Dan English's BI Blog

Welcome to my random thoughts in regards to Business Intelligence, databases, and other technologies

Installing Data Explorer Desktop Client

Posted by denglishbi on December 19, 2011

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In this post I will go over the installation of the new “Data Explorer” client tool that is available to download as an Office plugin providing you the ability to launch the tool from within Excel.  Data Explorer is a new tool available in the SQL Azure Labs in the cloud that allows you to do some self-service ETL capabilities.  You can pull in your data from Excel, flat files, databases, the web, data feeds, etc. and then mash the data up as well.  Along with this Microsoft will also provide you additional data recommendations form the Azure Data Marketplace that might be of interest to integrate with your data and then you can publish the new set of data.  Once the new data is published you can consume it back into Excel using the Excel plugin and also make it available to others to consume as well.

So let’s take a look at the requirements for this new Excel plugin:

System requirements

Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7, Windows Vista

  • .NET 3.5 SP1
  • Office 2010 SP1 or Office 2007

You can download the tool (32-bit or 64-bit) from the Microsoft Download Center here – SQL Azure Labs Codename “Data Explorer” Client (Labs Release)

Here is a quick walkthrough of the install process




Once you have this installed you will see that this adds a new add-in to Excel called ‘Data Explorer Excel Add-In’:


And this will add a new section in the ‘Data’ tab of the Excel Ribbon called ‘Data Explorer’ with two buttons, one opens the Data Explorer tool to create workspaces and work with data, and the other one allows you to connect so that you can consume data into Excel.


The current version of the Data Explorer client is:

Version: 1.0.2755.2 (Release)

For more information check out the following sites:

Check out some of the postings by fellow SQL Server MVPs Jamie Thomson and Chris Webb as well:

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