Use the CData ODBC Driver for JSON in MicroStrategy Web

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JSON ODBC Driver

The JSON ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live JSON web services, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access JSON services like you would any standard database - read, write, and update etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Connect to JSON services in MicroStrategy Web using the CData ODBC Driver for JSON.

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

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

Connect to JSON as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to JSON follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments (the ODBC Driver for JSON must be installed on the machine hosting the connected MicroStrategy Intelligence Server).

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.

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 JSON 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 JSON Sys] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for JSON Description = My Description URI = C:/people.json DataModel = Relational

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

Connect to and Visualize JSON Services using MicroStrategy Web

Once you have created a database instance in MicroStrategy Developer and connected it to a project, you can perform a data import of JSON services from MicroStrategy Web. Alternatively, you can create a new data source based on the ODBC Driver.*

  1. Open MicroStrategy Web and select your project.
  2. Click Add External Data, select Databases, and choose Select a Table as the Import Option.
  3. In the Import from Tables wizard, click to add a new data source.
    • Select DSN Data Sources
    • Set the DSN property to the previously configured DSN (CData JSON Sys)
    • Set the Version property to Generic DBMS
    • Set the User and Password properties (or use filler values)
    • Set the Data Source Name
  4. After creating the data source, click to edit the catalog options and set the following queries and click OK.
    • SQL statement to retrieve tables available in the data source
      SELECT
        CatalogName NAME_SPACE,
        TableName TAB_NAME
      FROM
        SYS_TABLES
          
    • SQL statement to retrieve columns for the selected tables
      SELECT DISTINCT 
        CatalogName NAME_SPACE, 
        TableName TAB_NAME, 
        ColumnName COL_NAME, 
        DataTypeName DATA_TYPE, 
        Length DATA_LEN, 
        NumericPrecision DATA_PREC, 
        NumericScale DATA_SCALE 
      FROM 
        SYS_TABLECOLUMNS 
      WHERE 
        TableName IN (#TABLE_LIST#) 
      ORDER BY
        1,2,3
          
  5. Drag a table into the pane. Note: Since we create a live connection, we can import whole tables and utilize the filtering and aggregation features native to the MicroStrategy products.
  6. Click Finish, choose to the option to connect live, save the query, and choose the option to create a new dossier.
  7. Choose a visualization, choose fields to display, and apply any filters to create a new visualization of JSON services. Data types are discovered automatically through dynamic metadata discovery. Where possible, the complex queries generated by the filters and aggregations will be pushed down to JSON, 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.
  8. Once you have finished configuring the dossier, click File -> Save.

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


Note: connecting using a ODBC driver requires a 3- or 4-tier architecture.