External Data

Data, whether for an enterprise application or quick analysis, can come from a myriad of sources. Dyalog provides the tools to access and manipulate data irrespective of the source. These tools could be integral to the APL interpreter or provided in an APL library.

A good place to start is the LOADDATA workspace, which contains example functions to read and write data in a variety of formats, including Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, XML files, SQL tables and CSV/text files.

Read more about the support that Dyalog and its tools provide for different data formats below.

Relational Database Access using SQAPL

SQAPL provides an interface to ODBC-compliant SQL databases including Oracle, MS Access, MySQL and DB2. Even properly-formatted text and CSV (comma separated value) files can be accessed using SQAPL.

SQAPL contains functions to read, write and manage SQL databases. It is supported on all platforms, although some platforms could incur an additional licence fee for the server component of SQAPL.

For more information about using SQAPL, see the SQL Interface Guide.

XML Formatted Data

Two tools enable you to do things like capture data from the web and analyse it with APL or export your APL data in a format compatible with other environments:

  • The system function ⎕XML converts between XML formatted data and an APL matrix format. The APL matrix format is much easier to analyse and manipulate, either under program control or interactively.
  • The XML library expands upon ⎕XML's capabilities, making it simple to serialise and deserialise APL data in an XML format.

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) Formatted Data

JSON is a widely used format for data interchange. Dyalog's ⎕JSON system function converts between JSON and a number of APL formats.

For more information about using ⎕JSON, see the Dyalog APL Language Reference Guide.

.NET Components

Dyalog for Microsoft Windows' ability to treat .NET assemblies as objects in your workspace means that you can access any data source that has a .NET API, including, but not limited to:

  • Microsoft Office files including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Access
  • Google Applications files including Docs, Maps, Sheets, Forms and Slides

SyncFusion WPF Components

Dyalog versions 14.0 and later for Microsoft Windows includes Syncfusion's WPF library, which has components to access Microsoft Word and Excel files, Adobe PDF files and Microsoft Project-compatible XML documents.

For more information, see Syncfusion and WPF. For a list of list of Syncfusion Controls and their APL translations, see Syncfusion Controls: Examples Using APL.

Memory Mapped Files using the System Function ⎕MAP

The system function ⎕MAP allows you to treat data on file as an APL array in the workspace.


Dyalog for Windows natively supports these Microsoft technologies, enabling you to interface with applications and data sources that employ them.