Use the CData ODBC Driver for Google Spanner in MicroStrategy Desktop

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Google Spanner ODBC Driver

The Google Cloud Spanner ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live Spanner Cloud databases, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Google Cloud Spanner like you would any other RDBMS - read, write, and update through a standard ODBC Driver interface.

Connect to Google Spanner data in MicroStrategy Desktop using the CData ODBC Driver for Google Spanner.

MicroStrategy is an analytics and mobility platform that enables data-driven innovation. When paired with the CData ODBC Driver for Google Spanner, you gain database-like access to live Google Spanner data from MicroStrategy, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. In this article, we walk through adding Google Spanner as a data source in MicroStrategy Desktop and creating a simple visualization of Google Spanner data.

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

Connect to Google Spanner as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to Google Spanner follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments.

Google Spanner uses the OAuth authentication standard. To authenticate using OAuth, you can use the embedded credentials or register an app with Google.

See the Getting Started guide in the CData driver 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.


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.


If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for Google Spanner 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.


[CData GoogleSpanner Sys] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for Google Spanner Description = My Description ProjectId = 'project1' InstanceId = 'instance1' Database = 'db1'

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

Connect to and Visualize Google Spanner Data using MicroStrategy Desktop

In addition to connecting Google Spanner in MicroStrategy enterprise products, you can connect to Google Spanner in MicroStrategy Desktop. Follow the steps below to add Google Spanner data as a dataset and create visualizations and reports of Google Spanner data.

  1. Open MicroStrategy Desktop and create a new dossier.
  2. In the datasets panel, click New Data, select Databases, and select Type a Query as the Import Option.
  3. Add a new data source and choose DSN data sources.
  4. Choose the DSN you previously configured (likely CData GoogleSpanner Sys) and select Generic DBMS in the Version menu.
  5. Set the User and Password properties for the DSN (or use placeholder values) and name the data source.
  6. Select the new database instance to view the tables. You may need to manually click the search icon in the Available Tables section to see the tables.
  7. Create a SQL query for the Google Spanner data (see below) and click Execute SQL to test the query. SELECT * FROM Customer NOTE: Since we create a live connection, we can execute a SELECT * query and utilize the filtering and aggregation features native to the MicroStrategy products.
  8. Click Finish and choose to connect live.
  9. Choose a visualization, choose fields to display (data types are discovered automatically through dynamic metadata discovery) and apply any filters to create a new visualization of Google Spanner data. Where possible, the complex queries generated by the filters and aggregations will be pushed down to Google Spanner, 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.
  10. Once you are finished configuring the dossier, click File -> Save.

Using the CData ODBC Driver for Google Spanner in MicroStrategy Desktop, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on Google Spanner data. Read our other articles on connecting to Google Spanner in MicroStrategy and connecting to Google Spanner in MicroStrategy Web for more examples.