In Excel 2016, I can create a connection to an Oracle database (via ODBC) using Microsoft Query or the Connection Wizard.

Creating a connection using one of those methods works as expected. The external data is brought into a sheet as a table. And a connection is created.

Next, I want to reuse the connection when creating PivotTables.

Option 1:

Click a cell within the Excel table and insert a PivotTable based on that named table/range.

That technically works; the PivotTable directly references the Excel table/range.

But there seems to be a quirk: In order to refresh the data in the PivotTable, I need to hit Refresh All twice. If I only hit Refresh All once, then only the table gets refreshed, not the PivotTable.

That quirk is confusing for users. The table and PivotTable become out-of-sync if Refresh All is only clicked once. So I'm exploring alternative options.

Related: "When you do a refresh all, all the refreshes launch in parallel."

Option 2:

I want to try to reuse the connection when creating a new PivotTable from scratch. Instead of using option #1 (clicking a cell within the table and inserting a PivotTable based on that named table/range), I can click outside of the table, and insert a PivotTable to create a PivotTable by manually selecting the existing connection.

When I do that, it technically works.

But when I look at the Workbook's list of connections, I see that Excel has actually made a copy of the connection, rather than simply use the existing connection.

That's not what I want; I want to reuse the connection to avoid creating multiple redundant connections. I have multiple PivotTables I want to make, and they would all reference the same underlying Oracle data (the table references the same data too). So I have no reason to make multiple identical connections.


Is there a way to reuse an existing external datasource connection for a PivotTable? (without creating a duplicate connection)

  • Based on your research you already seem to be aware, to avoid the parallel refresh issue you EITHER have to 1) use multiple connections or 2) use VBA do a double refresh, possibly more if you have more data manipulation layers (e.g., base powerquery data only connections, reference connections, load to table, and pivot from table would require 4 refereshes). Until MS fixes this, you'll have to pick the route that works best in your organization/environment.
    – gns100
    Aug 15 at 16:54
  • I found this link that provides some interesting details related to parallel refreshes, It was written in 2019 so I don't now if excel was updated to take advantage of this: blog.crossjoin.co.uk/2019/03/26/…
    – gns100
    Aug 15 at 17:12
  • @gns100 It turns out, all I had to do to get rid of the double refresh problem was disable Enable background refresh in the connection properties: i.stack.imgur.com/MGK50.png. Now, only a single refresh is required.
    – User1974
    Aug 15 at 20:03

1 Answer 1


It looks like I can solve the double refresh problem in Option #1 by disabling the Enable background refresh setting in the connection properties:

enter image description here

Now, only a single refresh is required.

So I can use Option #1, making Option #2 unnecessary.

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