Use the CData ODBC Driver for BigCommerce in MicroStrategy Web

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BigCommerce ODBC Driver

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

Access BigCommerce data like you would a database - read, write, and update BigCommerce Customers, Products, Orders, Transactions, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Connect to BigCommerce data in MicroStrategy Web using the CData ODBC Driver for BigCommerce.

MicroStrategy is an analytics and mobility platform that enables data-driven innovation. When you pair MicroStrategy with the CData ODBC Driver for BigCommerce, you gain database-like access to live BigCommerce data from MicroStrategy, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. In this article, we walk through adding BigCommerce as external data in MicroStrategy Web and creating a simple visualization of BigCommerce data.

The CData ODBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live BigCommerce data in MicroStrategy due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from MicroStrategy to BigCommerce, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to BigCommerce 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 visualize and analyze BigCommerce data using native MicroStrategy data types.

Connect to BigCommerce as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to BigCommerce follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments (the ODBC Driver for BigCommerce must be installed on the machine hosting the connected MicroStrategy Intelligence Server).

BigCommerce authentication is based on the standard OAuth flow. To authenticate, you must initially create an app via the Big Commerce developer platform where you can obtain an OAuthClientId, OAuthClientSecret, and CallbackURL. These three parameters will be set as connection properties to your driver.

Additionally, in order to connect to your BigCommerce Store, you will need your StoreId. To find your Store Id please follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your BigCommerce account.
  2. From the Home Page, select Advanced Settings > API Accounts.
  3. Click Create API Account.
  4. A text box named API Path will appear on your screen.
  5. Inside you can see a URL of the following structure: https://api.bigcommerce.com/stores/{Store Id}/v3.
  6. As demonstrated above, your Store Id will be between the 'stores/' and '/v3' path paramters.
  7. Once you have retrieved your Store Id you can either click Cancel or proceed in creating an API Account in case you do not have one already.

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 BigCommerce 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 BigCommerce Sys] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for BigCommerce Description = My Description OAuthClientId = YourClientId OAuthClientSecret = YourClientSecret StoreId = 'YourStoreID' CallbackURL = 'http://localhost:33333'

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

Connect to and Visualize BigCommerce Data using MicroStrategy Web

Once you have created a database instance in MicroStrategy Developer and connected it to a project, you can perform a data import of BigCommerce data from MicroStrategy Web. Alternatively, you can create a new data source based on the ODBC Driver.*

  1. Open MicroStrategy Web and select your project.
  2. Click Add External Data, select Databases, and choose Select a Table as the Import Option.
  3. In the Import from Tables wizard, click to add a new data source.
    • Select DSN Data Sources
    • Set the DSN property to the previously configured DSN (CData BigCommerce Sys)
    • Set the Version property to Generic DBMS
    • Set the User and Password properties (or use filler values)
    • Set the Data Source Name
  4. After creating the data source, click to edit the catalog options and set the following queries and click OK.
    • SQL statement to retrieve tables available in the data source
      SELECT
        CatalogName NAME_SPACE,
        TableName TAB_NAME
      FROM
        SYS_TABLES
          
    • SQL statement to retrieve columns for the selected tables
      SELECT DISTINCT 
        CatalogName NAME_SPACE, 
        TableName TAB_NAME, 
        ColumnName COL_NAME, 
        DataTypeName DATA_TYPE, 
        Length DATA_LEN, 
        NumericPrecision DATA_PREC, 
        NumericScale DATA_SCALE 
      FROM 
        SYS_TABLECOLUMNS 
      WHERE 
        TableName IN (#TABLE_LIST#) 
      ORDER BY
        1,2,3
          
  5. Drag a table into the pane. Note: Since we create a live connection, we can import whole tables and utilize the filtering and aggregation features native to the MicroStrategy products.
  6. Click Finish, choose to the option to connect live, save the query, and choose the option to create a new dossier.
  7. Choose a visualization, choose fields to display, and apply any filters to create a new visualization of BigCommerce data. Data types are discovered automatically through dynamic metadata discovery. Where possible, the complex queries generated by the filters and aggregations will be pushed down to BigCommerce, while any unsupported operations (which can include SQL functions and JOIN operations) will be managed client-side by the CData SQL engine embedded in the driver.
  8. Once you have finished configuring the dossier, click File -> Save.

Using the CData ODBC Driver for BigCommerce in MicroStrategy Web, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on BigCommerce data. Read our other articles on connecting to BigCommerce in MicroStrategy and connecting to BigCommerce in MicroStrategy Desktop for more examples.


Note: connecting using a ODBC driver requires a 3- or 4-tier architecture.