Publish IBM Cloud Object Storage-Connected Dashboards in Tableau Server

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IBM Cloud Object Storage Tableau Connector

The fastest and easiest way to connect Tableau to IBM Cloud Object Storage data. Includes comprehensive high-performance data access, real-time integration, extensive metadata discovery, and robust SQL-92 support.



Use the CData Tableau Connector for IBM Cloud Object Storage and Tableau Server to visualize live IBM Cloud Object Storage data.

Tableau Server is a visual analytics platform transforming the way businesses use data to solve problems. When paired with the CData Tableau Connector for IBM Cloud Object Storage, you get access to live IBM Cloud Object Storage data within Tableau Server. This article shows how to connect to IBM Cloud Object Storage in Tableau Desktop, publish a Data Source to Tableau Server, and build a simple chart on that data.

The CData Tableau Connectors enable high-speed access to live IBM Cloud Object Storage data in Tableau Server. Once you install the connector, you simply authenticate with IBM Cloud Object Storage and you can immediately start building responsive, dynamic visualizations and dashboards. By surfacing IBM Cloud Object Storage data using native Tableau data types and handling complex filters, aggregations, & other operations automatically, CData Tableau Connectors grant seamless access to IBM Cloud Object Storage data.

NOTE: The CData Tableau Connectors require Tableau 2020.3 or higher. If you are using an older version of Tableau, you will need to use the CData JDBC Driver for IBM Cloud Object Storage. If you wish to connect to IBM Cloud Object Storage data in Tableau Online, you will need to use CData CloudHub.

Enable Connectivity to IBM Cloud Object Storage in Tableau Server

Start by installing the CData Tableau Connector on the machine hosting Tableau Server and on a machine with Tableau Desktop.

  1. On the server machine, copy cdata.ibmcloudobjectstorage.taco and cdata.tableau.ibmcloudobjectstorage.lic (typically found in C:\Program Files\CData\CData Tableau Connector for IBM Cloud Object Storage\lib\
  2. Place the copies in the Tableau Server Connectors folder (C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server\data absvc\vizqlserver\Connectors)
  3. Restart Tableau Server

Connect to IBM Cloud Object Storage in Tableau Desktop

Once the connectors are installed on the Server machine, we can configure a connection to IBM Cloud Object Storage in Tableau Desktop and publish a IBM Cloud Object Storage-based Data Source to Tableau Server.

  1. Open Tableau Desktop
  2. Click More under Connect -> To a Server
  3. Select "IBM Cloud Object Storage by CData"
  4. Configure the connection and click "Sign In."

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.

Discover Schemas and Query Data

Once you establish the connection to IBM Cloud Object Storage data, you can configure which entities to visualize.

  1. Select CData from the Database pull-down menu.
  2. Select IBMCloudObjectStorage from the Schema pull-down menu.
  3. Drag the tables and views you wish to visualize onto the join area. You can include multiple tables.
  4. Select Update Now or Automatically Update. Update Now lets you preview the first 10,000 rows of the data source (or enter the number of rows you want to see in the Rows text box). Automatically Update auto-loads the changes in the preview area.

Publish Data to Tableau Server

After you configure the data you wish to visualize, you can publish the Data Source to a Tableau Server instance. In Tableau Desktop:

  1. Click Server -> Sign In
  2. Enter the URL for your Tableau Server
  3. Authenticate with Tableau Server credentials
  4. Click Server -> Publish Data Source and select your data source
  5. Click Publish
  6. Select the Project, name the Data Source, and optionally add a description
  7. Click Publish

Visualize IBM Cloud Object Storage Data in Tableau Server

With the Data Source published to Tableau Server, you are ready to visualize IBM Cloud Object Storage data.

  1. Login to your Tableau Server instance
  2. Select the Project where you published the Data Source
  3. Click the published Data Source
  4. Click New Workbook
  5. In the workbook, IBM Cloud Object Storage fields are listed as Dimensions and Measures, depending on the data type. The CData Tableau Connector discovers data types automatically, allowing you to leverage the powerful data processing and visualization features of Tableau.
  6. Drag a field from the Dimensions or Measures area to Rows or Columns. Tableau creates column or row headers.
  7. Select one of the chart types from the Show Me tab. Tableau displays the chart type that you selected.

Using the CData Tableau Connector for IBM Cloud Object Storage with Tableau Server, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on IBM Cloud Object Storage data. Download a free, 30-day trial and get started today.