Prepare, Blend, and Analyze SAS xpt Data in Alteryx Designer

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SASxpt ODBC Driver

The SASxpt ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from SAS xpt (XPORT) file data, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access SAS xpt (XPORT) files like you would a database - read, write, and update through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Build workflows to access live SAS xpt data for self-service data analytics.

The CData ODBC Driver for SAS xpt enables access to live data from SAS xpt under the ODBC standard, allowing you work with SAS xpt data in a wide variety of BI, reporting, and ETL tools and directly, using familiar SQL queries. This article shows how to connect to SAS xpt data using an ODBC connection in Alteryx Designer to perform self-service BI, data preparation, data blending, and advanced analytics.

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

Connect to SAS xpt Data

  1. If you have not already done so, provide values for the required connection properties in the data source name (DSN). You can configure the DSN using the built-in Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator. This is also the last step of the driver installation. See the "Getting Started" chapter in the Help documentation for a guide to using the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure a DSN.

    Connecting to Local SASXpt Files

    You can connect to local SASXpt file by setting the URI to a folder containing SASXpt files.

    Connecting to S3 data source

    You can connect to Amazon S3 source to read SASXpt files. Set the following properties to connect:

    • URI: Set this to the folder within your bucket that you would like to connect to.
    • AWSAccessKey: Set this to your AWS account access key.
    • AWSSecretKey: Set this to your AWS account secret key.
    • TemporaryLocalFolder: Set this to the path, or URI, to the folder that is used to temporarily download SASXpt file(s).

    Connecting to Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2

    You can connect to ADLS Gen2 to read SASXpt files. Set the following properties to connect:

    • URI: Set this to the name of the file system and the name of the folder which contacts your SASXpt files.
    • AzureAccount: Set this to the name of the Azure Data Lake storage account.
    • AzureAccessKey: Set this to our Azure DataLakeStore Gen 2 storage account access key.
    • TemporaryLocalFolder: Set this to the path, or URI, to the folder that is used to temporarily download SASXpt file(s).

    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.

  2. Open Alteryx Designer and create a new workflow.
  3. Drag and drop a new input data tool onto the workflow.
  4. Click the new input data tool and under Connect a File or Database, select Database Connection -> New ODBC Connection.
  5. Select the DSN that you configured for use in Alteryx.
  6. In the wizard that opens, select the fields you wish to include in your query. Where possible, the complex queries generated by the filters and aggregations will be pushed down to SAS xpt, while any unsupported operations (which can include SQL functions and JOIN operations) will be managed client-side by the CData SQL engine embedded in the driver.
  7. If you wish to further customize your dataset, you can open the SQL Editor and modify the query manually, adding clauses, aggregations, and other operations to ensure that you are retrieving exactly the SAS xpt data you want.

With the query defined, you are ready to work with SAS xpt data in Alteryx Designer.

Perform Self-Service Analytics on SAS xpt Data

You are now ready to create a workflow to prepare, blend, and analyze SAS xpt data. The CData ODBC Driver performs dynamic metadata discovery, presenting data using Alteryx data field types and allowing you to leverage the Designer's tools to manipulate data as needed and build meaningful datasets. In the example below, you will cleanse and browse data.

  1. Add a data cleansing tool to the workflow and check the boxes in Replace Nulls to replace null text fields with blanks and replace null numeric fields with 0. You can also check the box in Remove Unwanted Characters to remove leading and trailing whitespace.
  2. Add a browse data tool to the workflow.
  3. Click to run the workflow (CTRL+R).
  4. Browse your cleansed SAS xpt data in the results view.

Thanks to built-in, high-performance data processing, you will be able to quickly cleanse, transform, and/or analyze your SAS xpt data with Alteryx.