Visualize IBM Cloud Object Storage Data in TIBCO Spotfire through ODBC

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IBM Cloud Object Storage ODBC Driver

The IBM Cloud Object Storage ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from IBM Cloud Object Storage, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access IBM Cloud Object Storage data like you would a database - read, write, and update IBM Cloud Object Storage IBMCloudObject, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



The ODBC standard has ubiquitous support and makes self-service business intelligence easy. Use the ODBC Driver to load IBM Cloud Object Storage data into TIBCO Spotfire.

This article walks you through using the CData ODBC Driver for IBM Cloud Object Storage in TIBCO Spotfire. You will use the data import wizard to connect to a DSN (data source name) for Salesforce and build on the sample visualizations to create a simple dashboard.

Connect to IBM Cloud Object Storage 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.

Register a New Instance of Cloud Object Storage

If you do not already have Cloud Object Storage in your IBM Cloud account, follow the procedure below to install an instance of SQL Query in your account:

  1. Log in to your IBM Cloud account.
  2. Navigate to the page, choose a name for your instance and click Create. You will be redirected to the instance of Cloud Object Storage you just created.

Connecting using OAuth Authentication

There are certain connection properties you need to set before you can connect. You can obtain these as follows:

API Key

To connect with IBM Cloud Object Storage, you need an API Key. You can obtain this as follows:

  1. Log in to your IBM Cloud account.
  2. Navigate to the Platform API Keys page.
  3. On the middle-right corner click "Create an IBM Cloud API Key" to create a new API Key.
  4. In the pop-up window, specify the API Key name and click "Create". Note the API Key as you can never access it again from the dashboard.

Cloud Object Storage CRN

If you have multiple accounts, you will need to specify the CloudObjectStorageCRN explicitly. To find the appropriate value, you can:

  • Query the Services view. This will list your IBM Cloud Object Storage instances along with the CRN for each.
  • Locate the CRN directly in IBM Cloud. To do so, navigate to your IBM Cloud Dashboard. In the Resource List, Under Storage, select your Cloud Object Storage resource to get its CRN.

Connecting to Data

You can now set the following to connect to data:

  • InitiateOAuth: Set this to GETANDREFRESH. You can use InitiateOAuth to avoid repeating the OAuth exchange and manually setting the OAuthAccessToken.
  • ApiKey: Set this to your API key which was noted during setup.
  • CloudObjectStorageCRN (Optional): Set this to the cloud object storage CRN you want to work with. While the connector attempts to retrieve this automatically, specifying this explicitly is recommended if you have more than Cloud Object Storage account.

When you connect, the connector completes the OAuth process.

  1. Extracts the access token and authenticates requests.
  2. Saves OAuth values in OAuthSettingsLocation to be persisted across connections.

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.

Create Visualizations of IBM Cloud Object Storage Tables

Follow the steps below to connect to the DSN and create real-time data visualizations:

  1. Click File -> Add Data Tables.
  2. Click Add -> Database.
  3. In the Data Source Type menu, select ODBC Provider and click Configure.
  4. Select the DSN.
  5. Select the tables that you want to add to the dashboard. This example uses Objects. You can also specify an SQL query. The driver supports the standard SQL syntax.
  6. If you want to work with the live data, click the Keep Data Table External option. This option enables your dashboards to reflect changes to the data in real time.

    If you want to load the data into memory and process the data locally, click the Import Data Table option. This option is better for offline use or if a slow network connection is making your dashboard less interactive.

  7. After adding tables, the Recommended Visualizations wizard is displayed. When you select a table, Spotfire uses the column data types to detect number, time, and category columns. This example uses Etag in the Numbers section and Key in the Categories section.

After adding several visualizations in the Recommended Visualizations wizard, you can make other modifications to the dashboard. For example, you can zoom in on high probability opportunities by applying a filter on the page. To add a filter, click the Filter button. The available filters for each query are displayed in the Filters pane.