Use the CData ODBC Driver for Azure Analysis Services in SAS for Real-Time Reporting and Analytics

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Azure Analysis Services ODBC Driver

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

Access Azure Analysis Services data like you would a database - read, write, and update Azure Analysis Services AnalysisServicesData, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



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

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 Azure Analysis Services, you gain database-like access to live Azure Analysis Services data from SAS, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. This articles walks through creating a library for Azure Analysis Services in SAS and creating a simple report based on real-time Azure Analysis Services data.

The CData ODBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live Azure Analysis Services data in SAS due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from SAS to Azure Analysis Services, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Azure Analysis Services 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 Azure Analysis Services data in SAS.

Connect to Azure Analysis Services as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to Azure Analysis Services follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments (the ODBC Driver for Azure Analysis Services must be installed on the machine hosting the SAS System).

To connect to Azure Analysis Services, set the Url property to a valid server, for instance, asazure://southcentralus.asazure.windows.net/server, in addition to authenticating. Optionally, set Database to distinguish which Azure database on the server to connect to.

Azure Analysis Services uses the OAuth authentication standard. OAuth requires the authenticating user to interact with Azure Analysis Services using the browser. You can connect without setting any connection properties for your user credentials. See the Help documentation for more information.

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 Azure Analysis Services 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 AAS Sys] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for Azure Analysis Services Description = My Description URL = asazure://REGION.asazure.windows.net/server

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

Create a Azure Analysis Services Library in SAS

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

  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 Azure Analysis Services 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 Azure Analysis Services 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 customer_view as
      select 
        country, 
        education 
      from 
        odbclib.customer 
      where 
        Country = 'Australia';
    quit;
    
  3. Click Run -> Submit to execute the query and create a local view.

Report On or Visualize Azure Analysis Services Data in SAS

With a local view created, you can report, visualize, or otherwise analyze Azure Analysis Services 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 Azure Analysis Services Customer data.
    proc print data=customer;
      title "Azure Analysis Services Customer Data";
    run;
    

Print a Chart

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