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Use the CData ODBC Driver for SAP SuccessFactors in SAS for Real-Time Reporting and Analytics

Connect to real-time SAP SuccessFactors data in SAS for reporting, analytics, and visualizations using the CData ODBC Driver for SAP SuccessFactors.

SAS is a software suite developed for advanced analytics, multivariate analysis, business intelligence, data management, and predictive analytics. When you pair SAS with the CData ODBC Driver for SAP SuccessFactors, you gain database-like access to live SAP SuccessFactors data from SAS, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. This articles walks through creating a library for SAP SuccessFactors in SAS and creating a simple report based on real-time SAP SuccessFactors data.

The CData ODBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live SAP SuccessFactors data in SAS due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from SAS to SAP SuccessFactors, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to SAP SuccessFactors 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 easily visualize and analyze SAP SuccessFactors data in SAS.

Connect to SAP SuccessFactors as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to SAP SuccessFactors follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments (the ODBC Driver for SAP SuccessFactors must be installed on the machine hosting the SAS System).

You can authenticate to SAP Success Factors using Basic authentication or OAuth with SAML assertion.

Basic Authentication

You must provide values for the following properties to successfully authenticate to SAP Success Factors. Note that the provider will reuse the session opened by SAP Success Factors using cookies. Which means that your credentials will be used only on the first request to open the session. After that, cookies returned from SAP Success Factors will be used for authentication.

  • Url: set this to the URL of the server hosting Success Factors. Some of the servers are listed in the SAP support documentation (external link).
  • User: set this to the username of your account.
  • Password: set this to the password of your account.
  • CompanyId: set this to the unique identifier of your company.

OAuth Authentication

You must provide values for the following properties, which will be used to get the access token.

  • Url: set this to the URL of the server hosting Success Factors. Some of the servers are listed in the SAP support documentation (external link).
  • User: set this to the username of your account.
  • CompanyId: set this to the unique identifier of your company.
  • OAuthClientId: set this to the API Key that was generated in API Center.
  • OAuthClientSecret: the X.509 private key used to sign SAML assertion. The private key can be found in the certificate you downloaded in Registering your OAuth Client Application.
  • InitiateOAuth: set this to GETANDREFRESH.

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 SAP SuccessFactors 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 SAPSuccessFactors Sys] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for SAP SuccessFactors Description = My Description User = username Password = password CompanyId = CompanyId Url = https://api4.successfactors.com

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

Create a SAP SuccessFactors Library in SAS

Connect to SAP SuccessFactors in SAS by adding a library based on the CData ODBC Driver for SAP SuccessFactors.

  1. Open SAS and expand Libraries in the Explorer pane.
  2. In the Active Libraries window, right-click and select New.
  3. Name your library (odbclib), select ODBC as the Engine, and click to Enable at startup (if you want the library to persist between sessions).
  4. Set Data Source to the DSN you previously configured and click OK.

Create a View from a SAP SuccessFactors Query

SAS natively supports querying data either using a low-code, point-and-click Query tool or programmatically with PROC SQL and a custom SQL query. When you create a View in SAS, the defining query is executed each time the view is queried. This means that you always query live SAP SuccessFactors data for reports, charts, and analytics.

Using the Query Tool

  1. In SAS, click Tools -> Query
  2. Select the table sources and the table(s) you wish to pull data from. Then, click OK.
  3. Select columns and right-click to add filtering, ordering, grouping, etc.
  4. Create a local view to contain the query results by right-clicking the SQL Query Tool window, selecting Show Query, and clicking Create View. Name the View and click OK.

Using PROC SQL

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC SQL to query the data and create a local view.
    NOTE: This procedure creates a view in the Work library. You can optionally specify a library in the create view statement.
    proc sql;
      create view extaddressinfo_view as
      select 
        address1, 
        zipcode 
      from 
        odbclib.extaddressinfo 
      where 
        city = 'Springfield';
    quit;
    
  3. Click Run -> Submit to execute the query and create a local view.

Report On or Visualize SAP SuccessFactors Data in SAS

With a local view created, you can report, visualize, or otherwise analyze SAP SuccessFactors data using the powerful SAS features. Print a simple report using PROC PRINT and create a basic graph based on the data using PROC GCHART.

Print an HTML Report

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC PRINT to print an HTML report for the SAP SuccessFactors ExtAddressInfo data.
    proc print data=extaddressinfo;
      title "SAP SuccessFactors ExtAddressInfo Data";
    run;
    

Print a Chart

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC GCHART to create a chart for the ExtAddressInfo data.
    proc gchart data=extaddressinfo;
      pie address1 / sumvar=zipcode
          value=arrow
          percent=arrow
          noheading
          percent=inside plabel=(height=12pt)
          slice=inside value=none
          name='ExtAddressInfoChart';
    run;