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Connect to and Query FTP Data in QlikView over ODBC

Create data visualizations with FTP data in QlikView.

The CData ODBC drivers expand your ability to work with data from more than 200 data sources. QlikView is a business discovery platform that provides self-service BI for all business users in an organization. This article outlines simple steps to connect to FTP data using the CData ODBC driver and create data visualizations in QlikView.

The CData ODBC drivers offer unmatched performance for interacting with live FTP data in QlikView due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from QlikView to FTP, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to FTP 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 visualize and analyze FTP data using native QlikView data types.

Connect to FTP as an ODBC Data Source

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.

To connect to FTP or SFTP servers, specify at least RemoteHost and FileProtocol. Specify the port with RemotePort.

Set User and Password to perform Basic authentication. Set SSHAuthMode to use SSH authentication. See the Getting Started section of the data provider help documentation for more information on authenticating via SSH.

Set SSLMode and SSLServerCert to secure connections with SSL.

The data provider lists the tables based on the available folders in your FTP server. Set the following connection properties to control the relational view of the file system:

  • RemotePath: Set this to the current working directory.
  • TableDepth: Set this to control the depth of folders to list as views.
  • FileRetrievalDepth: Set this to retrieve and list files recursively from the root table.

Stored Procedures are available to download files, upload files, and send protocol commands. See the Data Model chapter of the FTP data provider documentation for more information.

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.

Populate a Chart with FTP Data

The steps below supply the results of an SQL query to a visualization in QlikView. In this article, you will create a bar chart with the query below:

SELECT Filesize, Filename FROM MyDirectory
  1. Click File -> Edit Script (or click the Edit Script button in the Toolbar).
  2. On the Data tab, select ODBC in the Database menu and click Connect.
  3. Select the DSN (CData FTP Sys) in the resulting dialog. A command like the following is generated: ODBC CONNECT TO [CData FTP Sys];
  4. Enter the SQL query directly into the script with the SQL command (or click Select to build the query in the SELECT statement wizard). SQL SELECT Filesize, Filename FROM MyDirectory;

    Where possible, the SQL operations in the query, like filters and aggregations, will be pushed down to FTP, while any unsupported operations (which can include SQL functions and JOIN operations) will be managed client-side by the CData SQL engine embedded in the driver.

  5. Close the script editor and reload the document to execute the script.
  6. Click Tools -> Quick Chart Wizard. In the wizard, select the chart type. This example uses a bar chart. When building the chart, you have access to the fields from FTP, typed appropriately for QlikView, thanks to built-in dynamic metadata querying.
  7. When defining Dimensions, select Filesize in the First Dimension menu.
  8. When defining Expressions, click the summary function you want and select Filename in the menu.
  9. Finish the wizard to generate the chart. The CData ODBC Driver for FTP connects to live FTP data, so the chart can be refreshed to see real-time changes. Live connections are possible and effective, thanks to the high-performance data processing native to CData ODBC Drivers.