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Analyze Act CRM Data in R

Use standard R functions and the development environment of your choice to analyze Act CRM data with the CData JDBC Driver for Act CRM.

Access Act CRM data with pure R script and standard SQL on any machine where R and Java can be installed. You can use the CData JDBC Driver for Act CRM and the RJDBC package to work with remote Act CRM data in R. By using the CData Driver, you are leveraging a driver written for industry-proven standards to access your data in the popular, open-source R language. This article shows how to use the driver to execute SQL queries to Act CRM and visualize Act CRM data by calling standard R functions.

Install R

You can match the driver's performance gains from multi-threading and managed code by running the multithreaded Microsoft R Open or by running open R linked with the BLAS/LAPACK libraries. This article uses Microsoft R Open 3.2.3, which is preconfigured to install packages from the Jan. 1, 2016 snapshot of the CRAN repository. This snapshot ensures reproducibility.

Load the RJDBC Package

To use the driver, download the RJDBC package. After installing the RJDBC package, the following line loads the package:

library(RJDBC)

Connect to Act CRM as a JDBC Data Source

You will need the following information to connect to Act CRM as a JDBC data source:

  • Driver Class: Set this to cdata.jdbc.actcrm.ActCRMDriver
  • Classpath: Set this to the location of the driver JAR. By default this is the lib subfolder of the installation folder.

The DBI functions, such as dbConnect and dbSendQuery, provide a unified interface for writing data access code in R. Use the following line to initialize a DBI driver that can make JDBC requests to the CData JDBC Driver for Act CRM:

driver <- JDBC(driverClass = "cdata.jdbc.actcrm.ActCRMDriver", classPath = "MyInstallationDir\lib\cdata.jdbc.actcrm.jar", identifier.quote = "'")

You can now use DBI functions to connect to Act CRM and execute SQL queries. Initialize the JDBC connection with the dbConnect function.

The User and Password properties, under the Authentication section, must be set to valid Act! user credentials. In addition to the authentication values, see the following:

  • Connecting to Act! Premium

    In addition to the authentication values, the URL to Act! is also required; for example https://eup1-iis-04.eu.hosted.act.com/.

    Additionally, you must specify the ActDatabase you will connect to. This is found by going to the About Act! Premium menu of your account, at the top right of the page, in the ? menu. Use the Database Name in the window that appears.

  • Connecting to Act! Premium Cloud

    To connect to your Act! Premium Cloud account, you also need to specify the ActCloudName property. This property is found in the URL address of the Cloud account; for example https://eup1-iis-04.eu.hosted.act.com/ActCloudName/.

Note that retrieving ActCRM metadata can be expensive. It is advised that you set the CacheMetadata property to store the metadata locally.

Built-in Connection String Designer

For assistance in constructing the JDBC URL, use the connection string designer built into the Act CRM JDBC Driver. Either double-click the JAR file or execute the jar file from the command-line.

java -jar cdata.jdbc.actcrm.jar

Fill in the connection properties and copy the connection string to the clipboard.

Below is a sample dbConnect call, including a typical JDBC connection string:

conn <- dbConnect(driver,"jdbc:actcrm:URL=https://myActCRMserver.com;User=myUser;Password=myPassword;ActDatabase=MyDB;")

Schema Discovery

The driver models Act CRM APIs as relational tables, views, and stored procedures. Use the following line to retrieve the list of tables:

dbListTables(conn)

Execute SQL Queries

You can use the dbGetQuery function to execute any SQL query supported by the Act CRM API:

activities <- dbGetQuery(conn,"SELECT ActivityDisplayName, Subject FROM Activities")

You can view the results in a data viewer window with the following command:

View(activities)

Plot Act CRM Data

You can now analyze Act CRM data with any of the data visualization packages available in the CRAN repository. You can create simple bar plots with the built-in bar plot function:

par(las=2,ps=10,mar=c(5,15,4,2)) barplot(activities$Subject, main="Act CRM Activities", names.arg = activities$ActivityDisplayName, horiz=TRUE)