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Querying database from OOo with cell values as parameters?

By lionheart1982 ·
This question is a little confusing so I'm going to try and explain it.. the title is the best I could think of.

I'm looking at moving my company to OpenOffice.org to replace an aging Office 2000 setup, and avoid licensing costs (no budget).

On a near weekly basis, one of our sales people will email me a spreadsheet containing several thousand product SKUs, and ask for our current cost on them, typically to better price a quote for a customer. Right now, I will manually import the spreadsheet into SQL Server, run a join against the products table and then export the result back to a spreadsheet - in other words, it's the same spreadsheet with an added "Cost" column containing the results.

I know with Excel this is possible via Microsoft Query, although we haven't got it set up properly to use it, so I don't know how to go about it. However, is there any possible way to do this with OpenOffice? Ideally we would need to take, for example, Column A of the spreadsheet, which contains 5,000 rows each with a SKU, and somehow be able to query the products database for each of those SKUs, get the cost, and place the cost in Column B of the spreadsheet, next to the corresponding product.

I really have no idea if this is even possible. Given that we don't use it at the moment, it's not a big deal, but it does take up a good portion of my day having to run these queries/reports, and having a way for the end user to run their own without involving me would be a godsend. Our salespeople are pretty familiar with Access (and by extension should be comfortable with Base, if we go the OOo route), so maybe the best result would be to have them use that, which I know can be set up to query the database?

Any thoughts would be most helpful.

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