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Build Visualizations of Epicor ERP Data in Birst

Use the CData JDBC Driver for Epicor ERP and the Birst Cloud Agent to build real-time visualizations of Epicor ERP data in Birst.

Birst is a cloud business intelligence (BI) tool and analytics platform that helps organizations quickly understand and optimize complex processes. When paired with the CData JDBC Driver for Epicor ERP, you can connect to live Epicor ERP data through the Birst Cloud Agent and build real-time visualizations. In this article, we walk you through, step-by-step, how to connect to Epicor ERP using the Cloud Agent and create dynamic reports in Birst.

With powerful data processing capabilities, the CData JDBC Driver offers unmatched performance for live Epicor ERP data operations in Birst. When you issue complex SQL queries from Birst to Epicor ERP, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Epicor ERP and utilizes the embedded SQL Engine to process unsupported operations client-side (often SQL functions and JOIN operations). With built-in dynamic metadata querying, the JDBC driver enables you to visualize and analyze Epicor ERP data using native Birst data types.

Configure a JDBC Connection to Epicor ERP Data in Birst

Before creating the Birst project, you will need to install the Birst Cloud Agent (in order to work with the installed JDBC Driver). Also, copy the JAR file for the JDBC Driver (and the LIC file, if it exists) to the /drivers/ directory in the installation location for the Cloud Agent.

With the driver and Cloud Agent installed, you are ready to begin.

  1. Create a new project in Birst.
  2. Name the connection (e.g. CDataEpicorERP).
  3. Choose Live Access.
  4. Select an agent.
  5. Set Database Type to Other.
  6. Set SQL Type to MSSQL
  7. Set the Connection string.

    To successfully connect to your ERP instance, you must specify the following connection properties:

    • Url:the URL of the server hosting your ERP instance. For example, https://myserver.EpicorSaaS.com
    • ERPInstance: the name of your ERP instance.
    • User: the username of your account.
    • Password: the password of your account.
    • Service: the service you want to retrieve data from. For example, BaqSvc.

    In addition, you may also set the optional connection properties:

    • ApiKey: An optional key that may be required for connection to some services depending on your account configuration.
    • ApiVersion: Defaults to v1. May be set to v2 to use the newer Epicor API.
    • Company: Required if you set the ApiVersion to v2.

    Built-in Connection String Designer

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

    java -jar cdata.jdbc.epicorerp.jar

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

    When you configure the JDBC URL, 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.

    Below is a typical JDBC connection string for Epicor ERP:

    jdbc:epicorerp:ervice=Erp.BO.CustomerSvc;ERPInstance=MyInstance;URL=https://myaccount.epicorsaas.com;User=username;Password=password;InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH
  8. Set the Driver Name: cdata.jdbc.epicorerp.EpicorERPDriver and click Save.

NOTE: Since authentication to Epicor ERP is managed from the connection string, you can leave Security Credentials blank.

Configure Epicor ERP Data Objects

Now that the connection is configured, we are ready to configure the schema for the dataset, choosing the tables, views, and columns we wish to visualize.

  1. Select the Schema (e.g. EpicorERP).
  2. Click on Tables and/or Views to connect to those entities and click Apply.
  3. Select the Tables and Columns you want to access and click Done.

With the objects configured, you can perform any data preparation and discover any relationships in your data using the Pronto Prepare and Relate tools.

Build a Visualization

After you prepare your data and define relationships between the connected objects, you are ready to build your visualization.

  1. Select the Visualizer tool from the menu.
  2. Select Measures & Categories from your objects
  3. Select and configure the appropriate visualization for the Measure(s) you selected.

Using the CData JDBC Driver for Epicor ERP with the Cloud Agent and Birst, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on Epicor ERP data. Download a free, 30-day trial and start building Birst visualizations today.