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Build Dashboards with JSON Services in DBxtra

Create dynamic dashboards and perform analytics based on JSON services in DBxtra.

The CData ODBC Driver for JSON enables access to live data from JSON under the ODBC standard, allowing you work with JSON services in a wide variety of BI, reporting, and ETL tools and directly, using familiar SQL queries. This article shows how to connect to JSON services as a generic ODBC Data Provider and create charts, reports, and dashboards based on JSON services in DBxtra.

Connect to JSON Services

  1. If you have not already done so, provide values for the required connection properties in the data source name (DSN). You can configure the DSN using the built-in Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator. This is also the last step of the driver installation. See the "Getting Started" chapter in the Help documentation for a guide to using the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure a DSN.

    See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models JSON APIs as bidirectional database tables and JSON files as read-only views (local files, files stored on popular cloud services, and FTP servers). The major authentication schemes are supported, including HTTP Basic, Digest, NTLM, OAuth, and FTP. See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation for authentication guides.

    After setting the URI and providing any authentication values, set DataModel to more closely match the data representation to the structure of your data.

    The DataModel property is the controlling property over how your data is represented into tables and toggles the following basic configurations.

    • Document (default): Model a top-level, document view of your JSON data. The data provider returns nested elements as aggregates of data.
    • FlattenedDocuments: Implicitly join nested documents and their parents into a single table.
    • Relational: Return individual, related tables from hierarchical data. The tables contain a primary key and a foreign key that links to the parent document.

    See the Modeling JSON Data chapter for more information on configuring the relational representation. You will also find the sample data used in the following examples. The data includes entries for people, the cars they own, and various maintenance services performed on those cars.

    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.

  2. Open the DBxtra application and in the New menu click Project and name the Project.
  3. Select ODBC Connection as the Data Connection Type.
  4. Click the browse option () for the Data Source.
  5. In the Data Link Properties window, select Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers on the Provider tab.
  6. On the Connection tab, select the Data Source Name and the initial catalog to use (CData).
  7. Name the Connection and select the appropriate User Groups.
  8. Double-click the Connection from within the Project to connect to the data.

Create a Dashboard with JSON Services

You are now ready to create a dashboard with JSON services.

  1. Right-click Report Objects under the Project and select New Report Object.
  2. In the new Report Object, click the link to create the Query.
  3. In the Select Data Connection window, select the newly created data connection.
  4. On the Query tab, expand the connection objects and select the Tables, Views, and specific columns you wish to include in your dashboard. You can specify search requirements and even create complex queries which include JOINs and aggregations.
  5. On the Dashboard tab, select the visualizations and features for your dashboard. Assign the data values from the query to the appropriate fields for the Dashboards items (Values, Series, etc.)

With a new Dashboard created, you are ready to begin analysis of JSON services. Thanks to the ODBC Driver for JSON, you can refresh the Dashboard and immediately see any changes made at the source. In the same way, you can create and view Reports with live, up-to-date JSON services.