Build Visualizations of Exact Online Data in Birst

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Exact Online JDBC Driver

Rapidly create and deploy powerful Java applications that integrate with Exact Online account data including Contacts, Opportunities, Accounts, and more!



Use the CData JDBC Driver for Exact Online and the Birst Cloud Agent to build real-time visualizations of Exact Online 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 Exact Online, you can connect to live Exact Online 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 Exact Online using the Cloud Agent and create dynamic reports in Birst.

With powerful data processing capabilities, the CData JDBC Driver offers unmatched performance for live Exact Online data operations in Birst. When you issue complex SQL queries from Birst to Exact Online, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Exact Online 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 Exact Online data using native Birst data types.

Configure a JDBC Connection to Exact Online 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. CDataExactOnline).
  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.

    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.

    Built-in Connection String Designer

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

    java -jar cdata.jdbc.exactonline.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 Exact Online:

    jdbc:exactonline:Region='United States';Division=5512;InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH
  8. Set the Driver Name: cdata.jdbc.exactonline.ExactOnlineDriver and click Save.

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

Configure Exact Online 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. ExactOnline).
  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 Exact Online with the Cloud Agent and Birst, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on Exact Online data. Download a free, 30-day trial and start building Birst visualizations today.