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Build Dynamics 365 Business Central Visualizations in Tableau Cloud



Use CData Connect Cloud to connect to live Dynamics 365 Business Central data and build visualizations in Tableau Cloud.

Tableau Cloud is an analytics platform fully hosted in the cloud. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, you get instant, cloud-to-cloud access to Dynamics 365 Business Central data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to connect to Dynamics 365 Business Central and build visualizations from Dynamics 365 Business Central data in Tableau Cloud.

CData Connect Cloud provides a pure SQL Server, cloud-to-cloud interface for Dynamics 365 Business Central, allowing you to easily build visualizations from live Dynamics 365 Business Central data in Tableau Cloud without installing connectors or publishing worksheets and data sources from Tableau Desktop. As you build visualizations, Tableau Cloud generates SQL queries to gather data. Using optimized data processing out of the box, CData Connect Cloud pushes all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to Dynamics 365 Business Central, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return Dynamics 365 Business Central data.

Configure Dynamics 365 Business Central Connectivity for Tableau Online

Connectivity to Dynamics 365 Business Central from Tableau Online is made possible through CData Connect Cloud. To work with Dynamics 365 Business Central data from Tableau Online, we start by creating and configuring a Dynamics 365 Business Central connection.

  1. Log into Connect Cloud, click Connections and click Add Connection
  2. Select "Dynamics 365 Business Central" from the Add Connection panel
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Dynamics 365 Business Central.

    To authenticate to Dynamics 365 Business Central, you must provide the User and AccessKey properties.

    To obtain the User and AccessKey values, navigate to the Users page in Dynamics 365 Business Central and then click on Edit. The User Name and Web Service Access Key values are what you will enter as the User and AccessKey connection string properties. Note that the User Name is not your email address. It is a shortened user name.

    To connect to data, specify OrganizationUrl. If you have multiple companies in your organization, you must also specify the Company to indicate which company you would like to connect to. Company does not need to be specified if you have only one company.

  4. Click Create & Test
  5. Navigate to the Permissions tab in the Add Dynamics 365 Business Central Connection page and update the User-based permissions.

Add a Personal Access Token

If you are connecting from a service, application, platform, or framework that does not support OAuth authentication, you can create a Personal Access Token (PAT) to use for authentication. Best practices would dictate that you create a separate PAT for each service, to maintain granularity of access.

  1. Click on your username at the top right of the Connect Cloud app and click User Profile.
  2. On the User Profile page, scroll down to the Personal Access Tokens section and click Create PAT.
  3. Give your PAT a name and click Create.
  4. The personal access token is only visible at creation, so be sure to copy it and store it securely for future use.

With the connection configured, you are ready to connect to Dynamics 365 Business Central data from Tableau Cloud.

Visualize Live Dynamics 365 Business Central Data in Tableau Cloud

The steps below outline creating a new data source in Tableau Cloud based on the virtual Dynamics 365 Business Central database in Connect Cloud and building a simple visualization from the data.

  1. Log into Tableau Cloud, select a account, and create a new workbook.
  2. In the new workbook, choose the Microsoft SQL Server Connector from the data wizard and fill in the values for your Connect Cloud instance.
    • Set Server to tds.cdata.com,14333
    • Set Database to the Dynamics 365 Business Central connection you created (e.g. D365BusinessCentral1)
    • Set Username to your Connect Cloud username (e.g. [email protected])
    • Set Password to a PAT for the above user
    • Check the Require SSL checkbox
  3. Select your newly created database and the table(s) you wish to visualize (defining relationships for JOINad tables as needed).
  4. Select Dimensions and Measures and configure your visualization.

Real-Time Access to Dynamics 365 Business Central Data from Cloud Applications

At this point, you have a direct, cloud-to-cloud connection to live Dynamics 365 Business Central data from your Tableau Cloud workbook. You can create new visualizations, build dashboards, and more, with no need to publish data sources and workbooks from Tableau Desktop. For more information on gaining live access to data from more than 100 SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources from cloud applications like Tableau Cloud, refer to our Connect Cloud page.