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COMP:Linking Spreadsheets to external databases

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OK, here's a question that I would Love someone to be able to answer:  does
anyone know how to link a spreadsheet to an external database?

Specifically, we use Quattro Pro spreadsheets to do alot of calculations.
We have wanted to be able to type a steel shape size and have the
spreadsheet access an external database of section properties and "pull in"
the desired properties to the spreadsheet into specific cell addresses for
design.  If someone has experience with this and could explain how it is
done, I would greatly appreciate it.  If anyone has an example, even
better!  The manual is not very clear on this subject.

Thank you!

Lorenzo