Use the CData ODBC Driver for Airtable in MicroStrategy Web

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Airtable ODBC Driver

The Airtable ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from Airtable, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Airtable data like you would a database - read, write, and update Airtable Tables, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



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

MicroStrategy is an analytics and mobility platform that enables data-driven innovation. When you pair MicroStrategy 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 external data in MicroStrategy Web 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 (the ODBC Driver for Airtable must be installed on the machine hosting the connected MicroStrategy Intelligence Server).

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 Web

Once you have created a database instance in MicroStrategy Developer and connected it to a project, you can perform a data import of Airtable data from MicroStrategy Web. Alternatively, you can create a new data source based on the ODBC Driver.*

  1. Open MicroStrategy Web and select your project.
  2. Click Add External Data, select Databases, and choose Select a Table as the Import Option.
  3. In the Import from Tables wizard, click to add a new data source.
    • Select DSN Data Sources
    • Set the DSN property to the previously configured DSN (CData Airtable Sys)
    • Set the Version property to Generic DBMS
    • Set the User and Password properties (or use filler values)
    • Set the Data Source Name
  4. After creating the data source, click to edit the catalog options and set the following queries and click OK.
    • SQL statement to retrieve tables available in the data source
      SELECT
        CatalogName NAME_SPACE,
        TableName TAB_NAME
      FROM
        SYS_TABLES
          
    • SQL statement to retrieve columns for the selected tables
      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
          
  5. Drag a table into the pane. Note: Since we create a live connection, we can import whole tables and utilize the filtering and aggregation features native to the MicroStrategy products.
  6. Click Finish, choose to the option to connect live, save the query, and choose the option to create a new dossier.
  7. Choose a visualization, choose fields to display, and apply any filters to create a new visualization of Airtable data. Data types are discovered automatically through dynamic metadata discovery. 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.
  8. Once you have finished configuring the dossier, click File -> Save.

Using the CData ODBC Driver for Airtable in MicroStrategy Web, 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 Desktop for more examples.


Note: connecting using a ODBC driver requires a 3- or 4-tier architecture.