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Build Visualizations of AlloyDB Data in Birst



Use the CData JDBC Driver for AlloyDB and the Birst Cloud Agent to build real-time visualizations of AlloyDB data in Birst.

Birst is a cloud business intelligence (BI) tool and analytics platform that helps organizations quickly understand and optimize complex processes. When paired with the CData JDBC Driver for AlloyDB, you can connect to live AlloyDB data through the Birst Cloud Agent and build real-time visualizations. In this article, we walk you through, step-by-step, how to connect to AlloyDB using the Cloud Agent and create dynamic reports in Birst.

With powerful data processing capabilities, the CData JDBC Driver offers unmatched performance for live AlloyDB data operations in Birst. When you issue complex SQL queries from Birst to AlloyDB, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to AlloyDB and utilizes the embedded SQL Engine to process unsupported operations client-side (often SQL functions and JOIN operations). With built-in dynamic metadata querying, the JDBC driver enables you to visualize and analyze AlloyDB data using native Birst data types.

Configure a JDBC Connection to AlloyDB Data in Birst

Before creating the Birst project, you will need to install the Birst Cloud Agent (in order to work with the installed JDBC Driver). Also, copy the JAR file for the JDBC Driver (and the LIC file, if it exists) to the /drivers/ directory in the installation location for the Cloud Agent.

With the driver and Cloud Agent installed, you are ready to begin.

  1. Create a new project in Birst.
  2. Name the connection (e.g. CDataAlloyDB).
  3. Choose Live Access.
  4. Select an agent.
  5. Set Database Type to Other.
  6. Set SQL Type to MSSQL
  7. Set the Connection string.

    The following connection properties are usually required in order to connect to AlloyDB.

    • Server: The host name or IP of the server hosting the AlloyDB database.
    • User: The user which will be used to authenticate with the AlloyDB server.
    • Password: The password which will be used to authenticate with the AlloyDB server.

    You can also optionally set the following:

    • Database: The database to connect to when connecting to the AlloyDB Server. If this is not set, the user's default database will be used.
    • Port: The port of the server hosting the AlloyDB database. This property is set to 5432 by default.

    Authenticating with Standard Authentication

    Standard authentication (using the user/password combination supplied earlier) is the default form of authentication.

    No further action is required to leverage Standard Authentication to connect.

    Authenticating with pg_hba.conf Auth Schemes

    There are additional methods of authentication available which must be enabled in the pg_hba.conf file on the AlloyDB server.

    Find instructions about authentication setup on the AlloyDB Server here.

    Authenticating with MD5 Authentication

    This authentication method must be enabled by setting the auth-method in the pg_hba.conf file to md5.

    Authenticating with SASL Authentication

    This authentication method must be enabled by setting the auth-method in the pg_hba.conf file to scram-sha-256.

    Authenticating with Kerberos

    The authentication with Kerberos is initiated by AlloyDB Server when the ∏ is trying to connect to it. You should set up Kerberos on the AlloyDB Server to activate this authentication method. Once you have Kerberos authentication set up on the AlloyDB Server, see the Kerberos section of the help documentation for details on how to authenticate with Kerberos.

    Built-in Connection String Designer

    For assistance in constructing the JDBC URL, use the connection string designer built into the AlloyDB JDBC Driver. Either double-click the JAR file or execute the jar file from the command-line.

    java -jar cdata.jdbc.alloydb.jar

    Fill in the connection properties and copy the connection string to the clipboard.

    When you configure the JDBC URL, 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.

    Below is a typical JDBC connection string for AlloyDB:

    jdbc:alloydb:User=alloydb;Password=admin;Database=alloydb;Server=127.0.0.1;Port=5432
  8. Set the Driver Name: cdata.jdbc.alloydb.AlloyDBDriver and click Save.

NOTE: Since authentication to AlloyDB is managed from the connection string, you can leave Security Credentials blank.

Configure AlloyDB Data Objects

Now that the connection is configured, we are ready to configure the schema for the dataset, choosing the tables, views, and columns we wish to visualize.

  1. Select the Schema (e.g. AlloyDB).
  2. Click on Tables and/or Views to connect to those entities and click Apply.
  3. Select the Tables and Columns you want to access and click Done.

With the objects configured, you can perform any data preparation and discover any relationships in your data using the Pronto Prepare and Relate tools.

Build a Visualization

After you prepare your data and define relationships between the connected objects, you are ready to build your visualization.

  1. Select the Visualizer tool from the menu.
  2. Select Measures & Categories from your objects
  3. Select and configure the appropriate visualization for the Measure(s) you selected.

Using the CData JDBC Driver for AlloyDB with the Cloud Agent and Birst, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on AlloyDB data. Download a free, 30-day trial and start building Birst visualizations today.