Office 365 Integration: How to connect local Excel files to the Office 365 cloud?
The Layer2 Cloud Connector for Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint
connects almost any on-premise data source, e.g. ODBC, OLEDB, OData, Microsoft
.NET based providers, File content (Excel, XML, CSV, Access, FoxPro, dBase), SQL
databases like SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, IBM DB2, IBM AS/400, IBM Informix,
Notes, SharePoint, Exchange, Active Directory, Navision, SAP and many more
directly to native SharePoint lists and libraries in the Microsoft Office 365
cloud - or any other Microsoft SharePoint installation - in just minutes without
any programming. For any questions please use the FAQ Web
Formor contact [email protected] directly.
You can connect Excel file data sources in your corporate network to native SharePoint lists in the cloud or on-premise using the Layer2 Cloud Connector and the installed Microsoft OLEDB Excel driver.
First take a look at the Excel data source, a product list in our sample:
Fig. Excel list as external data
source to connect to a native SharePoint Online list.
As a next step let's create a connection to the data source for this Excel list
in the Cloud Connector.
Fig. Example Excel data source
description in the Layer2 Cloud Connector.
You can copy the connection string
and select statement from here:
Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0; Data Source=H:\temp\products.xlsx;
Extended properties='Excel 12.0 Xml; HDR=Yes';
select * from [products$]
As a next step lets create a data destination list in the cloud. You have
to create the list and appropiate columns manually. You can use any list type
you want, e.g. contacts for contact-based data (to have all native list features
available, like offline sync with Outlook). In this case a custom list type is
Next we have to connect the Cloud Connector to the newly created list as a
data destination. We select the Layer2 Data Provider for SharePoint (CSOM) that is
included in the package and automatically licensed and installed with the
connector. The connection string should be as shown below with data source, list
name, authentication method and user data. See documentation for more options.
Fig. Configuration of the data
destination for the local Excel data in SharePoint Online.
As a next step we have to map the Excel data source columns to the SharePoint
data destination columns.
Fig. Column / field mapping of data
source and destination in the Layer2 Cloud Connector.
Please note that the product name is mapped to the SharePoint title column to be
fully SharePoint compatible. Data conversion between different data types is
managed by the Cloud Connector.
Now you are ready to run the connection - manually in the Connection Manager
(for testing) or in background using the Windows scheduling service. After first
synchronization your list should look like this:
Fig. Local Excel data provided in a
native SharePoint list in the cloud - always up-to-date.
- If the error message "The
'Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0' provider is not registered on the local
machine" comes up, the Excel driver is not installed or not in the
version required (32/64-bit). You can use the Layer2 Cloud Connector Connection
Manager with 32-bit OR 64-bit mode to make use of all available providers, 32-
- If required, you will find the Excel driver here at Microsoft downloads.
- [Sheet1$] is the Excel page, that contains the data. In German use
[Tabelle1$]. Please take a look at your Excel page label to adapt, e.g.
[products1$] in our sample.
- Please remove NULL values (empty rows) in Excel. It may cause issues with
the primary key.
- You have to set a primary key for Excel to connect and update connected data
sources. In our sample the column ID is used. You can use any unique column, or
several columns that are unique together. The driver not returns the primary
- You can assign any column in Excel to the Title column in the SharePoint
list, like the "Product" column in this sample, using the Cloud Connector
- In this sample the current user is used to connect to Excel. Keep in mind,
that the Windows Service has its own user account to access the Excel file. That
is especially important in case of using file shares for Excel data. You have to
take care about required access rights in this case.
- Please note that almost any systems and applications (e.g. CRM, ERP etc.)
can export Excel data to connect to the cloud using the Cloud Connector.
- Please note that the Cloud Connector generally is not about bulk import.
Only changed source data is changed in the data destination. That opens a lot of
opportunities, e.g. change notifications by RSS or email, or workflows
in SharePoint in some relevant business cases (e.g. Units in Stock is too
- You can add "SharePoint-only" columns to the
list (e.g. for attachments, enterprise metadata) - the content is kept when
updating the item.
- Data source and data destination are connected only while syncing (just for
seconds). Your SharePoint users do access native SharePoint lists and libraries
with high performance and all list features (e.g. search, mobile access
- Bi-directional connections are generally supported as well - but not for
this Excel provider. Please use a database for this, e.g. Microsoft Access or
- About large Excel lists: No problem with lists > 5.000 items (above list
view threshold). Please use the AllItems view to connect. For example an update
of 50.000 items with only a few records changed since last update should take
one or two minutes only, depending on configuration.