Integrate Live IBM Cloud Object Storage Data into Custom Business Apps Built in Power Apps

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Use CData Connect Cloud to create a virtual SQL Server Database for IBM Cloud Object Storage data and integrate live IBM Cloud Object Storage data into apps built in Microsoft Power Apps.

Power Apps is a service for building and using custom business apps that connect to your data and work across the web and mobile — without the time and expense of custom software development. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, you get instant, cloud-to-cloud access to IBM Cloud Object Storage data from the apps you build using Power Apps. This article shows how to connect Connect Cloud from Power Apps and build an app based on live IBM Cloud Object Storage data.

CData Connect Cloud provides a pure SQL, cloud-to-cloud interface for IBM Cloud Object Storage, allowing you to easily integrate with live IBM Cloud Object Storage data in Power Apps — without replicating the data. CData Connect Cloud looks exactly like a SQL Server database to Power Apps and uses optimized data processing out of the box to push all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to IBM Cloud Object Storage, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return IBM Cloud Object Storage data.

Create a Virtual SQL Database for IBM Cloud Object Storage Data

CData Connect Cloud uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Login to Connect Cloud and click Databases.
  2. Select "IBM Cloud Object Storage" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to IBM Cloud Object Storage.

    Register a New Instance of Cloud Object Storage

    If you do not already have Cloud Object Storage in your IBM Cloud account, follow the procedure below to install an instance of SQL Query in your account:

    1. Log in to your IBM Cloud account.
    2. Navigate to the page, choose a name for your instance and click Create. You will be redirected to the instance of Cloud Object Storage you just created.

    Connecting using OAuth Authentication

    There are certain connection properties you need to set before you can connect. You can obtain these as follows:

    API Key

    To connect with IBM Cloud Object Storage, you need an API Key. You can obtain this as follows:

    1. Log in to your IBM Cloud account.
    2. Navigate to the Platform API Keys page.
    3. On the middle-right corner click "Create an IBM Cloud API Key" to create a new API Key.
    4. In the pop-up window, specify the API Key name and click "Create". Note the API Key as you can never access it again from the dashboard.

    Cloud Object Storage CRN

    If you have multiple accounts, you will need to specify the CloudObjectStorageCRN explicitly. To find the appropriate value, you can:

    • Query the Services view. This will list your IBM Cloud Object Storage instances along with the CRN for each.
    • Locate the CRN directly in IBM Cloud. To do so, navigate to your IBM Cloud Dashboard. In the Resource List, Under Storage, select your Cloud Object Storage resource to get its CRN.

    Connecting to Data

    You can now set the following to connect to data:

    • InitiateOAuth: Set this to GETANDREFRESH. You can use InitiateOAuth to avoid repeating the OAuth exchange and manually setting the OAuthAccessToken.
    • ApiKey: Set this to your API key which was noted during setup.
    • CloudObjectStorageCRN (Optional): Set this to the cloud object storage CRN you want to work with. While the connector attempts to retrieve this automatically, specifying this explicitly is recommended if you have more than Cloud Object Storage account.

    When you connect, the connector completes the OAuth process.

    1. Extracts the access token and authenticates requests.
    2. Saves OAuth values in OAuthSettingsLocation to be persisted across connections.
  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

Connecting to CData Connect Cloud

To use Connect Cloud to integrate IBM Cloud Object Storage data into your Power Apps, you need a new SQL Server connection:

  1. Log in to Power Apps
  2. Click Data -> Connections -> New connection
  3. Select SQL Server
  4. In the connection wizard:

    • Choose to connect directly
    • Set SQL server name to the address of your Connect Cloud instance (myinstance.cdatacloud.net)
    • Set SQL database name to the name of the virtual IBM Cloud Object Storage database you created earlier (like ibmcloudobjectstoragedb)
    • Set the Username and Password and click Create

Building a Data-Centric App for IBM Cloud Object Storage Data

With the connection to Connect Cloud configured, you are ready to integrate live IBM Cloud Object Storage data into the apps you build in Power Apps.

  1. Log in to Power Apps
  2. Click Create, hover over "Start from data" and click Make this app
  3. Select the SQL Server connection you created
  4. Search for or choose a table to work with
  5. Click Connect
  6. Customize the newly created app just like you would any other, including changing the layout and setting the fields exposed in BrowseScreen, DetailScreen, and EditScreen

At this point, you have an app with read access to live IBM Cloud Object Storage data that you can save and publish for use within your organization.

SQL Access to IBM Cloud Object Storage Data from Cloud Applications

Now you have a direct connection to live IBM Cloud Object Storage data from Microsoft Power Apps. You can create more connections and apps to drive business — all without replicating IBM Cloud Object Storage data.

To get SQL data access to 230+ SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources directly from your cloud applications, see the CData Connect Cloud.