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Visualize Microsoft CDS Data in Tableau

The CData ODBC driver for Microsoft CDS enables you integrate Microsoft CDS data into Tableau dashboards.

The CData ODBC Driver for Microsoft CDS enables you to access live Microsoft CDS data in business intelligence tools like Tableau. In this article, you will integrate Microsoft CDS data into a dashboard that reflects changes to Microsoft CDS data in real time.

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

Connect to Microsoft CDS 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.

You can connect without setting any connection properties for your user credentials. Below are the minimum connection properties required to connect.

  • InitiateOAuth: Set this to GETANDREFRESH. You can use InitiateOAuth to avoid repeating the OAuth exchange and manually setting the OAuthAccessToken.
  • OrganizationUrl: Set this to the organization URL you are connecting to, such as https://myorganization.crm.dynamics.com.
  • Tenant (optional): Set this if you wish to authenticate to a different tenant than your default. This is required to work with an organization not on your default Tenant.

When you connect the Common Data Service OAuth endpoint opens in your default browser. Log in and grant permissions. The OAuth process completes automatically.

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 Microsoft CDS Data to a Dashboard

  1. Click Connect to Data -> More Servers -> Other Databases (ODBC).
    Select the CData Data Source Name (for example: CData CDS 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 Accounts 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. In the Connection menu, select the Live option, so that you skip loading a copy of the data into Tableau and instead work on real-time data. The optimized data processing native to CData ODBC drivers enables unmatched performance in live connectivity.
  6. Click the tab for your worksheet. Columns are listed as Dimensions and Measures, depending on the data type. The CData driver discovers data types automatically, allowing you to leverage the powerful data processing and visualization features of Tableau.
  7. Drop the AccountId column in the Dimensions pane onto the dashboard. When you select dimensions, Tableau builds a query to the driver. The results are grouped based on that dimension. In Tableau, the raw query is automatically modified as you select dimensions and measures.
  8. Drag the Name column in the Measures field onto the Detail and Color buttons. Tableau executes the following query:

    SELECT AccountId, SUM(Name) FROM Accounts GROUP BY AccountId

    When you select a measure, Tableau executes a command to the driver to calculate a summary function, such as SUM, AVG, etc., on the grouped values. The SQL engine (embedded within the driver) is leveraged to process the aggregation of the data, where needed, providing a seamless experience in Tableau, regardless of the data source.

    To change the summary function, open the Name menu and select the summary you want in the Measure command.

  9. You can create other charts using dimensions and measures to build SQL queries visually:

With the CData ODBC Driver for Microsoft CDS, you get live connectivity to your Microsoft CDS data, allowing you to build real-time charts, graphs, and more.