Using Stored Procedure as Data Source in Excel

When you want to use a SQL Server as external data source in excel, you can find, that it is not possible to select a stored procedure as a source of data in the Data Connection Wizard. This can lead to a conclusion, that it’s not possible to use a Stored Procedure as a source of data in Excel.

Excel Data Connection Wizard

Although, you cannot select a stored procedure, in the Data Connection Wizard, there is a simple workaround who to select a stored procedure as a source of data in Excel.

First, create a connection using the wizard and select any table as a source for the newly created connection. Once the connection is created, choose properties for the connection and switch to the Definition Tab.

Workbook Connections & Connection Properties

In the Definition type, change the Command Type to SQL and as Command text put the EXEC statement to execute the stored procedure. Once you enter, the Exec command, and confirm the dialog, you have fully configured  connection to SQL Server which source is a Stored Procedure.

Excel Connection Properties

On the dialog confirmation a warning message appears telling you, that the connection in Excel and the external connection files doesn’t match and that the link will be removed. Simply confirm the message by Yes as the connection will be stored in the excel workbook.

Confirmation of removing link to a connection file

Such modified connection you can use for importing data to Excel sheet, pivot table, pivot graph etc..

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SSIS with Excel Source/Destination on x64 SQL Server Instance

Not all people know, that the Excel file format is not supported by the x64 version of SQL server and the same apply to the SSIS runtime. This apply not only to excel but to all data sources for which you have only 32 bit drivers (e.g. ODBC drivers of external data sources etc.

Although you can develop the SSIS package with Excel source/destination in Business Intelligence Studio (BIDS)  on x64 machine, you can design the whole ETL process, but when you try to debug such package, you will receive an error message, that Excel file source is not supported on x64.

Debugging on x64 machine

If you want to debug a package on x64 machine, you have to set the environment not to use the x64 runtime. BIDS by default uses the x64 runtime on x64 machines so it is necessary to disable it. You can do this in the SSIS project properties.

SSIS Project Properties in BIDS

Once you set the Run64BitRuntime to false, you will be able to run and debug the package in the BIDS environment.

Running package on x64 version of SQL Server

As Mentioned above, you can set the SSIS properties, so the BIDS does not use the x64 runtime for running the package containing an Excel source/destination. Unfortunately this settings is only for design time debugging in the BIDS environment. When you deploy the package to the server and try to run it directly or from within and agent job, execution will fail as the Excel is not supported by x64 version of SQL Server.

SQL Server 2008 and newer

On the SQL Server 2008 and newer the solution is easy as the Job Step Properties dialog for a SQL Server Integration Services Package type has an option to execute the package using the 32 bit runtime. The option can be found on the Execution options tab. Once you set the “Use 32 bit runtime”, the SSIS package will run correctly on the x64 version of SQL Server 2008 and above. The option simply set the /X86 argument of the DTExec utility and you can see it on the Command Line tab, once you check it.

Agent Job Step Properties

SQL Server 2005

Situation is quite different on SQL Server 2005 as the Job Step Properties dialog doesn’t have the option to run the package using the X86 runtime. Although it seems, that we are blocked and it will not be possible to run such SSIS package on the x64 version of SQL Server 2005, there is one workaround you can use to run that package. The workaround is to use Operating System (CmdExec) task and use the x86 version of DTExec utility which is also installed on the x64 instance of SQL Server. It’s located in the SQL Server installation directory under “Program Files (X86)” in DTSBinn directory.

To simplify configuration, first choose the SQL Server Integration Services Package Type and select location a SSIS package you want to run.

New Job Step

Once you have selected the package and configured everything necessary for the package execution, you can switch to the Command Line tab where you can see all the necessary arguments to execute the DTExec utility. If you know all the arguments, you do not need to do this steps and simply configure the CmdExec task, although in this way you do not need to write the arguments manually.

New Job Step Command Line

After setting all the necessary parameters, change the step Type to Operating System (CmdExec). All the arguments for the DTExec appear in the command TextBox.

New Job Step - CmdExec

Now you only add the x86 version of DTExec utility including whole path to it.

New Job Step - CmdExec after update

After this, you have a SSIS Package with Excel source/destination (or other data source/destination with only 32bit drivers) configured to run on X64 instance of SQL Server.