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Deploy the ADO.NET Provider for Airtable on an SSRS Report Server

Connect to Airtable data from multiple reports and pick up updates immediately: Create a shared data source on a native mode report server or a report server on a SharePoint farm.

This article walks you through deploying the CData ADO.NET Provider for Airtable on an SSRS report server. You will also create a shared data source; shared data sources enable connectivity to live Airtable data from multiple reports. You can connect to shared data sources from Report Designer in Visual Studio -- see the Using ADO.NET section in the help documentation for a guide to creating datasets in Report Designer.

Deploy the ADO.NET Provider

The provider installation automatically deploys the provider on report servers in native mode. On report servers in SharePoint mode, you can use the install-sprs.ps1 PowerShell script to deploy. Simply run the script from the lib subfolder in the installation directory, or pass in the "path" parameter.

Create a Shared Data Source for Airtable

You can create shared data sources directly from a report server or SharePoint site. Alternatively, you can use Report Designer to create shared data sources.

Report Designer

You can use Report Designer to create shared data sources on native mode report servers and report servers on a SharePoint server farm.

  1. In a Report Server Project in Visual Studio, right-click Shared Data Sources in Solution Explorer and click Add New Data Source.
  2. Enter a name for the data source and in the Type menu select CData Airtable Report.
  3. In the Connection String box, enter the connection string to connect to Airtable. A typical connection string is below: APIKey=keymz3adb53RqsU;BaseId=appxxN2fe34r3rjdG7;TableNames=TableA,...;ViewNames=TableA.ViewA,...;

    APIKey, BaseId and TableNames parameters are required to connect to Airtable. ViewNames is an optional parameter where views of the tables may be specified.

    • APIKey : API Key of your account. To obtain this value, after logging in go to Account. In API section click Generate API key.
    • BaseId : Id of your base. To obtain this value, it is in the same section as the APIKey. Click on Airtable API, or navigate to https://airtable.com/api and select a base. In the introduction section you can find "The ID of this base is appxxN2ftedc0nEG7."
    • TableNames : A comma separated list of table names for the selected base. These are the same names of tables as found in the UI.
    • ViewNames : A comma separated list of views in the format of (table.view) names. These are the same names of the views as found in the UI.

    When you configure the connection, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

  4. Set the folder and server URL in your project properties. If you are publishing to SharePoint, the values for all properties must be fully qualified URLs. For example:
    • Report Server: http://MyServerName/ReportServer
    • SharePoint: http://MyServerName/MySite/MySubsite
  5. Right-click the shared data source and click Deploy.

Report Manager

On native mode installations of report server, you can use Report Manager to create shared data sources. You must have permissions to manage data sources on the report server.

  1. From the Home page in Report Manager, click New Data Source. The New Data Source page is displayed.
  2. Enter a name for the data source and in the Data Source Type menu, select CData Airtable Report.
  3. In the Connection String box, enter the connection string to connect to Airtable. A typical connection string is below: APIKey=keymz3adb53RqsU;BaseId=appxxN2fe34r3rjdG7;TableNames=TableA,...;ViewNames=TableA.ViewA,...;

    APIKey, BaseId and TableNames parameters are required to connect to Airtable. ViewNames is an optional parameter where views of the tables may be specified.

    • APIKey : API Key of your account. To obtain this value, after logging in go to Account. In API section click Generate API key.
    • BaseId : Id of your base. To obtain this value, it is in the same section as the APIKey. Click on Airtable API, or navigate to https://airtable.com/api and select a base. In the introduction section you can find "The ID of this base is appxxN2ftedc0nEG7."
    • TableNames : A comma separated list of table names for the selected base. These are the same names of tables as found in the UI.
    • ViewNames : A comma separated list of views in the format of (table.view) names. These are the same names of the views as found in the UI.

SharePoint

Follow the steps below to create a shared data source on a SharePoint site. Note that this step has the following prerequisites in SharePoint 2013:

  • The Reporting Services add-in for SharePoint
  • The Report Server Integration site collection feature

Follow the steps below to add the report server content types to your library:

  1. Log into SharePoint and open the library where you want to save the .rsds file.
  2. Click Library on the ribbon and then click Library Settings.
  3. In the General Settings section, click Advanced Settings.
  4. In the Content Types section, select Yes to allow the management of content types. The Content Types section is added to the Library Settings page.
  5. On the Library Settings page, click Add from existing site content types.
  6. In the Available Site Content Types list, select Report Data Source and click Add.

You can then create the shared data source. You will create an .rsds file that contains the connection information to Airtable.

  1. Log into SharePoint and open the library where you want to save the .rsds file.
  2. On the ribbon click Documents -> New Document -> Report Data Source.
  3. Enter a name for the data source.
  4. In the Data Source Type menu, select CData Airtable Report.
  5. In the Connection String box, enter the connection string to connect to Airtable. A typical connection string is below: APIKey=keymz3adb53RqsU;BaseId=appxxN2fe34r3rjdG7;TableNames=TableA,...;ViewNames=TableA.ViewA,...;

    APIKey, BaseId and TableNames parameters are required to connect to Airtable. ViewNames is an optional parameter where views of the tables may be specified.

    • APIKey : API Key of your account. To obtain this value, after logging in go to Account. In API section click Generate API key.
    • BaseId : Id of your base. To obtain this value, it is in the same section as the APIKey. Click on Airtable API, or navigate to https://airtable.com/api and select a base. In the introduction section you can find "The ID of this base is appxxN2ftedc0nEG7."
    • TableNames : A comma separated list of table names for the selected base. These are the same names of tables as found in the UI.
    • ViewNames : A comma separated list of views in the format of (table.view) names. These are the same names of the views as found in the UI.