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Rapidly create and deploy powerful Java applications that integrate with Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT account data including Accounts, Budgets, Projects, and more!

Bridge Blackbaud FE NXT Connectivity with Apache Airflow



Access and process Blackbaud FE NXT data in Apache Airflow using the CData JDBC Driver.

Apache Airflow supports the creation, scheduling, and monitoring of data engineering workflows. When paired with the CData JDBC Driver for Blackbaud FE NXT, Airflow can work with live Blackbaud FE NXT data. This article describes how to connect to and query Blackbaud FE NXT data from an Apache Airflow instance and store the results in a CSV file.

With built-in optimized data processing, the CData JDBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live Blackbaud FE NXT data. When you issue complex SQL queries to Blackbaud FE NXT, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Blackbaud FE NXT and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations client-side (often SQL functions and JOIN operations). Its built-in dynamic metadata querying allows you to work with and analyze Blackbaud FE NXT data using native data types.

Configuring the Connection to Blackbaud FE NXT

Built-in Connection String Designer

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

java -jar cdata.jdbc.financialedgenxt.jar

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

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.

To host the JDBC driver in clustered environments or in the cloud, you will need a license (full or trial) and a Runtime Key (RTK). For more information on obtaining this license (or a trial), contact our sales team.

The following are essential properties needed for our JDBC connection.

PropertyValue
Database Connection URLjdbc:financialedgenxt:RTK=5246...;SubscriptionKey=MySubscriptionKey;InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH
Database Driver Class Namecdata.jdbc.financialedgenxt.FinancialEdgeNXTDriver

Establishing a JDBC Connection within Airflow

  1. Log into your Apache Airflow instance.
  2. On the navbar of your Airflow instance, hover over Admin and then click Connections.
  3. Next, click the + sign on the following screen to create a new connection.
  4. In the Add Connection form, fill out the required connection properties:
    • Connection Id: Name the connection, i.e.: financialedgenxt_jdbc
    • Connection Type: JDBC Connection
    • Connection URL: The JDBC connection URL from above, i.e.: jdbc:financialedgenxt:RTK=5246...;SubscriptionKey=MySubscriptionKey;InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH)
    • Driver Class: cdata.jdbc.financialedgenxt.FinancialEdgeNXTDriver
    • Driver Path: PATH/TO/cdata.jdbc.financialedgenxt.jar
  5. Test your new connection by clicking the Test button at the bottom of the form.
  6. After saving the new connection, on a new screen, you should see a green banner saying that a new row was added to the list of connections:

Creating a DAG

A DAG in Airflow is an entity that stores the processes for a workflow and can be triggered to run this workflow. Our workflow is to simply run a SQL query against Blackbaud FE NXT data and store the results in a CSV file.

  1. To get started, in the Home directory, there should be an "airflow" folder. Within there, we can create a new directory and title it "dags". In here, we store Python files that convert into Airflow DAGs shown on the UI.
  2. Next, create a new Python file and title it blackbaud fe nxt_hook.py. Insert the following code inside of this new file:
    	import time
    	from datetime import datetime
    	from airflow.decorators import dag, task
    	from airflow.providers.jdbc.hooks.jdbc import JdbcHook
    	import pandas as pd
    
    	# Declare Dag
    	@dag(dag_id="blackbaud fe nxt_hook", schedule_interval="0 10 * * *", start_date=datetime(2022,2,15), catchup=False, tags=['load_csv'])
    	
    	# Define Dag Function
    	def extract_and_load():
    	# Define tasks
    		@task()
    		def jdbc_extract():
    			try:
    				hook = JdbcHook(jdbc_conn_id="jdbc")
    				sql = """ select * from Account """
    				df = hook.get_pandas_df(sql)
    				df.to_csv("/{some_file_path}/{name_of_csv}.csv",header=False, index=False, quoting=1)
    				# print(df.head())
    				print(df)
    				tbl_dict = df.to_dict('dict')
    				return tbl_dict
    			except Exception as e:
    				print("Data extract error: " + str(e))
                
    		jdbc_extract()
        
    	sf_extract_and_load = extract_and_load()
    
  3. Save this file and refresh your Airflow instance. Within the list of DAGs, you should see a new DAG titled "blackbaud fe nxt_hook".
  4. Click on this DAG and, on the new screen, click on the unpause switch to make it turn blue, and then click the trigger (i.e. play) button to run the DAG. This executes the SQL query in our blackbaud fe nxt_hook.py file and export the results as a CSV to whichever file path we designated in our code.
  5. After triggering our new DAG, we check the Downloads folder (or wherever you chose within your Python script), and see that the CSV file has been created - in this case, account.csv.
  6. Open the CSV file to see that your Blackbaud FE NXT data is now available for use in CSV format thanks to Apache Airflow.

More Information & Free Trial

Download a free, 30-day trial of the CData JDBC Driver for Blackbaud FE NXT and start working with your live Blackbaud FE NXT data in Apache Airflow. Reach out to our Support Team if you have any questions.