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Create Interactive Metabase Dashboards that Work with Blackbaud FE NXT Data



Use CData Connect Cloud to connect to live Blackbaud FE NXT data and create an interactive dashboard in Metabase from Blackbaud FE NXT data.

Metabase is an open source data visualization tool that allows users to create interactive dashboards. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, users can easily create visualizations and dashboards linked to live Blackbaud FE NXT data. This article describes how to connect to Blackbaud FE NXT and build a simple visualization using Blackbaud FE NXT data.

CData Connect provides a pure cloud-to-cloud interface for Blackbaud FE NXT, allowing you to easily integrate with live Blackbaud FE NXT data in Metabase — without replicating the data. Connect looks exactly like a SQL Server database to Metabase and uses optimized data processing out of the box to push all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to Blackbaud FE NXT, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return Blackbaud FE NXT data.

Configure Blackbaud FE NXT Connectivity for Metabase

Connectivity to Blackbaud FE NXT from Metabase is made possible through CData Connect Cloud. To work with Blackbaud FE NXT data from Metabase, we start by creating and configuring a Blackbaud FE NXT connection.

  1. Log into Connect Cloud, click Connections and click Add Connection
  2. Select "Blackbaud FE NXT" from the Add Connection panel
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Blackbaud FE NXT.

    Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT uses the OAuth authentication standard. To authenticate using OAuth, you will need to create an app to obtain the OAuthClientId, OAuthClientSecret, and CallbackURL connection properties.

    See the Getting Started guide in the CData driver documentation for more information.

  4. Click Create & Test
  5. Navigate to the Permissions tab in the Add Blackbaud FE NXT Connection page and update the User-based permissions.

Add a Personal Access Token

If you are connecting from a service, application, platform, or framework that does not support OAuth authentication, you can create a Personal Access Token (PAT) to use for authentication. Best practices would dictate that you create a separate PAT for each service, to maintain granularity of access.

  1. Click on your username at the top right of the Connect Cloud app and click User Profile.
  2. On the User Profile page, scroll down to the Personal Access Tokens section and click Create PAT.
  3. Give your PAT a name and click Create.
  4. The personal access token is only visible at creation, so be sure to copy it and store it securely for future use.

With the connection configured, you are ready to connect to Blackbaud FE NXT data from Metabase.

Connect to CData Connect from Metabase

After creating the virtual database, navigate to your Metabase instance. Use the SQL Server interface to connect to Connect Cloud.

  1. Navigate to the administration screen (Settings -> Admin) and click "Add Database" from the "Databases" tab
  2. Configure the connection to Connect Cloud and click "Save"
    • Database type: Select "SQL Server"
    • Name: Name the connection (e.g. "Blackbaud FE NXT (Connect Cloud)")
    • Host: tds.cdata.com
    • Port: 14333
    • Database name: The name of the connection you just created (e.g. FinancialEdgeNXT1)
    • Username: A Connect Cloud username (e.g. user@mydomain.com)
    • Password: The PAT for the above Connect Cloud user
    • Click to Use a secure connection (SSL)

Execute Blackbaud FE NXT Data with Metabase

Once you configure the connection to Connect Cloud, you can query Blackbaud FE NXT and build visualizations.

  1. Use the "Write SQL" tool to retrieve the Blackbaud FE NXT data
  2. Write a SQL query based on the Blackbaud FE NXT connection in CData Connect Cloud, e.g.

    SELECT AccountId, AccountNumber FROM Accounts
  3. Navigate to the "Visualization" screen, choose a visualization, and configure the visualization

More Information & Free Trial

At this point, you have built a simple visualization from Blackbaud FE NXT data in Metabase. You can continue to work with live Blackbaud FE NXT data in Metabase just like you would any SQL Server database. For more information on creating a live connection to Blackbaud FE NXT (and more than 100 other data sources), visit the Connect Cloud page. Sign up for a free trial and start working with live Blackbaud FE NXT data in Metabase today.