Ready to get started?

Learn more about the CData ODBC Driver for Gmail or download a free trial:

Download Now

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

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

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 Gmail, you gain database-like access to live Gmail data from SAS, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. This articles walks through creating a library for Gmail in SAS and creating a simple report based on real-time Gmail data.

The CData ODBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live Gmail data in SAS due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from SAS to Gmail, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Gmail 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 Gmail data in SAS.

Connect to Gmail as an ODBC Data Source

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

There are two ways to authenticate to Gmail. Before selecting one, first ensure that you have enabled IMAP access in your Gmail account settings. See the "Connecting to Gmail" section under "Getting Started" in the installed documentation for a guide.

The User and Password properties, under the Authentication section, can be set to valid Gmail user credentials.

Alternatively, instead of providing the Password, you can use the OAuth authentication standard. To access Google APIs on behalf on individual users, you can use the embedded credentials or you can register your own OAuth app.

OAuth also enables you to use a service account to connect on behalf of users in a Google Apps domain. To authenticate with a service account, you will need to register an application to obtain the OAuth JWT values.

In addition to the OAuth values, you will need to provide the User. See the "Getting Started" chapter in the help documentation for a guide to using OAuth.

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 Gmail 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 Gmail Sys] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for Gmail Description = My Description User = username Password = password

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

Create a Gmail Library in SAS

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

  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 Gmail 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 Gmail 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 inbox_view as
      select 
        subject, 
        size 
      from 
        odbclib.inbox 
      where 
        From = 'test@test.com';
    quit;
    
  3. Click Run -> Submit to execute the query and create a local view.

Report On or Visualize Gmail Data in SAS

With a local view created, you can report, visualize, or otherwise analyze Gmail 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 Gmail Inbox data.
    proc print data=inbox;
      title "Gmail Inbox Data";
    run;
    

Print a Chart

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