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Build Dashboards with CSV Data in DBxtra

Create dynamic dashboards and perform analytics based on CSV data in DBxtra.

The CData ODBC Driver for CSV enables access to live data from CSV under the ODBC standard, allowing you work with CSV data in a wide variety of BI, reporting, and ETL tools and directly, using familiar SQL queries. This article shows how to connect to CSV data as a generic ODBC Data Provider and create charts, reports, and dashboards based on CSV data in DBxtra.

Connect to CSV Data

  1. If you have not already done so, provide values for the required connection properties in the data source name (DSN). You can configure the DSN using the built-in Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator. This is also the last step of the driver installation. See the "Getting Started" chapter in the Help documentation for a guide to using the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure a DSN.

    The DataSource property must be set to a valid local folder name.

    Also, specify the IncludeFiles property to work with text files having extensions that differ from .csv, .tab, or .txt. Specify multiple file extensions in a comma-separated list. You can also set Extended Properties compatible with the Microsoft Jet OLE DB 4.0 driver. Alternatively, you can provide the format of text files in a Schema.ini file.

    Set UseRowNumbers to true if you are deleting or updating in CSV. This will create a new column with the name RowNumber which will be used as key for that table.

    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.

  2. Open the DBxtra application and in the New menu click Project and name the Project.
  3. Select ODBC Connection as the Data Connection Type.
  4. Click the browse option () for the Data Source.
  5. In the Data Link Properties window, select Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers on the Provider tab.
  6. On the Connection tab, select the Data Source Name and the initial catalog to use (CData).
  7. Name the Connection and select the appropriate User Groups.
  8. Double-click the Connection from within the Project to connect to the data.

Create a Dashboard with CSV Data

You are now ready to create a dashboard with CSV data.

  1. Right-click Report Objects under the Project and select New Report Object.
  2. In the new Report Object, click the link to create the Query.
  3. In the Select Data Connection window, select the newly created data connection.
  4. On the Query tab, expand the connection objects and select the Tables, Views, and specific columns you wish to include in your dashboard. You can specify search requirements and even create complex queries which include JOINs and aggregations.
  5. On the Dashboard tab, select the visualizations and features for your dashboard. Assign the data values from the query to the appropriate fields for the Dashboards items (Values, Series, etc.)

With a new Dashboard created, you are ready to begin analysis of CSV data. Thanks to the ODBC Driver for CSV, you can refresh the Dashboard and immediately see any changes made at the source. In the same way, you can create and view Reports with live, up-to-date CSV data.