Establish a Live Connection with HPCC Systems Data using Tableau Bridge

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HPCC ODBC Driver

The HPCC ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live HPCC Systems data, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access HPCC Systems like you would a database - query data through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



The CData ODBC Driver for HPCC Systems enables you to integrate live HPCC Systems data into Tableau Online dashboards using the Tableau Bridge.

The Tableau Bridge enables you to publish dashboards to Tableau Online while maintaining live connectivity with any data source. In this article, you will use the Tableau Bridge to maintain data freshness in a published workbook by listening for changes in the underlying HPCC Systems data.

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

Connect to HPCC Systems 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, set the following connection properties: Set URL to the machine name or IP address of the server and the port the server is running on, for example, https://server:port. The User and Password are required to authenticate to the HPCC Systems cluster specified in the URL. Note that LDAP authentication is not currently supported by our ODBC driver.

Set Version to the WsSQL Web server version. Note that if you have not already done so, you will need to install the WsSQL service on the HPCC Systems server. The WsSQL Web service is used to interact with the underlying HPCC Systems platform.

Set Cluster to the target cluster.

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.

Add HPCC Systems Data to a Dashboard

  1. From a new workbook, click Data -> New Data Source -> Other Databases (ODBC).
    Select the CData Data Source Name (for example: CData HPCC Source).
  2. In the Database menu, select CData.
  3. In the Table box, enter a table name or click New Custom SQL to enter an SQL query. This article retrieves the hpcc::test::orders table.
  4. Drag the table onto the join area. At this point, you can include multiple tables, leveraging the built-in SQL engine to process complex data requests.
  5. Click the tab for your worksheet. Columns are listed as Dimensions and Measures, which you can drag and drop onto the dashboard to create visualizations.

Set Up Tableau Bridge as a Service

  1. In the Server menu, select Start Tableau Bridge Client.
  2. Sign in to the Tableau Bridge using a site admin level account.
  3. If prompted, select the Tableau Online site where you want to publish live data. The bridge client will open and is accessible from the system tray.
  4. By default, the Tableau Bridge client is set to Application mode. Select 'Switch to service' to enable Tableau Bridge to handle live connections.
  5. Log in to your Tableau Online site as an administrator.
  6. From your site, click Settings, then Bridge.
  7. In the Bridge settings, under Enable Clients to Maintain Live Connections, check the box labelled 'Enable Tableau Bridge clients to maintain live connections to on-premises data.'

Publish a Dashboard Containing the Live Data Source

Having configured both the Tableau Bridge and Tableau Online to enable live data connections, you can now publish your workbook to Tableau Online. From the Server menu, select Publish Workbook.

After choosing the workbook name and project that you wish to publish to, configure the deployment so that the CData ODBC driver for HPCC Systems is embedded in your workbook as a separate, live data source.

  1. Under Data Sources, select the option to Edit the embedded data sources in the workbook.
  2. Change Publish Type to 'Published separately,' then select a desired means of authentication.
  3. Last, select 'Maintain connection to a live data source' and click the green Publish Workbook button.

The published workbook now updates alongside the underlying HPCC Systems data. From a published dashboard, simply click the Refresh button to reflect the most recent changes.