Create an API Connection with Excel

[break]Don’t write code from scratch, don’t reinvent the wheel. Most of the time the solution is already ‘out there’. It will be much cheaper to buy and use ‘off the shelf’ than writing it yourself. (or paying us to write it.) As an example, the Windows Operating System is just a large set of API’s known as the WinAPI. You would not want to write Windows from scratch would you? For this reason, we always research using an api connection to the WinAPI. Or other 3rd party API with Excel whenever possible while working on a project.

With an Excel API Connection it is possible to connect with any other computer or web server. All those that offer an API ( Application Program Interface) connection. A large range and variety of API connections are available from the Met Office to Google.

Wikipedia  Definition

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How API Connections Work

First of all API connections work by sending a query to a computer. This takes the form of a text string. As a result the answer is then returned, also as a text string. These text strings are generated (assembled) and parsed (dissembled) using specific formats and rules. The most common of these formats are JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). Also REST (REpresentational State Transfer) an HTML based architecture.

Where Excel excels with using API’s is with its ability to build and format these strings. Doing so on demand using the clients data. Then parsing the response into usable data usable by the client. API connections have to be set up before use. This is done by registering with the API service and obtaining an authorisation code. Provided by the likes of Google, Ebay, or Amazon in the case of ecommerce.

An Excel developer can do this for you. But there are many downloadable software programs that do this for you as well. Functionality is very limited in the free versions. It is only by buying or with subscribing the client is given the ability to export the data. This begs the question why not build the whole thing in Excel in the first place. Therefore this is exactly what we do.

An Excel API connection is a classic example of Excel being a one-stop-shop for software solutions. We have direct experience of building fully automated applications that work in real time. With API’s like Google not just for obtaining daily or weekly statistics.

Create an API Connection with Excel

For more information on API connections: