Build Dynamics 365 Business Central Visualizations in Tableau Online

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CData Connect



Use CData Connect Cloud to create a virtual SQL Server Database for Dynamics 365 Business Central data and build visualizations in Tableau Online.

Tableau Online is an analytics platform fully hosted in the cloud. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, you get instant, cloud-to-cloud access to Dynamics 365 Business Central data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to create a virtual database for Dynamics 365 Business Central and build visualizations from Dynamics 365 Business Central data in Tableau Online.

CData Connect Cloud provides a pure SQL Server, cloud-to-cloud interface for Dynamics 365 Business Central, allowing you to easily build visualizations from live Dynamics 365 Business Central data in Tableau Online without installing connectors or publishing worksheets and data sources from Tableau Desktop. As you build visualizations, Tableau Online generates SQL queries to gather data. Using optimized data processing out of the box, CData Connect Cloud pushes all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to Dynamics 365 Business Central, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return Dynamics 365 Business Central data.

Create a Virtual SQL Server Database for Dynamics 365 Business Central Data

CData Connect Cloud uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Login to Connect Cloud and click Databases.
  2. Select "Dynamics 365 Business Central" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Dynamics 365 Business Central.

    To authenticate to Dynamics 365 Business Central, you must provide the User and AccessKey properties.

    To obtain the User and AccessKey values, navigate to the Users page in Dynamics 365 Business Central and then click on Edit. The User Name and Web Service Access Key values are what you will enter as the User and AccessKey connection string properties. Note that the User Name is not your email address. It is a shortened user name.

    To connect to data, specify OrganizationUrl. If you have multiple companies in your organization, you must also specify the Company to indicate which company you would like to connect to. Company does not need to be specified if you have only one company.

  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

With the virtual database created, you are ready to build visualizations in Tableau Online.

Visualize Live Dynamics 365 Business Central Data in Tableau Online

The steps below outline creating a new data source in Tableau Online based on the virtual Dynamics 365 Business Central database in Connect Cloud and building a simple visualization from the data.

  1. Log into Tableau Online, select a project, and create a new workbook.
  2. In the new workbook, choose the Microsoft SQL Server Connector from the data wizard and fill in the values for your Connect Cloud instance.
    NOTE: Be sure to check the "Require SSL" checkbox.
  3. Select your newly created database and the table(s) you wish to visualize (defining relationships for JOINed tables as needed).
  4. Select Dimensions and Measures and configure your visualization.

SQL Access to Dynamics 365 Business Central Data from Cloud Applications

At this point, you have a direct, cloud-to-cloud connection to live Dynamics 365 Business Central data from your Tableau Online workbook. You can create new visualizations, build dashboards, and more, with no need to publish data sources and workbooks from Tableau Desktop. For more information on gaining SQL access to data from more than 100 SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources from cloud applications like Tableau Online, refer to our Connect Cloud page.