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Analyze FinancialForce Data in R

Use standard R functions and the development environment of your choice to analyze FinancialForce data with the CData JDBC Driver for FinancialForce.

Access FinancialForce data with pure R script and standard SQL on any machine where R and Java can be installed. You can use the CData JDBC Driver for FinancialForce and the RJDBC package to work with remote FinancialForce data in R. By using the CData Driver, you are leveraging a driver written for industry-proven standards to access your data in the popular, open-source R language. This article shows how to use the driver to execute SQL queries to FinancialForce and visualize FinancialForce data by calling standard R functions.

Install R

You can match the driver's performance gains from multi-threading and managed code by running the multithreaded Microsoft R Open or by running open R linked with the BLAS/LAPACK libraries. This article uses Microsoft R Open 3.2.3, which is preconfigured to install packages from the Jan. 1, 2016 snapshot of the CRAN repository. This snapshot ensures reproducibility.

Load the RJDBC Package

To use the driver, download the RJDBC package. After installing the RJDBC package, the following line loads the package:

library(RJDBC)

Connect to FinancialForce as a JDBC Data Source

You will need the following information to connect to FinancialForce as a JDBC data source:

  • Driver Class: Set this to cdata.jdbc.financialforce.FinancialForceDriver
  • Classpath: Set this to the location of the driver JAR. By default this is the lib subfolder of the installation folder.

The DBI functions, such as dbConnect and dbSendQuery, provide a unified interface for writing data access code in R. Use the following line to initialize a DBI driver that can make JDBC requests to the CData JDBC Driver for FinancialForce:

driver <- JDBC(driverClass = "cdata.jdbc.financialforce.FinancialForceDriver", classPath = "MyInstallationDir\lib\cdata.jdbc.financialforce.jar", identifier.quote = "'")

You can now use DBI functions to connect to FinancialForce and execute SQL queries. Initialize the JDBC connection with the dbConnect function.

There are several authentication methods available for connecting to FinancialForce: login credentials, SSO, and OAuth.

Authenticating with a Login and Token

Set the User and Password to your login credentials. Additionally, set the SecurityToken. By default, the SecurityToken is required, but you can make it optional by allowing a range of trusted IP addresses.

To disable the security token:

  1. Log in to FinancialForce and enter "Network Access" in the Quick Find box in the setup section.
  2. Add your IP address to the list of trusted IP addresses.

To obtain the security token:

  1. Open the personal information page on FinancialForce.com.
  2. Click the link to reset your security token. The token will be emailed to you.
  3. Specify the security token in the SecurityToken connection property or append it to the Password.

Authenticating with OAuth

If you do not have access to the user name and password or do not want to require them, use the OAuth user consent flow. See the OAuth section in the Help for an authentication guide.

Connecting to FinancialForce Sandbox Accounts

Set UseSandbox to true (false by default) to use a FinancialForce sandbox account. Ensure that you specify a sandbox user name in User.

Built-in Connection String Designer

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

java -jar cdata.jdbc.financialforce.jar

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

Below is a sample dbConnect call, including a typical JDBC connection string:

conn <- dbConnect(driver,"jdbc:financialforce:User=myUser;Password=myPassword;Security Token=myToken;InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH")

Schema Discovery

The driver models FinancialForce APIs as relational tables, views, and stored procedures. Use the following line to retrieve the list of tables:

dbListTables(conn)

Execute SQL Queries

You can use the dbGetQuery function to execute any SQL query supported by the FinancialForce API:

account <- dbGetQuery(conn,"SELECT BillingState, Name FROM Account WHERE Industry = 'Floppy Disks'")

You can view the results in a data viewer window with the following command:

View(account)

Plot FinancialForce Data

You can now analyze FinancialForce data with any of the data visualization packages available in the CRAN repository. You can create simple bar plots with the built-in bar plot function:

par(las=2,ps=10,mar=c(5,15,4,2)) barplot(account$Name, main="FinancialForce Account", names.arg = account$BillingState, horiz=TRUE)