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Use Dash to Build to Web Apps on Alfresco Data

The CData Python Connector for Alfresco enables you to create Python applications that use pandas and Dash to build Alfresco-connected web apps.

The rich ecosystem of Python modules lets you get to work quickly and integrate your systems more effectively. With the CData Python Connector for Alfresco, the pandas module, and the Dash framework, you can build Alfresco-connected web applications for Alfresco data. This article shows how to connect to Alfresco with the CData Connector and use pandas and Dash to build a simple web app for visualizing Alfresco data.

With built-in, optimized data processing, the CData Python Connector offers unmatched performance for interacting with live Alfresco data in Python. When you issue complex SQL queries from Alfresco, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Alfresco and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations client-side (often SQL functions and JOIN operations).

Connecting to Alfresco Data

Connecting to Alfresco data looks just like connecting to any relational data source. Create a connection string using the required connection properties. For this article, you will pass the connection string as a parameter to the create_engine function.

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.

After installing the CData Alfresco Connector, follow the procedure below to install the other required modules and start accessing Alfresco through Python objects.

Install Required Modules

Use the pip utility to install the required modules and frameworks:

pip install pandas
pip install dash
pip install dash-daq

Visualize Alfresco Data in Python

Once the required modules and frameworks are installed, we are ready to build our web app. Code snippets follow, but the full source code is available at the end of the article.

First, be sure to import the modules (including the CData Connector) with the following:

import os
import dash
import dash_core_components as dcc
import dash_html_components as html
import pandas as pd
import cdata.alfresco as mod
import plotly.graph_objs as go

You can now connect with a connection string. Use the connect function for the CData Alfresco Connector to create a connection for working with Alfresco data.

cnxn = mod.connect("User=MyUsername; Password=MyPassword; Format=Solr; InstanceUrl=api-explorer.alfresco.com;")

Execute SQL to Alfresco

Use the read_sql function from pandas to execute any SQL statement and store the result set in a DataFrame.

df = pd.read_sql("SELECT DBID, Column1 FROM Alfresco WHERE Column2 = 'MyFilter'", cnxn)

Configure the Web App

With the query results stored in a DataFrame, we can begin configuring the web app, assigning a name, stylesheet, and title.

app_name = 'dash-alfrescoedataplot'

external_stylesheets = ['https://codepen.io/chriddyp/pen/bWLwgP.css']

app = dash.Dash(__name__, external_stylesheets=external_stylesheets)
app.title = 'CData + Dash'

Configure the Layout

The next step is to create a bar graph based on our Alfresco data and configure the app layout.

trace = go.Bar(x=df.DBID, y=df.Column1, name='DBID')

app.layout = html.Div(children=[html.H1("CData Extension + Dash", style={'textAlign': 'center'}),
	dcc.Graph(
		id='example-graph',
		figure={
			'data': [trace],
			'layout':
			go.Layout(title='Alfresco Alfresco Data', barmode='stack')
		})
], className="container")

Set the App to Run

With the connection, app, and layout configured, we are ready to run the app. The last lines of Python code follow.

if __name__ == '__main__':
    app.run_server(debug=True)

Now, use Python to run the web app and a browser to view the Alfresco data.

python alfresco-dash.py

Free Trial & More Information

Download a free, 30-day trial of the Alfresco Python Connector to start building Python apps with connectivity to Alfresco data. Reach out to our Support Team if you have any questions.



Full Source Code

import os
import dash
import dash_core_components as dcc
import dash_html_components as html
import pandas as pd
import cdata.alfresco as mod
import plotly.graph_objs as go

cnxn = mod.connect("User=MyUsername; Password=MyPassword; Format=Solr; InstanceUrl=api-explorer.alfresco.com;")

df = pd.read_sql("SELECT DBID, Column1 FROM Alfresco WHERE Column2 = 'MyFilter'", cnxn)
app_name = 'dash-alfrescodataplot'

external_stylesheets = ['https://codepen.io/chriddyp/pen/bWLwgP.css']

app = dash.Dash(__name__, external_stylesheets=external_stylesheets)
app.title = 'CData + Dash'
trace = go.Bar(x=df.DBID, y=df.Column1, name='DBID')

app.layout = html.Div(children=[html.H1("CData Extension + Dash", style={'textAlign': 'center'}),
	dcc.Graph(
		id='example-graph',
		figure={
			'data': [trace],
			'layout':
			go.Layout(title='Alfresco Alfresco Data', barmode='stack')
		})
], className="container")

if __name__ == '__main__':
    app.run_server(debug=True)