Setting Up Google Sheets ODBC Connection: 2 Easy Steps

on Data Integration, Google sheets, JDBC, ODBC, ODBC Connector, SQL, Tutorials • March 25th, 2022 • Write for Hevo

Google Sheets ODBC

The most extensively used interface for connecting programs to data is ODBC. ODBC is built for maximum compatibility, which means that a single application can use the same source code to access many database management systems (DBMSs).

ODBC provides open database connectivity to a range of data sources, including MYSQL, MS-ACCESS, MSSQL, Oracle, and others, using simple APIs.

The Google Sheets ODBC is a powerful tool that gives you access to live data from live Google Sheets directly from any application that supports ODBC. In this article, you will learn how to set up your Google Sheets ODBC connection.

Table Of Contents

Prerequisites

  • ODBC Drivers (32-bit and 64-bit support)
  • Google Sheets
  • SQL Database

What is Google Sheets?

Google Sheets is a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) application that free spreadsheet tool launched by Google in 2012. It is a web-based platform that can be accessed remotely from anywhere anytime. Users can store up to 5 million cells in a single sheet. Multiple users can work simultaneously on the same Google Sheet and enable essay collaboration.

Google Sheets also offers a revision history of the sheet to keep track of which user made what changes and can restore to any of the previous versions of the sheet. In Google Sheets, you can choose from a variety of schedules, budgets, and other pre-made spreadsheets that are designed to make your work that much better and your life easier.

Key Features of Google Sheets

Some of the main features of Google Sheets are listed below:

  • Offline Mode: Google Sheets also allows users to work in offline mode once the sheet is created and make changes to the sheet.
  • Explore Panel: Google Sheets comes with Explore Panel that allows users to get instant insights. It provides a list of suggested graphs that are representative of the data entered in the Spreadsheet. 
  • Security: Google Sheets offers user access security control that lets the owner of the sheet decide who can view, edit, copy or download the sheet.

To know more about Google Sheets, click here.

What is ODBC?

In both non-relational and relational database management systems, ODBC has become the de-facto standard for standards-based data access. An open standard API for accessing a database is known as Open Database Connectivity (ODBC). You can access files in various databases by utilizing ODBC statements in a program. 

The ODBC standard was created to standardize SQL database access. Because ODBC is extensively supported (including support from IBM and Oracle) and is a cross-platform data access standard, it is now more widely used than ADO and OLE DB.

ODBC and JDBC remain the most popular data access standards for SQL data sources. In contrast, standards like ADO and OLE DB are expected to become obsolete.

ODBC Architecture

The architecture of ODBC is made up of four parts:

  • Application: It processes data and uses ODBC functions to submit SQL commands and get responses.
  • Driver Manager: On behalf of an application, the driver manager loads and unloads drivers. It also processes or forwards ODBC function calls to a driver.
  • Driver: The driver handles ODBC function calls, sends SQL requests to a specified data source, and gives the results to the application. If needed, the driver alters an application’s request to be compatible with the associated DBMS’s syntax.
  • Data Source: This is the data the user wishes to access, the operating system, database management system (DBMS), and network platform (if any) utilized to access the DBMS.
ODBC Architecture
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Key Features of ODBC Driver

Some of the main features of ODBC are listed below:

  • SQL Syntax: ODBC supports SQL syntax for easy understanding and SQL statement passed to ODBC matches with standard SQL and writes respective SQL statement.
  • Error Codes: ODBC comes with an error code mechanism that enables users to see issues that occur while executing and processing the SQL statements.
  • Rich Metadata: ODBC offers support for metadata that allows functions to get data about functions and datatypes.

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Google Sheets ODBC Driver

The ODBC driver interprets ODBC function calls, sends SQL requests to a specific data source, and returns the results to the application. The ODBC driver can also change the syntax of an application’s request to match the syntax allowed by the linked database. Many data sources, including MongoDB, Google Sheets, Salesforce, Spark, and others, provide ODBC drivers.

The Google Sheets ODBC Driver is a tool that lets you connect to live Google Sheets data from any ODBC-capable application or device. You can connect to Google Sheets ODBC using the driver in the same way you’ll connect to any other ODBC data source. There is no need for another software installation because the drivers are self-contained.

ODBC Data Sources 

A data source is a source that includes the connection information needed to retrieve that data. Oracle RDBMS, SQL Server, a spreadsheet, and a text file are examples of data sources. Also, server location, database name, login ID, password, and different ODBC driver settings that explain how to connect to the data source are examples of connection information. 

To connect to any of the data sources listed above, it is essential you:

  • Install the correct ODBC driver on the computer that has the data source.
  • Create a data source name (DSN) by storing connection information in the Microsoft Windows registry or a DSN file with the ODBC Data Source Administrator.

Steps to Set Up Google Sheets ODBC Driver Integration

Now that you have understood about the ODBC and Google Sheets. In this section, you will learn about the steps to set up Google Sheets ODBC Integration. For this, you must ensure you have the correct ODBC driver for the data source you want to connect to. The following steps for Google Sheets ODBC Driver Integration are listed below:

Step 1: Setting Up ODBC Driver

  • In the Control Panel, search for Administrative tools, as shown in the image below.
Administrative tools
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  • If you don’t see the Administrative tool in your control panel, click on the category and change the setting to small icons.
  • Double-click Administrative Tools. Keep an eye out for an ODBC connection. There are two ODBC data sources there – 32 bit and 64 bit. Double-click on either the 32 or 64-bit data sources, as shown in the image below.
ODBC Data Sources
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  • Note: Double-check with the database connection requirements to determine if it’s 32 or 64 bit.
  • Depending on the data source you want, click User DSN, System DSN, or File DSN, as shown in the image below.
ODBC Data Source Administrator
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  • Click “Add” once you’ve picked which connection to use.
  • First, select drivers to discover which type of drivers is already installed. This is believed to be installed by default through Windows, as shown in the image below.
Drivers in ODBC Data Source
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  • This is where you check if the driver needed to connect to a specific database is installed. If not, you must first ensure that it is installed before proceeding.
  • When it comes to setting this up, User DSN and System DSN are the two most essential connections to pay attention to. The User DSN connection setup differs from the System DSN connection setup. 
  • The User DSN allows only one user to access the database. On the other hand, the System DSN allows everyone who uses your computer to connect to the same database.
  • Once you have decided on the connection to use, click add and select the driver you’d like to use to create a data source, as shown in the image below.
Creating New Data Source
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  • Click “Finish” or “Next” to continue. If the ODBC driver you require is not listed, contact the database administrator for instructions on how to obtain the proper driver.
  • Provide the required connection information, as shown in the image below.
Creating New Data Source to SQL
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  • Here’s the important part: the server’s name to which you want to connect is required. The server’s name could be an IP address or combinations of letters and numbers. 
  • This authentication is essentially attempting to determine who you are. Why do you want to connect? Are they linked to your Windows login or not?
  • Windows NT authentication is enabled by default, using the network login ID, your domain, and the same Windows login. 
  • It enables authentication or remote database access. You could leave it at that.
Enabling Authentication
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  • However, these remote databases frequently have their own login ID and password. For this, you’d choose SQL Server authentication to open the login ID and password. After you have filled in your password, click Next.
  • When you’re done, you’ll notice that you’ve accomplished the configuration for the remote database connection.

Step 2: Connecting Google Sheets ODBC

  • You can connect to Google sheets by granting Google access and setting the Google sheets connection property to the Google sheets’ name or feed URL. After your access is authenticated, run a query to the Spreadsheets view to see a list of information about the spreadsheets in your Google Drive.
  • You can use the integrated credentials or register your own OAuth app to access Google APIs on behalf of specific users. This can be done with the OAuth 2.0 authentication protocol.
  • OAuth also allows you to log in on behalf of users in a Google Apps domain using a service account. To use a service account for authentication, you must first register an application and receive the OAuth JWT data.
  • Click the “Test Connection” to confirm that the DSN is properly connected to Google Sheets ODBC. To see the table definitions for Google Sheets, go to the Tables tab.

That’s it! You have completed the Google Sheets ODBC Driver Integration.

Conclusion

In this article, you went through the basics of ODBC, ODBC drivers, how to set ODBC drivers up, and how to set up Google sheets ODBC connection. You have just configured the ODBC driver and set up Google sheets ODBC Integration. You can now query local and distant data simultaneously.

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