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Build Visualizations of Sage US Data in Birst

Use the CData JDBC Driver for Sage US and the Birst Cloud Agent to build real-time visualizations of Sage US data in Birst.

Birst is a cloud business intelligence (BI) tool and analytics platform that helps organizations quickly understand and optimize complex processes. When paired with the CData JDBC Driver for Sage US, you can connect to live Sage US data through the Birst Cloud Agent and build real-time visualizations. In this article, we walk you through, step-by-step, how to connect to Sage US using the Cloud Agent and create dynamic reports in Birst.

With powerful data processing capabilities, the CData JDBC Driver offers unmatched performance for live Sage US data operations in Birst. When you issue complex SQL queries from Birst to Sage US, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Sage US and utilizes the embedded SQL Engine to process unsupported operations client-side (often SQL functions and JOIN operations). With built-in dynamic metadata querying, the JDBC driver enables you to visualize and analyze Sage US data using native Birst data types.

Configure a JDBC Connection to Sage US Data in Birst

Before creating the Birst project, you will need to install the Birst Cloud Agent (in order to work with the installed JDBC Driver). Also, copy the JAR file for the JDBC Driver (and the LIC file, if it exists) to the /drivers/ directory in the installation location for the Cloud Agent.

With the driver and Cloud Agent installed, you are ready to begin.

  1. Create a new project in Birst.
  2. Name the connection (e.g. CDataSage50US).
  3. Choose Live Access.
  4. Select an agent.
  5. Set Database Type to Other.
  6. Set SQL Type to MSSQL
  7. Set the Connection string.

    The Application Id and Company Name connection string options are required to connect to Sage as a data source. You can obtain an Application Id by contacting Sage directly to request access to the Sage 50 SDK.

    Sage must be installed on the machine. The Sage.Peachtree.API.dll and Sage.Peachtree.API.Resolver.dll assemblies are required. These assemblies are installed with Sage in C:\Program Files\Sage\Peachtree\API\. Additionally, the Sage SDK requires .NET Framework 4.0 and is only compatible with 32-bit applications. To use the Sage SDK in Visual Studio, set the Platform Target property to "x86" in Project -> Properties -> Build.

    You must authorize the application to access company data: To authorize your application to access Sage, restart the Sage application, open the company you want to access, and connect with your application. You will then be prompted to set access permissions for the application in the resulting dialog.

    While the compiled executable will require authorization only once, during development you may need to follow this process to reauthorize a new build. To avoid restarting the Sage application when developing with Visual Studio, click Build -> Configuration Manager and uncheck "Build" for your project.

    Built-in Connection String Designer

    For assistance in constructing the JDBC URL, use the connection string designer built into the Sage US JDBC Driver. Either double-click the JAR file or execute the jar file from the command-line.

    java -jar cdata.jdbc.sage50us.jar

    Fill in the connection properties and copy the connection string to the clipboard.

    When you configure the JDBC URL, 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.

    Below is a typical JDBC connection string for Sage US:

    jdbc:sage50us:ApplicationId=8dfafu4V4ODmh1fM0xx;CompanyName=Bellwether Garden Supply - Premium;
  8. Set the Driver Name: cdata.jdbc.sage50us.Sage50USDriver and click Save.

NOTE: Since authentication to Sage US is managed from the connection string, you can leave Security Credentials blank.

Configure Sage US Data Objects

Now that the connection is configured, we are ready to configure the schema for the dataset, choosing the tables, views, and columns we wish to visualize.

  1. Select the Schema (e.g. Sage50US).
  2. Click on Tables and/or Views to connect to those entities and click Apply.
  3. Select the Tables and Columns you want to access and click Done.

With the objects configured, you can perform any data preparation and discover any relationships in your data using the Pronto Prepare and Relate tools.

Build a Visualization

After you prepare your data and define relationships between the connected objects, you are ready to build your visualization.

  1. Select the Visualizer tool from the menu.
  2. Select Measures & Categories from your objects
  3. Select and configure the appropriate visualization for the Measure(s) you selected.

Using the CData JDBC Driver for Sage US with the Cloud Agent and Birst, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on Sage US data. Download a free, 30-day trial and start building Birst visualizations today.