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Analyze Dynamics CRM Data in SAP Analytics Cloud

Use the CData Connect Cloud to create an OData API on top of Dynamics CRM data and visualize live Dynamics CRM data in SAP Analytics Cloud.

SAP Analytics Cloud is a cloud-based business intelligence platform. The CData Connect Cloud creates a virtual database for Dynamics CRM and can be used to generate an OData API (natively consumable in Analytics Cloud) for Dynamics CRM. By pairing SAP Analytics Cloud with the CData Connect Cloud, you get true cloud-to-cloud connectivity to all of your SaaS and cloud-based Big Data and NoSQL sources — no need to migrate your data or write your integrations. Simply connect to Connect Cloud as you would any other OData service and get instant, live access to all of your data.

In this article, we walk through connecting to Dynamics CRM in Connect Cloud and connecting to Connect Cloud from Analytics Cloud to create a model and build a simple dashboard.

Configure Connect Cloud to Connect to Dynamics CRM

To connect to Dynamics CRM data from SAP Analytics Cloud, you need to configure Dynamics CRM access from your Connect Cloud instance. This means creating a user, connecting to Dynamics CRM, adding OData endpoints, and (optionally) configuring CORS.

Add a Connect Cloud User

Create a User to connect to Dynamics CRM from Analytics Cloud through Connect Cloud.

  1. Click Users -> Add
  2. Configure a User
  3. Click Save Changes and make note of the Authtoken for the new user

Connect to Dynamics CRM from Connect Cloud

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

  1. Open Connect Cloud and click Databases
  2. Select "Dynamics CRM" from Available Data Sources
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Dynamics CRM.

    The connection string options meet the authentication and connection requirements of different Dynamics CRM instances. To connect to your instance, set the User and Password properties, under the Authentication section, to valid Dynamics CRM user credentials and set the Url to a valid Dynamics CRM server organization root. Additionally, set the CRMVersion property to 'CRM2011+' or 'CRMOnline'. IFD configurations are supported as well; set InternetFacingDeployment to true.

    Additionally, you can provide the security token service (STS) or AD FS endpoint in the STSURL property. This value can be retrieved with the GetSTSUrl stored procedure. Office 365 users can connect to the default STS URL by simply setting CRMVersion.

  4. Click Test Database
  5. Click Privileges -> Add, and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions (SELECT is all that is required for Reveal)

Add Dynamics CRM OData Endpoints in Connect Cloud

After connecting to Dynamics CRM, create OData Endpoint for the desired table(s).

  1. Click OData -> Tables -> Add Tables
  2. Select the Dynamics CRM database
  3. Select the table(s) you wish to work with and click Next
  4. (Optional) Edit the resource to select specific fields and more
  5. Save the settings

(Optional) Configure Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS)

When accessing and connecting to multiple different domains from an application such as Ajax, there is a possibility of violating the limitations of cross-site scripting. In that case, configure the CORS settings in OData -> Settings.

  • Enable cross-origin resource sharing (CORS): ON
  • Allow all domains without '*': ON
  • Access-Control-Allow-Methods: GET, PUT, POST, OPTIONS
  • Access-Control-Allow-Headers: Authorization

Save the changes to the settings.

Create a Model of Dynamics CRM Data in SAP Analytics Cloud

With the connection to Dynamics CRM configured and the OData endpoint(s) created, we can create a Model for Dynamics CRM data in SAP Analytics Cloud.

  1. Log into your Analytics Cloud instance and click Create -> Model from the menu.
  2. Choose "Get data from a datasource" and select "OData Services"
  3. Choose an existing connection to your Connect Cloud OData or Create a new one:
    • Set "Connection Name"
    • Set "Data Service URL" to the Base URL for your OData API (typically: https://www.cdatacloud.net/MYINSTANCE/api.rsc)
    • Set "Authentication Type" to Basic Authentication
    • Set "User Name" to the Connect Cloud user you configured earlier
    • Set "Password" to the Authtoken for the above user
  4. Choose "Create a new query" and click Next
  5. Name the Query, select an OData endpoint (like dynamicscrmdb_Account) and click Next
  6. Drag the columns you wish to work with into the Selected Data workspace and click Create
  7. At this point, a Draft Data source is created; click the draft to finalize the model
  8. Perform any transformations, including creating calculated dimensions, location dimensions, and combining data sources, then click Create Model
  9. Name your model and click OK

Build a Dashboard in SAP Analytics Cloud

With the model created, you are ready to create a dashboard in SAP Analytics Cloud based on Dynamics CRM data.

  1. From the menu, click Create -> Story
  2. Click an SAP Analytics Template (this article uses the "Dashboard" template)
  3. Choose a layout and click Apply
  4. From the More menu, select a visualization to insert (Chart)
  5. Select a model to visualize
  6. Select a structure and the required Measures and Dimensions
  7. Save the story

More Information & Free Trial

Now, you have created a simple but powerful dashboard from live Dynamics CRM data. For more information on creating OData feeds from Dynamics CRM (and more than 200 other data sources), visit the Connect Cloud page. Sign up for a free trial and start working with live Dynamics CRM data in SAP Analytics Cloud.