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Connect to Live Exact Online Data in MicroStrategy through the CData Cloud Hub

Create a virtual database for Exact Online in the CData Cloud Hub and connect to it from MicroStrategy.

MicroStrategy is an analytics and mobility platform that enables data-driven innovation. When you pair MicroStrategy with the CData Cloud Hub, you gain database-like access to live Exact Online data from MicroStrategy, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. In this article, we walk through creating a virtual database for Exact Online in the Cloud Hub and connecting to the Cloud Hub in MicroStrategy to create a simple visualization of Exact Online data.

As a cloud-based integration platform, Cloud Hub is ideal for working with cloud-based BI and analytics tools. With no servers to configure or data proxies to set up, you can simply use the web-based UI to create a virtual database for Exact Online and connect from MicroStrategy to start performing analytics based on live Exact Online data.

Configuring Cloud Hub

To work with live Exact Online data in MicroStrategy, we need to create a virtual database for Exact Online in Cloud Hub.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for Exact Online in Cloud Hub

CData Cloud Hub uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and create virtual databases.

  1. Open Cloud Hub and click Databases
  2. Select "Exact Online" from Available Data Sources
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Exact Online

    Exact Online uses the OAuth authentication standard. The InitiateOAuth connection property facilitates the OAuth flow -- by default, this is set to GETANDREFRESH. You can also use the embedded OAuth credentials or you can register an OAuth app with Exact to obtain your own. In addition to the OAuth values, provide the Region. If Division is not set, the default Division is determined.

    See the "Getting Started" chapter of the help documentation for more information.

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

Connect to and Visualize Exact Online Data Using MicroStrategy

You can connect to Exact Online in MicroStrategy by adding a data source based on the native MySQL functionality. Once you have created a data source, you can build dynamic visualizations of Exact Online data in MicroStrategy.

  1. Open MicroStrategy and select your project.
  2. Click Add External Data, select Databases, and use Select Tables as the Import Option.
  3. In the Import from Tables wizard, click to add a new Data Source.
  4. Select MySQL in the Database menu and select MySQL 5.x in the Version menu.
  5. Set the connection properties as follows:
    • Server Name: the URL for your Cloud Hub instance (i.e.: myinstance.cdatacloud.net)
    • Port Number: the port for your Cloud Hub MySQL service (3306 by default)
    • Database Name: the name of your virtual Exact Online database (i.e.: ExactOnline1)
    • User: a Cloud Hub user with permissions to access your Exact Online database
    • Password: the password for your Cloud Hub user
    • Data Source Name: a name for the new external data source, like "Cloud Hub Exact Online"
  6. Expand the menu for the new data source and choose "Edit Catalog Options"
  7. Edit the "SQL statement retreive columns ..." query to include TABLE_SCHEMA = '#?Schema_Name?#' in the WHERE clause, and click Apply and then OK (the complete query is below).

    SELECT DISTINCT 
      TABLE_SCHEMA NAME_SPACE, 
      TABLE_NAME TAB_NAME, 
      COLUMN_NAME COL_NAME, 
      (CASE 
        WHEN 
          (DATA_TYPE LIKE '%char' AND (CHARACTER_SET_NAME='utf8' OR CHARACTER_SET_NAME='ucs2')) 
        THEN 
          CONCAT('n',DATA_TYPE) 
        ELSE 
          DATA_TYPE 
      END) DATA_TYPE, 
      CHARACTER_MAXIMUM_LENGTH DATA_LEN, 
      NUMERIC_PRECISION DATA_PREC, 
      NUMERIC_SCALE DATA_SCALE 
    FROM 
      INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS 
    WHERE 
      TABLE_NAME 
    IN 
      (#TABLE_LIST#) AND TABLE_SCHEMA='#?Schema_Name?#' 
    ORDER BY 
      1,2,3
    
  8. Select the new data source and select the Namespace that corresponds to your virtual Exact Online database (like ExactOnline1).
  9. Drag tables into the pane to import them. Note: Since we create a live connection, we can import whole tables and utilize the filtering and aggregation features native to the MicroStrategy products to customize our datasets.
  10. Click Finish, choose the option to connect live, save the query, and choose the option to create a new dossier. Live connections are possible and effective, thanks to high-performance data processing native to the CData Cloud Hub.
  11. Choose a visualization, choose fields to display, and apply any filters to create a new visualization of Exact Online data. Data types are discovered automatically through dynamic metadata discovery. Where possible, the complex queries generated by the filters and aggregations will be pushed down to Exact Online, while any unsupported operations (which can include SQL functions and JOIN operations) will be managed by the CData SQL engine embedded in the Cloud Hub.
  12. Once you have finished configuring the dossier, click File -> Save.

Using the CData Cloud Hub with MicroStrategy, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on Exact Online data. For more information on creating virtual databases for Exact Online (and more than 200 other data sources), visit the Cloud Hub page. Sign up for a free trial and start working with live Exact Online data in MicroStrategy.