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Use the CData ODBC Driver for FinancialForce in SAS for Real-Time Reporting and Analytics

Connect to real-time FinancialForce data in SAS for reporting, analytics, and visualizations using the CData ODBC Driver for FinancialForce.

SAS is a software suite developed for advanced analytics, multivariate analysis, business intelligence, data management, and predictive analytics. When you pair SAS with the CData ODBC Driver for FinancialForce, you gain database-like access to live FinancialForce data from SAS, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. This articles walks through creating a library for FinancialForce in SAS and creating a simple report based on real-time FinancialForce data.

The CData ODBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live FinancialForce data in SAS due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from SAS to FinancialForce, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to FinancialForce and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. With built-in dynamic metadata querying, you can easily visualize and analyze FinancialForce data in SAS.

Connect to FinancialForce as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to FinancialForce follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments (the ODBC Driver for FinancialForce must be installed on the machine hosting the SAS System).

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.

When you configure the DSN, 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.

Windows

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for FinancialForce in a Linux environment, the driver installation predefines a system DSN. You can modify the DSN by editing the system data sources file (/etc/odbc.ini) and defining the required connection properties.

/etc/odbc.ini

[CData FinancialForce Sys] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for FinancialForce Description = My Description User = myUser Password = myPassword Security Token = myToken

For specific information on using these configuration files, please refer to the help documentation (installed and found online).

Create a FinancialForce Library in SAS

Connect to FinancialForce in SAS by adding a library based on the CData ODBC Driver for FinancialForce.

  1. Open SAS and expand Libraries in the Explorer pane.
  2. In the Active Libraries window, right-click and select New.
  3. Name your library (odbclib), select ODBC as the Engine, and click to Enable at startup (if you want the library to persist between sessions).
  4. Set Data Source to the DSN you previously configured and click OK.

Create a View from a FinancialForce Query

SAS natively supports querying data either using a low-code, point-and-click Query tool or programmatically with PROC SQL and a custom SQL query. When you create a View in SAS, the defining query is executed each time the view is queried. This means that you always query live FinancialForce data for reports, charts, and analytics.

Using the Query Tool

  1. In SAS, click Tools -> Query
  2. Select the table sources and the table(s) you wish to pull data from. Then, click OK.
  3. Select columns and right-click to add filtering, ordering, grouping, etc.
  4. Create a local view to contain the query results by right-clicking the SQL Query Tool window, selecting Show Query, and clicking Create View. Name the View and click OK.

Using PROC SQL

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC SQL to query the data and create a local view.
    NOTE: This procedure creates a view in the Work library. You can optionally specify a library in the create view statement.
    proc sql;
      create view account_view as
      select 
        billingstate, 
        name 
      from 
        odbclib.account 
      where 
        Industry = 'Floppy Disks';
    quit;
    
  3. Click Run -> Submit to execute the query and create a local view.

Report On or Visualize FinancialForce Data in SAS

With a local view created, you can report, visualize, or otherwise analyze FinancialForce data using the powerful SAS features. Print a simple report using PROC PRINT and create a basic graph based on the data using PROC GCHART.

Print an HTML Report

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC PRINT to print an HTML report for the FinancialForce Account data.
    proc print data=account;
      title "FinancialForce Account Data";
    run;
    

Print a Chart

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC GCHART to create a chart for the Account data.
    proc gchart data=account;
      pie billingstate / sumvar=name
          value=arrow
          percent=arrow
          noheading
          percent=inside plabel=(height=12pt)
          slice=inside value=none
          name='AccountChart';
    run;