How to Set Up RSLinx and DDE in Microsoft Excel

Written by michael butler
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RSLinx software from Rockwell Automation allows users to connect other Rockwell software applications. For example, a program that records how many items are produced in a factory can communicate with inventory software. Users can also set up Microsoft Excel to automatically take information from RSLinx and record it in a spreadsheet cell. This can be accomplished by using Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE). DDE is built into Microsoft Windows as a protocol for communication between applications.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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  1. 1

    Start the RSLinx program. Click on "Communications" in the menu bar, then select "Configure Drivers."

  2. 2

    Click the "Down" arrow button below "Available Driver Types." You will need to choose what type of connection to use, such as Ethernet or a wireless router. What you should choose will differ depending upon how your network is set up.

  3. 3

    Click "Add New." Type a name for the driver you chose, then click "OK."

  4. 4

    Enter the IP address for the driver. How to find this will vary depending on your network. Ask your system administrator for the information. Click "OK."

  5. 5

    Click "DDE/OPC" in the menu bar, then select "Topic Configuration." Click "New." In the next window, select "Remote ControlNet" in the "Bridge Device" drop-down menu.

  6. 6

    Type the name of the communications driver that you chose earlier, then click "OK."

  7. 7

    Open Microsoft Excel. Select the cell where you want the RSLinx information to post.

  8. 8

    Press "=" on your keyboard and enter the appropriate data for the program you are trying to set a DDE link with. The protocol is "Application Name|Topic!Item." So you would type "RSLinx|," then enter the other application name, such as "RSView32" or "RSLogic." Next, enter the item name for the data you want to import. Finding the item name will vary depending on the program and the data. You may need to experiment to get the right item name.

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