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Use the CData JDBC Driver for Airtable in MicroStrategy

Connect to Airtable data in MicroStrategy Developer using the CData JDBC Driver for Airtable.

MicroStrategy is an analytics and mobility platform that enables data-driven innovation. When you pair MicroStrategy with the CData JDBC Driver for Airtable, you gain database-like access to live Airtable data from MicroStrategy, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. In this article, we walk through creating a database instance for Airtable in MicroStrategy Developer and create a Warehouse Catalog for the Airtable data.

The CData JDBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live Airtable data in MicroStrategy due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from MicroStrategy to Airtable, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Airtable and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. With built-in dynamic metadata querying, you can visualize and analyze Airtable data using native MicroStrategy data types.

Connect to Airtable in MicroStrategy Developer

You can connect to Airtable in MicroStrategy Developer by adding a database instance based on the CData JDBC Driver for Airtable.* Before you begin, you will need to install the JDBC Driver for Airtable on the machine hosting the MicroStrategy Intelligence Server that your instance of MicroStrategy Developer is connected to.

  1. Open MicroStrategy Developer and select a Project Source.
  2. Navigate to Administration -> Configuration Managers -> Database Instances and right-click to add a new instance.
  3. Name the instance, select Generic DBMS as the database connection type, and create a new database connection.
  4. In the database connection wizard, name the connection and create a new Database Login name, setting the user and password for Airtable.
  5. On the Advanced tab for the connection wizard, set the additional connection string parameters as follows.
    • Add the JDBC keyword to the connection string.
    • Set MSTR_JDBC_JAR_FOLDER to the path of the directory containing the JAR file for the JDBC driver. (C:\Program Files\CData JDBC Driver for Airtable\lib\ on Windows.)
    • Set DRIVER to cdata.jdbc.airtable.AirtableDriver, the driver class.
    • Set URL to the JDBC URL for the Airtable driver, which contains the necessary connection properties.

      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.

      Built-in Connection String Designer

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

      java -jar cdata.jdbc.airtable.jar

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

      When you configure the JDBC URL, 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.

    Typical additional connection string properties follow:

    JDBC;MSTR_JDBC_JAR_FOLDER=PATH\TO\JAR\;DRIVER=cdata.jdbc.airtable.AirtableDriver;URL={jdbc:airtable:APIKey=keymz3adb53RqsU;BaseId=appxxN2fe34r3rjdG7;TableNames=TableA,...;ViewNames=TableA.ViewA,...;};
  6. Ensure that you have not selected an ODBC data source (this will trigger MicroStrategy to use the additional connection string parameters to build the database instance) and click OK.
  7. Click OK to close the database instance wizard.
  8. In the Project Source, right-click the project and open the Project configuration.
  9. Navigate to Database Instances, select the newly created database instance, and click OK.
  10. Close MicroStrategy Developer and restart the connected MicroStrategy Intelligence Server to complete the database instance creation.

With the database instance configured, you will now be able to connect to Airtable data from the Warehouse Catalog and Data Import.

Connect to Airtable Data from the Warehouse Catalog

Once you have created a database instance based on the JDBC Driver for Airtable, you can connect to data from the Warehouse Catalog.

  1. Select your project and click Schema -> Warehouse Catalog.
  2. In the Read Settings for the Catalog, click Settings and set the queries to retrieve the schema:
    • To retrieve the list of tables, use the following query: SELECT * FROM SYS_TABLES
    • To retrieve the list of columns for selected tables, use the following query: SELECT DISTINCT CatalogName NAME_SPACE, TableName TAB_NAME, ColumnName COL_NAME, DataTypeName DATA_TYPE, Length DATA_LEN, NumericPrecision DATA_PREC, NumericScale DATA_SCALE FROM SYS_TABLECOLUMNS WHERE TableName IN (#TABLE_LIST#) ORDER BY 1,2,3
  3. Select tables to be used in the project.

Using the CData JDBC Driver for Airtable in MicroStrategy, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on Airtable data. Read our other articles on connecting to Airtable in MictroStrategy Web and connecting to Airtable in MicroStrategy Desktop for more information.


Note: Connecting using a JDBC Driver requires a 3- or 4-Tier Architecture.