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Using ODBC to read from Excel - mixed format columns

I currently am working on a VB.NET application that imports data from an
Excel spreadsheet that the customer filled in.
I used the following code to use ODBC to read the data from the spreadsheet,
and return it in a datatable.

Public Function ReadExcelDT(ByV al aFileName As String) As DataTable
' Open the Excel Spreadsheet, and using ODBC, read it into a DataTable for
later processing
Dim odbcConnectionS tring As String = _
"Driver={Micros oft Excel Driver (*.xls)};Driver Id=790;" & _
"Dbq=" & aFileName & ";"
Dim odbcConn As New OdbcConnection( odbcConnectionS tring)
Dim odbcCmd As New OdbcCommand("SE LECT * FROM [Sheet1$]", odbcConn)
Dim odbcAdapter As New OdbcDataAdapter (odbcCmd)
Dim Dt As New DataTable
odbcAdapter.Fil l(Dt)

odbcConn.Close( )
Return Dt
End Function
The problem: some of my columns are mixed format. In other words, some
fields are numeric, while others are alphabetic. My understanding of the way
that it works, it makes it's best "guess" what that format is supposed to
be, and all fields that are not in that format return only as DBNull values.
I also understand that the work-around for this is to enable something
called "import mode" in the connection string, so it would import everything
as text (including the numeric fields).
Unfortunately, I've had zero luck getting that working with ODBC. The only
code I have found on the internet (including Microsoft's site) regarding
enabling "import mode" is either using ADO or DAO, and both of those are
code in VB6.
The way I look at it, I have three choices:

1) Figure out how to enable "import mode" in ODBC
2) Figure out how to rewrite this code to use ADO or DAO (bearing in mind
that this is VB.NET)
3) Write my own Fill command that will "manually" read through the Excel
Spreadsheet (of course, in order to do that, I'll need to figure out how to
do that exactly).
Can anyone help?
Thanks in advance!

Nov 23 '05 #1
2 16910

I dont know if this is working on ODBC
"IMEX=1;" tells the driver to always read "intermixed " data columns as text

See for this



I hope this helps,

Nov 23 '05 #2
Kittipong Methaprayoon
1 New Member
After spending a while trying to find the solution for this problem. I managed to get around the problem using OldDb data adapter instead of Odbc. This is VB.NET code I suggest:

Dim ConnectionStrin g As String = "Provider=Micro soft.Jet.OLEDB. 4.0;Data Source=" & FileName & ";Extended Properties=""Ex cel 8.0;HDR=Yes;IME X=1"""
Dim Con As New OleDbConnection (ConnectionStri ng)
Dim CmdSelect As New OleDbCommand("S ELECT * FROM [MAIN$]", Con)
Dim Adapter As New OleDbDataAdapte r(CmdSelect)

More information can be found from


Best of Luck :)
Jun 25 '06 #3

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