a simple DQL query tool using Excel.  To me, it seemed like a natural fit:  Excel was adept at displaying tabular data, it had a robust scripting language to implement the logic (VBA), and VBA was dot-Net-compliant so it could load the DFC PIA directly.  The only problem is that I waited too long to create this tool and the DFC PIA is no longer distributed or supported by EMC.

Instead of using the DFC PIA, I discovered Obba — a framework for integrating Java with spreadsheets, both Excel and Open Office.  It is a little “heavier” solution than I had hoped to create but useful and interesting nonetheless. I had envisioned the DQL Query Tool as more of an Excel Add-in or something as portable.  Obba launches a small, local, Java-based server to handle the integration instead of handling the DFC calls internally as the PIA would have.

You can download the Excel DQL Query Tool here  if you are interested.  I found that VBA/Obba programming takes a little getting used to in the way it handles variables, objects, and methods, but after a few examples it makes sense.

For details regarding installing and running Obba, see the Obba website (www.obba.info). For details regarding configuring and running the Excel query tool, see the README file included in the download.

Query Screen

Query Screen

Results Screen

Results Screen

Next, I think I will pursue creating a tool using the DFS RESTful services.  For this interface I will likely use Excel-REST.  Hopefully that integration will prove to be a little “lighter weight” than this one.

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