REST API Connector for MS Access

In this article you will learn how to integrate REST API data in MS Access without coding in just a few clicks (live / bi-directional connection to REST API). REST API Connector can be used to extract and output JSON/XML/CSV/String data coming from REST API web service calls (Web URL)..

Using REST API Connector you will be able to connect, read, and write data from within MS Access. Follow the steps below to see how we would accomplish that.

Download Documentation

Create ODBC Data Source (DSN) based on ZappySys JSON Driver

If your API is JSON Type and responding the json string response, in that case using ZappySys JSON Driver we can make the JSON API call and parse the json string. Let's configure the API call in the JSON Driver

  1. Install ZappySys ODBC PowerPack.

  2. Open ODBC Data Sources (x64):
    Open ODBC Data Source

  3. Create a User Data Source (User DSN) based on ZappySys JSON Driver

    Create new User DSN for REST API

    You should create a System DSN (instead of a User DSN) if the client application is launched under a Windows System Account, e.g. as a Windows Service. If the client application is 32-bit (x86) running with a System DSN, use ODBC Data Sources (32-bit) instead of the 64-bit version.
  4. Select Url or File and paste the following Url for this example OR you can load existing connection string as per this article.

    NOTE: Here for demo, We are using odata API, but you need to refer your own API documentation and based on that you need to use your own API URL and need to configure connection based on API Authentication type

  5. Now enter JSONPath expression in Array Filter textbox to extract only specific part of JSON file as below ($.value[*] will get content of value attribute from JSON document. Value attribute is array of JSON documents so we have to use [*] to indicate we want all records of that array)

    NOTE: Here, We are using our desired filter, but you need to select your desired filter based on your requirement.


    Click on Test Connection button to view whether the Test Connection is SUCCESSFUL or Not.

    $.value[*]
    ZappySys ODBC Driver - Configure JSON Driver
  6. Once you configured a data source, you can preview data. Hit Preview tab, and use similar settings to preview data:
    ZappySys ODBC Driver - Preview JSON Driver

  7. Click OK to finish creating the data source

  8. That's it; we are done. In a few clicks we configured the call to JSON API using ZappySys JSON Connector.

Create ODBC Data Source (DSN) based on ZappySys XML Driver

In upper section we check how to make the JSON API call using JSON Driver and parse the json string response. Same way if your API is XML/SOAP Type and responding the xml string response, in that case using ZappySys XML Driver we can make the XML/SOAP API call and parse the xml string. Let's configure the API call in the XML Driver.

  1. Install ZappySys ODBC PowerPack.

  2. Open ODBC Data Sources (x64):
    Open ODBC Data Source

  3. Create a User Data Source (User DSN) based on ZappySys XML Driver

    Create new User DSN for REST API

    You should create a System DSN (instead of a User DSN) if the client application is launched under a Windows System Account, e.g. as a Windows Service. If the client application is 32-bit (x86) running with a System DSN, use ODBC Data Sources (32-bit) instead of the 64-bit version.
  4. Select Url or File and paste the following Url for this example OR you can load existing connection string as per this article.

    NOTE: Here for demo, We are using odata API, but you need to refer your own API documentation and based on that you need to use your own API URL and need to configure connection based on API Authentication type

  5. Now enter Path expression in Array Filter textbox to extract only specific part of XML file as below ($.feed.entry[*] will get content of entry attribute from XML document. Entry attribute is array of XML documents so we have to use [*] to indicate we want all records of that array)

    NOTE: Here, We are using our desired filter, but you need to select your desired filter based on your requirement.


    Click on Test Connection button to view whether the Test Connection is SUCCESSFUL or Not.

    $.feed.entry[*]
    ZappySys ODBC Driver - Configure XML Driver
  6. Once you configured a data source, you can preview data. Hit Preview tab, and use similar settings to preview data:
    ZappySys ODBC Driver - Preview XML Driver

  7. Click OK to finish creating the data source.

  8. That's it; we are done. In a few clicks we configured the call to XML API using ZappySys XML Connector.

Create ODBC Data Source (DSN) based on ZappySys CSV Driver

In upper section we check how to make the XML/Soap API call using XML Driver and parse the xml string response. Same way if your API is CSV Type or want to parse the CSV file data, in that case using ZappySys CSV Driver we can make the API call or read the CSV file data.

  1. Install ZappySys ODBC PowerPack.

  2. Open ODBC Data Sources (x64):
    Open ODBC Data Source

  3. Create a User Data Source (User DSN) based on ZappySys CSV Driver

    ZappySys CSV Driver
    Create new System DSN for REST API
    You should create a System DSN (instead of a User DSN) if the client application is launched under a Windows System Account, e.g. as a Windows Service. If the client application is 32-bit (x86) running with a System DSN, use ODBC Data Sources (32-bit) instead of the 64-bit version.
  4. Select Url or File.

    Read CSV API in MS Access

    • Paste the following Url. In this example, We are using Zip format CSV File URL, but you need to refer your CSV File/URL.

      https://zappysys.com/downloads/files/test/cust-1.csv.zip
      Click on Test Connection button to view whether the Test Connection is SUCCESSFUL or Not. ZappySys ODBC Driver - Configure CSV Driver

    Read CSV File in MS Access

    • You can use pass single file or multiple file path using wildcard pattern in path and you can use select single file by clicking [...] path button or multiple file using wildcard pattern in path.

      Note: If you want to operation with multiple files then use wild card pattern as below
      (when you use wild card pattern in source path then system will treat target path as folder regardless you end with slash)
      
      C:\SSIS\Test\reponse.csv (will read only single reponse.csv file)
      C:\SSIS\Test\j*.csv (all files starting with file name j)
      C:\SSIS\Test\*.csv (all files with .csv Extension and located under folder subfolder)
      
      Click on Test Connection button to view whether the Test Connection is SUCCESSFUL or Not. ZappySys ODBC Driver - Configure CSV Driver

  5. Once you configured a data source, you can preview data. Hit Preview tab, and use similar settings to preview data:
    ZappySys ODBC Driver - Preview CSV Driver

  6. Click OK to finish creating the data source

  7. That's it; we are done. In a few clicks we configured the read the CSV data using ZappySys CSV Connector.

Read data in Microsoft Access from the ODBC data source

  1. First of all, open MS Access and create a new MS Access database.

  2. In the next step, start loading ODBC data source we created: Load ODBC data source

  3. Then click next until data source selection window appears. Select the data source we created in one of the previous steps and hit OK:

    RestapiDSN
    DSN selection

  4. Continue with tables and views selection. You can extract multiple tables or views:
    DSN Table Selection

  5. Finally, wait while data is being loaded and once done you should see a similar view: In Access DSN Data Loaded

Using Linked Table for Live Data (Slow)

Linked tables in Microsoft Access are crucial for online databases because they enable real-time access to centralized data, support scalability, facilitate collaboration, enhance data security, ease maintenance tasks, and allow integration with external systems. They provide a flexible and efficient way to work with data stored in online databases, promoting cross-platform compatibility and reducing the need for data duplication.

  1. Real-Time Data Access:
    Access can interact directly with live data in online databases, ensuring that users always work with the most up-to-date information.
  2. Centralized Data Management:
    Online databases serve as a centralized repository, enabling efficient management of data from various locations.
  3. Ease of Maintenance:
    Updates or modifications to the online database structure are automatically reflected in Access, streamlining maintenance tasks.
  4. Adaptability to Changing Requirements:
    Linked tables provide flexibility, allowing easy adaptation to changing data storage needs or migration to different online database systems.

Let's create the linked table.

  1. Launch Microsoft Access and open the database where you want to create the linked table.

  2. Go to the "External Data" tab on the Ribbon. >> "New Data Source" >> "From Other Sources" >> "ODBC Database" Load ODBC data source

  3. Select the option "Link to Data Source by creating a linked table: Load ODBC data source

  4. Continue by clicking 'Next' until the Data Source Selection window appears. Navigate to the Machine Data Source tab and select the desired data source established in one of the earlier steps. Click 'OK' to confirm your selection.

    RestapiDSN
    DSN selection

  5. Proceed to the selection of Tables and Views. You have the option to extract multiple tables or views:
    DSN Table Selection

  6. When prompted to select Unique Key column DO NOT select any column(s) and just click OK: MS Access Linked Table - Key selection

  7. Finally, Simply double-click the newly created Linked Table to load the data: MS Access Linked Table

Guide to Effectively Addressing Known Issues

Discover effective strategies to address known issues efficiently in this guide. Get solutions and practical tips to streamline troubleshooting and enhance system performance, ensuring a smoother user experience.

Fewer Rows Imported

The reason for this is that MS Access has a default query timeout of 60 seconds, which means it stops fetching data if the query takes longer than that. As a result, only a limited number of rows are fetched within this time frame.

To address this, we can adjust the Query Timeout by following the steps below.
WOW6432NodeODBCQueryTimeout

The path may vary depending on the MS Access bitness, such as 32-bit versus 64-bit.

\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Jet\4.0\Engines\ODBC
\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Jet\4.0\Engines\ODBC
\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\REGISTRY\MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Access Connectivity Engine\Engines\ODBC

We can identify this issue by examining the Fiddler Log, as MS Access doesn't display any error regarding partial import, which is quite unusual

Please refer to this link : How to use Fiddler to analyze HTTP web requests
fiddlerlogs

#Deleted word appears for column value in MS Access for Linked Table mode

If you used Linked Table mode to get external data and it shows #deleted word rather than actual value for column after you open then most likely its following issue.

Make sure to re-create Linked Table and DO NOT select any key column when prompted (Just click OK) MS Access Linked Table Mode - #Deleted Error
How to Fix
MS Access Linked Table Mode - Do not select Key column

Table Selection UI Opening Delays

The Table selection UI takes a significant amount of time to open after clicking the 'New Data Source' -> 'Other Data Sources' -> 'ODBC'

The reason for this issue is that MS Access sends a dummy query, leading to several unnecessary pagination cycles before an error is thrown. To mitigate this, we can prevent wasted cycles by configuring the 'Throw error if no match' setting on the Filter Options Tab.
Throw error if no match

Enhancing Performance through Metadata Addition (Reduces Query Time)

We can optimize query performance by creating Virtual Tables (i.e. views with custom SQL) on Datasource and incorporating META=static columns. Learn how to capture static metadata in this guide.
Performance Options - Generate Metadata Manually

Execute the query initially, save the metadata by selecting 'Save to Meta' (choose Compact Format), and then click 'Save to Clipboard.' Utilize the resulting list by pasting it into the META attribute as follows: 'META=paste here.'
Generate Metadata in ZappySys ODBC Drivers

SELECT * FROM products
    WITH(
        META='id:String(20); title:String(100);  description:String(500);'
    )

Optimize Workflow with Automated Import

Employ Automated Import when Linked Tables are not feasible, and we need to depend on Imported Tables with static data.

While using Linked Tables sometime it encounter errors, and we are left with no alternative but to utilize Imported Tables, Automatic Refresh becomes crucial in such scenarios.

Here's a guide on automating refreshes. We can set up automatic refresh on different events, such as when the database opens, a form is opened, or a button is clicked.

To initiate the import process, follow these steps:

  • Perform the data import using the standard manual steps.
  • In the final step, we'll encounter a checkbox labeled 'Save Import Steps.' Ensure to check this option.
  • After saving the steps, we can locate their name in the Save Imports UI. Identify the name associated with the saved steps.
  • "Now, we can execute the code as shown below:"
Private Sub cmdYes_Click()
    Label0.Visible = True
    DoCmd.RunSavedImportExport "Import-DATA.products"
    Label0.Visible = False
End Sub

Configuring pagination in the REST API Driver

ZappySys REST API Driver equips users with powerful tools for seamless data extraction and management from REST APIs, leveraging advanced pagination methods for enhanced efficiency. These options are designed to handle various types of pagination structures commonly used in APIs. Below are the detailed descriptions of these options:

  1. Page-based Pagination: This method works by retrieving data in fixed-size pages from the Rest API. It allows you to specify the page size and navigate through the results by requesting different page numbers, ensuring that you can access all the data in a structured manner.

  2. Offset-based Pagination: With this approach, you can extract data by specifying the starting point or offset from which to begin retrieving data. It allows you to define the number of records to skip and fetch subsequent data accordingly, providing precise control over the data extraction process.

  3. Cursor-based Pagination: This technique involves using a cursor or a marker that points to a specific position in the dataset. It enables you to retrieve data starting from the position indicated by the cursor and proceed to subsequent segments, ensuring that you capture all the relevant information without missing any records.

  4. Token-based Pagination: In this method, a token serves as a unique identifier for a specific data segment. It allows you to access the next set of data by using the token provided in the response from the previous request. This ensures that you can systematically retrieve all the data segments without duplication or omission.

Utilizing these comprehensive pagination features in the ZappySys REST API Driver facilitates efficient data management and extraction from REST APIs, optimizing the integration and analysis of extensive datasets.

For more detailed steps, please refer to this link: How to do REST API Pagination in SSIS / ODBC Drivers

ZappySys Authentication

ZappySys offers various authentication methods to securely access data from various sources. These authentication methods include OAuth, Basic Authentication, Token-based Authentication, and more, allowing users to connect to a wide range of data sources securely.

ZappySys Authentication is a robust system that facilitates secure access to data from a diverse range of sources. It includes a variety of authentication methods tailored to meet the specific requirements of different data platforms and services. These authentication methods may involve:

  1. OAuth: ZappySys supports OAuth for authentication, which allows users to grant limited access to their data without revealing their credentials. It's commonly used for applications that require access to user account information.

  2. Basic Authentication: This method involves sending a username and password with every request. ZappySys allows users to securely access data using this traditional authentication approach.

  3. Token-based Authentication: ZappySys enables users to utilize tokens for authentication. This method involves exchanging a unique token with each request to authenticate the user's identity without revealing sensitive information.

By implementing these authentication methods, ZappySys ensures the secure and reliable retrieval of data from various sources, providing users with the necessary tools to access and integrate data securely and efficiently. For more comprehensive details on the authentication process, please refer to the official ZappySys documentation or reach out to their support team for further assistance.

For more details, please refer to this link: ZappySys Connections

Create Custom Stored Procedure in ZappySys Driver

You can create procedures to encapsulate custom logic and then only pass handful parameters rather than long SQL to execute your API call.

Steps to create Custom Stored Procedure in ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders anywhere inside Procedure Body. Read more about placeholders here

  1. Go to Custom Objects Tab and Click on Add button and Select Add Procedure:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Stored Procedure

  2. Enter the desired Procedure name and click on OK:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Stored Procedure Name

  3. Select the created Stored Procedure and write the your desired stored procedure and Save it and it will create the custom stored procedure in the ZappySys Driver:
    Here is an example stored procedure for ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders anywhere inside Procedure Body. Read more about placeholders here

    CREATE PROCEDURE [usp_get_orders]
        @fromdate = '<<yyyy-MM-dd,FUN_TODAY>>'
     AS
        SELECT * FROM Orders where OrderDate >= '<@fromdate>';
    

    ZappySys Driver - Create Custom Stored Procedure

  4. That's it now go to Preview Tab and Execute your Stored Procedure using Exec Command. In this example it will extract the orders from the date 1996-01-01:

    Exec usp_get_orders '1996-01-01';

    ZappySys Driver - Execute Custom Stored Procedure

  5. Let's generate the SQL Server Query Code to make the API call using stored procedure. Go to Code Generator Tab, select language as SQL Server and click on Generate button the generate the code.
    As we already created the linked server for this Data Source, in that you just need to copy the Select Query and need to use the linked server name which we have apply on the place of [MY_API_SERVICE] placeholder.

    SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY([MY_API_SERVICE], 'EXEC usp_get_orders @fromdate=''1996-07-30''')

    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

  6. Now go to SQL served and execute that query and it will make the API call using stored procedure and provide you the response.
    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

Create Custom Virtual Table in ZappySys Driver

ZappySys API Drivers support flexible Query language so you can override Default Properties you configured on Data Source such as URL, Body. This way you don't have to create multiple Data Sources if you like to read data from multiple EndPoints. However not every application support supplying custom SQL to driver so you can only select Table from list returned from driver.

If you're dealing with Microsoft Access and need to import data from an SQL query, it's important to note that Access doesn't allow direct import of SQL queries. Instead, you can create custom objects (Virtual Tables) to handle the import process.

Many applications like MS Access, Informatica Designer wont give you option to specify custom SQL when you import Objects. In such case Virtual Table is very useful. You can create many Virtual Tables on the same Data Source (e.g. If you have 50 URLs with slight variations you can create virtual tables with just URL as Parameter setting.

  1. Go to Custom Objects Tab and Click on Add button and Select Add Table:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Table

  2. Enter the desired Table name and click on OK:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Table Name

  3. And it will open the New Query Window Click on Cancel to close that window and go to Custom Objects Tab.

  4. Select the created table, Select Text Type AS SQL and write the your desired SQL Query and Save it and it will create the custom table in the ZappySys Driver:
    Here is an example SQL query for ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders also. Read more about placeholders here

    SELECT
      "ShipCountry",
      "OrderID",
      "CustomerID",
      "EmployeeID",
      "OrderDate",
      "RequiredDate",
      "ShippedDate",
      "ShipVia",
      "Freight",
      "ShipName",
      "ShipAddress",
      "ShipCity",
      "ShipRegion",
      "ShipPostalCode"
    FROM "Orders"
    Where "ShipCountry"='USA'

    ZappySys Driver - Create Custom Table

  5. That's it now go to Preview Tab and Execute your custom virtual table query. In this example it will extract the orders for the USA Shipping Country only:

    SELECT * FROM "vt__usa_orders_only"

    ZappySys Driver - Execute Custom Virtual Table Query

  6. Let's generate the SQL Server Query Code to make the API call using stored procedure. Go to Code Generator Tab, select language as SQL Server and click on Generate button the generate the code.
    As we already created the linked server for this Data Source, in that you just need to copy the Select Query and need to use the linked server name which we have apply on the place of [MY_API_SERVICE] placeholder.

    SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY([MY_API_SERVICE], 'EXEC [usp_get_orders] ''1996-01-01''')

    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

  7. Now go to SQL served and execute that query and it will make the API call using stored procedure and provide you the response.
    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

Conclusion

In this article we discussed how to connect to REST API in MS Access and integrate data without any coding. Click here to Download REST API Connector for MS Access and try yourself see how easy it is. If you still have any question(s) then ask here or simply click on live chat icon below and ask our expert (see bottom-right corner of this page).

Download REST API Connector for MS Access Documentation 


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Download REST API Connector for MS Access Documentation

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  • Consume real-time REST API API data in MS Access

  • REST API ODBC Driver | ODBC Driver for REST API | ODBC REST API Driver | SSIS REST API Source | SSIS REST API Destination

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  • Load REST API in MS Access

  • Load REST API data in MS Access

  • Read REST API data in MS Access

  • REST API API Call in MS Access