XL97: How to Create Web Query (.iqy) Files

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SUMMARY

This article explains how to create Web query (.iqy) files for use with Microsoft Excel 97.

MORE INFORMATION

In Microsoft Excel 97, Web queries allow you to query data from a specific World Wide Web, Internet, or intranet site and retrieve the information directly into a Microsoft Excel worksheet. Microsoft Excel 97 includes some sample Web queries.

Definition of a Web Query File

A Web query file is a text file that contains from one to four lines of text where each line of text is separated by a carriage return. Web query files can be created in any text editor, such as Notepad, and they are saved with the .iqy extension.

Creating a Web Query File

To create a Web query file, follow these steps:
  1. Start a text editor, such as Notepad.
  2. Type the four lines of text in the text editor using the following information:
    First Line: Type of Query
    The first line in the Web query file tells Microsoft Excel what type of query the file contains. At this time, the following are the only valid query types:

    WEB <line omitted>

    If you omit the line, WEB is the assumed value.
    Second Line: Version of Query
    The second line of a Web query file tells Microsoft Excel the version of the query that is being executed. At this time, the following are the only valid versions:

    1 <line omitted>

    NOTE: If you specify the type of query in the first line, you must specify a version in the second line. If you omit the type, you must also omit the version.
    Third Line: Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
    The third line of a Web query file determines the Web document on which the query acts. Unless the Web document is a POST type (see the "Fourth Line: POST Parameters" section), this information is the only required value in the Web query file .

    Type the URL in one of the following formats.
              File location                     URL format
          -------------------------------------------------------------------
          Web document                    http://<server>/<file>
          File stored locally             <drive>:\<directory>\<file>
          File stored on a network        \\<server>\<share>\<directory>\<file>
    						
    where <server> is the server name that contains the Web document or file on the network drive, <file> is the name of the document, <drive> is the drive that contains the local file, <directory> is the folder name that contains the local file, and <share> is the name of the share on the server.
    Fourth Line: POST Parameters
    The fourth line of a Web query file contains POST parameters. Note that this line is optional and must be included only if the third line (the URL) exceeds 200 characters in length as a result of adding parameters.

    When you query a Web document for information, the parameters sent to the Web document can be sent in one of two ways: GET or POST.

    When you use the GET method, data values are included in the same line as the URL. The following example illustrates how to type the line
          http://<server>/<file>parameters>
    						
    where <server> is the name of the server that contains the Web document, and <file> is the name of the document.

    When you use the POST method, data values are sent in a separate line. The following example illustrates how to type the line
          http://<server>/<file>
          parameters
    						
    where <server> is the name of the server that contains the Web document, and <file> is the name of the document.
  3. After you type all the required lines, save the new file as a text file with the .iqy extension (for example, save the file as Myquery.iqy).
  4. Quit the text editor.

Using Static and Dynamic Parameters in a Web Query

In Web queries, you can use static and/or dynamic parameters. Static parameters send query data without prompting you for any values. Dynamic parameters prompt you to type one or more values when the Web query is executed.

The syntax for parameters is as follows:
<parameter>=<value string>
where <parameter> is the name of a parameter (for example, stock) and <value string> is a value.

The value string can be one of the following values.
   Parameter type   Value string
   -----------------------------------------------------------
   Static           value1
   Dynamic          ["value1","Please enter the first value:"]
				
In the dynamic value string, the first argument (value1) is the name of the value to be entered. The second argument is the message that appears when the Web query is executed.

If multiple parameters are required, separate them with an ampersand character (&). The following example illustrates the syntax:
quote1=stock1&quote2=stock2
When multiple values are sent for a single parameter, separate them with a plus sign (+). The following example illustrates the syntax:
quote1=stock1+stock2&quote2=stock3+stock4
You can combine static and dynamic parameters within a single parameter string. The following example illustrates the syntax:
quote1=stock1&quote2=["stock2","Please enter the second value:"]

Examples of Web Query Files

The following examples are designed to demonstrate the syntax used by Web query files in Microsoft Excel 97.

NOTE: The following examples are not functional Web queries.

Example One:

This example sends the value "wyut" to the Client.exe and retrieves a value. You are not prompted to type any values. The parameter is sent using the GET method.
   WEB
   1
   http://www.weylandyutani.com/cgi-bin/client.exe?quote=wyut
				
If you like, you can omit the first two lines and use the following line:
     http://www.weylandyutani.com/cgi-bin/client.exe?quote=wyut
				
It is acceptable to omit the first two lines when you create the .iqy file. This is true for all of the examples shown in this article.

Example Two:

This example sends the values "wyut" and "hypd" to the Client2.exe, and then retrieves values. You are not prompted to type any values. The parameters are sent using the POST method.

   WEB
   1
   http://www.weylandyutani.com/cgi-bin/client2.exe
   quote1=wyut&quote2=hypd
				
Example Three:

This example prompts you to type a stock symbol, sends that symbol to the Client.exe, and retrieves a value. The parameters are sent using the GET method.

NOTE: The third and fourth lines of this example should be typed on a single line in your text file.
    WEB
   1
   http://www.weylandyutani.com/cgi-bin/client.exe?quote1=
      ["stock1","Please enter a stock symbol:"]
				

Example Four

This example sends the value "wyut" and a value that you are prompted to enter to the Client2.exe, and then retrieves the values. The parameters are sent using the POST method.
   WEB
   1
   http://www.weylandyutani.com/cgi-bin/client2.exe
   quote1=wyut&quote2=["stock2","Please enter a stock symbol:"]
				

REFERENCES

"Microsoft Excel Web Resource Kit for Microsoft Excel 97," pages 4-6

Properties

Article ID: 157482 - Last Review: October 8, 2003 - Revision: 2.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbfaq kbofficeupdate kbprb kbweb KB157482
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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