Connect to Data

Connectors provide report data from a variety of sources.


XLReporter uses Connectors to access data for a report.
  • Industry Connectors
  • Database Connectors
  • Text File Connectors
  • Manual Data Entry Connectors
  • Data Logger Connectors
All Connectors

Industry Connectors

Industry connectors manage values directly from the process or from values logged by Historians.

For historian connectors, raw values and summary data are available as well as industry specific calculations, metrics and KPIs provided by XLReporter.

Connectors include interfaces to Rockwell Automation, GE Digital, Wonderware, Emerson Process Management and more, as well as standards set by the OPC Foundation such as OPC DA, OPC UA and OPC HDA.


Database Connectors

Database connectors interface to business standards such as OLE DB and ODBC, relational databases such as SQL Server and MySQL, and file formats such as CSV. With these connectors, the user retrieves data for the report without needing to know any SQL programming.

If the database consists of time-series data, that is data where each row is timestamped, XLReporter provides a Database Historian connector which opens the data to the calculations normally associated with the industry connectors.


Text File Connectors

Text File connectors interface to a single file or a set of text files. In the case of a set, the files are "stitched" by name to appear as a single entity. From a users's perspective, when file data is retrieved with this connector, they do not need to know any details about the structure of the files.

Manual Data Entry Connector

The manual data entry connector is used to replace pen and paper with electronic forms in order to end paperwork and increase efficiency. Operator rounds, laboratory results, process readings and operator comments are a few examples of forms better utilized in a database than a filing cabinet. Use on PCs, laptops or tablets throughout the facility and remote locations.


Step 1 : Design a Database

Manage the form database with the simple-to-use Database Management tools provided by XLReporter. No database expertise or SQL knowledge required.

Configure tables and columns in databases such as MS Access, SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle.


Step 2 : Design a Form Template

Use the design studio in Excel or import a form already in use in the organization. Add powerful features such as data validation, embedded calculations, cell locking and conditional formatting.

Apply value bounds to ensure data integrity, restrict the editable areas, provide drop down lists and tooltips to aid in the input.


Step 3 : Deploy for Collection

Deploy the forms on a local PC or across the company network. On a mobile tablets, use the context sensitive keypad to assist in data entry. If the connection to the network (wifi) is lost, data is stored local and pushed forward when reconnected.

User credentials and privileges ensure that the right people are presented with the right forms.

Completed forms can be locked from edits.

play_s_amber.pngWatch How to Create a Water Treatment Data Entry Form

Data Logger Connector

XLReporter's data logger uses the connector to log raw process data and compressed analytics to a database (such as MS Access, SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle).
It is not intended to replace commercially available historians and is used for data sources that do not provide any historical archiving.

In the event that database communication is lost, data is stored locally. Once the connection is re-established, the data is pushed forward automatically to the database.


Schedule the logging:

  • On Time
  • On Change
  • On Specific Values
  • On Process Event
  • and more

Compress the volume of data using:

  • Value Limits
  • Value Deadbands
  • Time Deadbands

Analytic Compression

Another method to reduce the volume of data stored is analytical compression. In this case, sampled values are compressed into analytical metrics before they are saved to the database. For example,

  • Minimum, maximum, averages and totals from analog samples
  • Run times and counts from discrete samples

Use XLReporter connectors to the leading historians, PLCs, business databases and industry standards such as OPC
Design templates using all the features of Microsoft Excel and XLReporter functions specific for industry
Produce Workbook, encrypted PDF and Web reports, automatically or on-demand
Distribute reports by email, ftp, printer and file server or publish them to XLReporters web portal and access them by web browsers