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Use the CData ODBC Driver for Airtable in MicroStrategy Desktop

Connect to Airtable data in MicroStrategy Desktop using the CData ODBC Driver for Airtable.

MicroStrategy is an analytics and mobility platform that enables data-driven innovation. When paired with the CData ODBC 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 adding Airtable as a data source in MicroStrategy Desktop and creating a simple visualization of Airtable data.

The CData ODBC 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 as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to Airtable follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments.

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 DSN, 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.

Windows

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for Airtable in a Linux environment, the driver installation predefines a system DSN. You can modify the DSN by editing the system data sources file (/etc/odbc.ini) and defining the required connection properties.

/etc/odbc.ini

[CData Airtable Sys] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for Airtable Description = My Description APIKey = keymz3adb53RqsU BaseId = appxxN2fe34r3rjdG7 TableNames = TableA,... ViewNames = TableA.ViewA,...

For specific information on using these configuration files, please refer to the help documentation (installed and found online).

Connect to and Visualize Airtable Data using MicroStrategy Desktop

In addition to connecting Airtable in MicroStrategy enterprise products, you can connect to Airtable in MicroStrategy Desktop. Follow the steps below to add Airtable data as a dataset and create visualizations and reports of Airtable data.

  1. Open MicroStrategy Desktop and create a new dossier.
  2. In the datasets panel, click New Data, select Databases, and select Type a Query as the Import Option.
  3. Add a new data source and choose DSN data sources.
  4. Choose the DSN you previously configured (likely CData Airtable Sys) and select Generic DBMS in the Version menu.
  5. Set the User and Password properties for the DSN (or use placeholder values) and name the data source.
  6. Select the new database instance to view the tables. You may need to manually click the search icon in the Available Tables section to see the tables.
  7. Create a SQL query for the Airtable data (see below) and click Execute SQL to test the query. SELECT * FROM SampleTable_1 NOTE: Since we create a live connection, we can execute a SELECT * query and utilize the filtering and aggregation features native to the MicroStrategy products.
  8. Click Finish and choose to connect live.
  9. Choose a visualization, choose fields to display (data types are discovered automatically through dynamic metadata discovery) and apply any filters to create a new visualization of Airtable data. Where possible, the complex queries generated by the filters and aggregations will be pushed down to Airtable, while any unsupported operations (which can include SQL functions and JOIN operations) will be managed client-side by the CData SQL Engine embedded in the driver.
  10. Once you are finished configuring the dossier, click File -> Save.

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