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Excel Connector

The Excel Connector allows you to set up a communication link between Excel and any OPC server. It is possible to subscribe to and view real-time data, and also write the data back. No programming, macros or add-ins are necessary. With just drag-and-drop or copy-and-paste, you can create Microsoft Excel sheets with live, animated OPC data.

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The Excel Connector supports connections to OPC servers with following specifications:3D box - Excel Option - transparent

  • OPC Data Access
  • OPC Unified Architecture (data access)

The Excel Connector is a product from the OPC Studio family, and technically it is contained in the same installation package. You can also easily combine the Excel Connector's easiness of development with all other options and features provided by QuickOPC, such as to add VBA code to handle more complicated tasks.

For more information:

Excel Connector User's Guide (online)

Getting Started

It's easy to get started. Essentially, you just double-click the desired OPC data in the Connectivity Explorer application, and then drag the changing grid cell to your Excel spreadsheet.

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For step-by-step instructions, see Getting Started under Excel in the User's Guide.

Features of Connectivity Explorer (click the picture to enlarge) include:

  • Selected data can be transferred to Excel, where it continues to stay subscribed, giving cell values that are dynamically updated with live OPC data.
  • Individual points, or a selected set of points, can be read or written to.
  • Point parameters can be edited before a subscription, read or write is made.
  • Multiple points can be easily subscribed to at once, using the "Bulk Add" command.
  • The live view can be turned online/offline with a single push of a button.
  • Single cell, or any range of cells can be copied to clipboard and pasted to other programs.
  • The currently displayed list of points can be saved to an XML file, or retrieved from a file.
  • Various connectivity options can be configured, and the configuration can be in turn used when the same data is accessed by Excel.

Demo OPC Excel Spreadsheet

connectivityrtdserverdemo large thumbExcel Connector comes with a demo Excel spreadsheet that shows various features of the product (click on the picture to enlarge).

You can use the demo spreadsheet to learn how to get most of the product.

On the spreadsheet, you will find:

  • How It Works: Explains RTD functions and their syntax.
  • OPC Specifications: Demonstrates data from various OPC specifications shown in Excel.
  • Information Kinds: Values, timestamps, qualities, associated error messages, etc.
  • Bidirectional Communication: How to easily write to OPC servers from Excel.
  • Data Types: Wide range is supported, and the sheet shows examples of that.

Under The Hood

OPC dynamic data make their way to Excel using a built-in Excel function (RTD) that you can use in any cell. RTD is Microsoft's preferred way to get real-time data into Excel, instead of the obsolete DDE. It is possible to type in the RTD function manually as with any other function, but it is by far easier to select the OPC data in Connectivity Explorer tool, and drag-and-drop (or copy&paste) them to Excel. The RTD function addresses a so-called Connectivity RTD Server, a COM component that is part of the Excel Connector, and this RTD server then performs the necessary communication with the data source.

Useful links: Documentation / Knowledge Base


Footnote & required disclosure: QuickOPC (including its Options) is a software development kit (SDK) for development of OPC clients and subscribers. Installing QuickOPC or its Options does not change system settings.