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Publish and Share Alfresco Data Dashboards with Tableau Server

The CData ODBC driver for Alfresco enables you integrate Alfresco data into Tableau dashboards.

Integrate connectivity to Alfresco data into your enterprise reporting capabilities. The CData ODBC Driver for Alfresco enables you to access live Alfresco data in business intelligence tools like Tableau Server. Connectivity to Alfresco APIs enables you to monitor changes to your data in real time. Other members of your organization can access your dashboards from a Web browser and get updates from their mobile phone.

This article walks through the process of configuring a DSN on the client and server machines, publishing a data source for Alfresco to Tableau Server, and publishing an entire Workbook to Tableau Server (including the data source). If you publish a data source, you will be able to create new, refreshable workbooks in Tableau Server.

Connect to Alfresco as an ODBC Data Source

To create a data source or workbook in Tableau Desktop and publish the data source or workbook to Tableau server, you will need to configure a DSN on each machine (Desktop and Server), specifying connection properties and creating DSNs using the same name on each machine. Information for connecting to Alfresco follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments.

To connect to Alfresco, the following connection properties must be supplied: User, Password, and InstanceUrl. User and Password correspond to the login credentials that you use to access Alfresco in a web browser. InstanceUrl corresponds to the Alfresco instance you will be querying. For instance, if you expect your queries to hit https://search-demo.dev.alfresco.me/alfresco/api/-default-/public/search/versions/1/sql, you should supply search-demo.dev.alfresco.me for InstanceUrl.

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 are installing the CData ODBC Driver for Alfresco on Windows, DSN configuration is the last step of the driver installation. If you already have the driver installed, or you wish to configure new DSNs, you can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for Alfresco 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 Alfresco Source] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for Alfresco Description = My Description User = MyUsername Password = MyPassword Format = Solr InstanceUrl = api-explorer.alfresco.com

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

Publish the Alfresco Data Source to Tableau Server

With the connections to Alfresco data configured, you are ready to publish a Alfresco data source on Tableau, ready to be leveraged by users in your organization to create workbooks based on Alfresco data.

Create and Publish a Data Source

  1. In the Connect pane, click More -> Other Databases (ODBC). Select CData Alfresco Sys, the system DSN.

    The driver installation automatically creates matching user and system DSNs: The system DSN is needed to connect from Tableau Server.

  2. In the Database menu, select CData.
  3. In the Table box, enter a table name or click New Custom SQL to enter an SQL query.
  4. Drag the table onto the join area.
  5. From the Server menu, click Publish Data Source -> (YOUR DATA SOURCE).
  6. Enter the URL to the server. For most instances, you will authenticate with the Tableau Server username and password. Other authentication scenarios can be found below:
    • If Tableau is configured to use Kerberos and your computer has valid Active Directory credentials, Tableau connects to the server.
    • If Tableau is configured to use SAML, a login prompt for your external identity provider is displayed.
    • If Tableau is configured to use Active Directory, enter your Windows username and password.
  7. In the resulting dialog, set the Project, Data Source, and other properties. If you want to schedule refreshes, select Embedded Password in the Authentication menu. Click Publish.

You and other users in your organization can now create and share workbooks based on the published data source.

Refresh Workbooks

With a system DSN configured on the client (Tableau Desktop) machine and server (Tableau Server) machine, you can refresh workbooks connected to the Alfresco data source. From the Web interface for Tableau Sever, click Data -> (YOUR DATA SOURCE) -> Refresh.

Publish a Completed Workbook with Alfresco Data to Tableau Server

If you have a specific Workbook that you wish to share with your organization, you can create the Workbook on Tableau Desktop and publish the Workbook directly to Tableau Server.

  1. To connect to Alfresco and select data, follow steps 1-5 above.
  2. Click Server -> Sign in and configure the connection to the server. For most instances, you will authenticate with the Tableau Server username and password. Other authentication scenarios can be found below:
    • If Tableau is configured to use Kerberos and your computer has valid Active Directory credentials, Tableau connects to the server.
    • If Tableau is configured to use SAML, a login prompt for your external identity provider is displayed.
    • If Tableau is configured to use Active Directory, enter your Windows username and password.
  3. With the data selected, select dimensions and measures to visualize and select a type of chart or graph to build your visualization(s).
  4. Once the Workbook is complete, click Server -> Publish Workbook to publish the Workbook to Tableau Server.
  5. In the resulting dialog, set the Project, Name, Description and other properties. If you want to schedule refreshes, click Edit under Data Sources and change the Authentication option to Embedded Password. Click Publish.

You and other users in your organization can now review the published workbook from Tableau Server.