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Use the CData ODBC Driver for Airtable in SAS for Real-Time Reporting and Analytics

Connect to real-time Airtable data in SAS for reporting, analytics, and visualizations using the CData ODBC Driver for Airtable.

SAS is a software suite developed for advanced analytics, multivariate analysis, business intelligence, data management, and predictive analytics. When you pair SAS with the CData ODBC Driver for Airtable, you gain database-like access to live Airtable data from SAS, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. This articles walks through creating a library for Airtable in SAS and creating a simple report based on real-time Airtable data.

The CData ODBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live Airtable data in SAS due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from SAS 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 easily visualize and analyze Airtable data in SAS.

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 SAS System).

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).

Create a Airtable Library in SAS

Connect to Airtable in SAS by adding a library based on the CData ODBC Driver for Airtable.

  1. Open SAS and expand Libraries in the Explorer pane.
  2. In the Active Libraries window, right-click and select New.
  3. Name your library (odbclib), select ODBC as the Engine, and click to Enable at startup (if you want the library to persist between sessions).
  4. Set Data Source to the DSN you previously configured and click OK.

Create a View from a Airtable Query

SAS natively supports querying data either using a low-code, point-and-click Query tool or programmatically with PROC SQL and a custom SQL query. When you create a View in SAS, the defining query is executed each time the view is queried. This means that you always query live Airtable data for reports, charts, and analytics.

Using the Query Tool

  1. In SAS, click Tools -> Query
  2. Select the table sources and the table(s) you wish to pull data from. Then, click OK.
  3. Select columns and right-click to add filtering, ordering, grouping, etc.
  4. Create a local view to contain the query results by right-clicking the SQL Query Tool window, selecting Show Query, and clicking Create View. Name the View and click OK.

Using PROC SQL

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC SQL to query the data and create a local view.
    NOTE: This procedure creates a view in the Work library. You can optionally specify a library in the create view statement.
    proc sql;
      create view sampletable_1_view as
      select 
        id, 
        column1 
      from 
        odbclib.sampletable_1 
      where 
        Column1 = 'Value1';
    quit;
    
  3. Click Run -> Submit to execute the query and create a local view.

Report On or Visualize Airtable Data in SAS

With a local view created, you can report, visualize, or otherwise analyze Airtable data using the powerful SAS features. Print a simple report using PROC PRINT and create a basic graph based on the data using PROC GCHART.

Print an HTML Report

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC PRINT to print an HTML report for the Airtable SampleTable_1 data.
    proc print data=sampletable_1;
      title "Airtable SampleTable_1 Data";
    run;
    

Print a Chart

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC GCHART to create a chart for the SampleTable_1 data.
    proc gchart data=sampletable_1;
      pie id / sumvar=column1
          value=arrow
          percent=arrow
          noheading
          percent=inside plabel=(height=12pt)
          slice=inside value=none
          name='SampleTable_1Chart';
    run;