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Publish and Share BigCommerce Data Dashboards with Tableau Server

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

Integrate connectivity to BigCommerce data into your enterprise reporting capabilities. The CData ODBC Driver for BigCommerce enables you to access live BigCommerce data in business intelligence tools like Tableau Server. Connectivity to BigCommerce 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 BigCommerce 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 BigCommerce 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 BigCommerce follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments.

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 are installing the CData ODBC Driver for BigCommerce 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 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 Source] 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).

Publish the BigCommerce Data Source to Tableau Server

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

Create and Publish a Data Source

  1. In the Connect pane, click More -> Other Databases (ODBC). Select CData BigCommerce 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 BigCommerce data source. From the Web interface for Tableau Sever, click Data -> (YOUR DATA SOURCE) -> Refresh.

Publish a Completed Workbook with BigCommerce 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 BigCommerce 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.