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Establish a Live Connection with Magento Data using Tableau Bridge

The CData ODBC Driver for Magento enables you to integrate live Magento 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 Magento data.

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

Connect to Magento 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.

Magento uses the OAuth 1 authentication standard. To connect to the Magento REST API, you will need to obtain values for the OAuthClientId, OAuthClientSecret, and CallbackURL connection properties by registering an app with your Magento system. See the "Getting Started" section in the help documentation for a guide to obtaining the OAuth values and connecting.

You will also need to provide the URL to your Magento system. The URL depends on whether you are using the Magento REST API as a customer or administrator.

  • Customer: To use Magento as a customer, make sure you have created a customer account in the Magento homepage. To do so, click Account -> Register. You can then set the URL connection property to the endpoint of your Magento system.

  • Administrator: To access Magento as an administrator, set CustomAdminPath instead. This value can be obtained in the Advanced settings in the Admin menu, which can be accessed by selecting System -> Configuration -> Advanced -> Admin -> Admin Base URL.

    If the Use Custom Admin Path setting on this page is set to YES, the value is inside the Custom Admin Path text box; otherwise, set the CustomAdminPath connection property to the default value, which is "admin".

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 Magento 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 Magento 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 Products 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 Magento 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 Magento data. From a published dashboard, simply click the Refresh button to reflect the most recent changes.