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REST Reporting and Star Schemas in OBIEE

Create a star schema that shows perspectives on REST facts in real time.

The CData ODBC Driver for REST is a standard database driver that can integrate real-time access to REST data into your data warehouse or directly into your reporting tool. This article shows how to bypass the data warehouse and import operational REST data into Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE).

See the knowledge base for ODBC integrations with ETL tools like Informatica PowerCenter. For an ETL solution into Oracle Warehouse Builder, use the driver with the Oracle ODBC Gateway to Access REST Data as a Remote Oracle Database.

Connect to REST 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.

See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models REST APIs as bidirectional database tables and XML/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 Format to "XML" or "JSON" and 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 REST 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 REST 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.

Import REST Metadata

Follow the steps below to use the OBIEE Client Tools to import REST metadata into an OBIEE repository. You can then integrate REST data into your business models.

  1. Open the Administration Tool and click File -> New Repository.

  2. In the Connection Type menu, select ODBC 3.5 and select the CData DSN.
  3. Select the metadata types you want to import under the Relational Sources option and then select REST tables.
You can now create star schemas based on REST tables: