External Data Connections

SpreadsheetML allows for the definition of top level data connection objects that describe how to retrieve data from external sources. These connection objects are independent of the constructs in the spreadsheet application that display data such as tables, PivotTables, etc.

Some information about a connection is considered part of the connection's definition. Other information is not inherently part of the connection, but it describes the way the connection is to be used by the containing workbook. Note that in many cases, the spreadsheet application does not need knowledge of the command syntax for the external data source (e.g., database query language), and simply stores a command string that was created by a data provider API (e.g., an ODBC driver).

A connection's definition can be established in a standalone connection file for easier sharing and reuse, but this reference documentation deals with the XML representation for external data connections that is directly embedded within a SpreadsheetML document. This embedded representation is expected whenever external data is used, and ensures portability of the document and continued operation of the external query in the most cases.