Connect to Live SFTP Data in MicroStrategy through CData Connect Cloud

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Create a virtual database for SFTP in CData Connect Cloud and connect to it from MicroStrategy.

MicroStrategy is an analytics and mobility platform that enables data-driven innovation. When you pair MicroStrategy with CData Connect Cloud, you gain database-like access to live SFTP data from MicroStrategy, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. In this article, we walk through creating a virtual database for SFTP in Connect Cloud and connecting to Connect Cloud in MicroStrategy to create a simple visualization of SFTP data.

As a cloud-based integration platform, Connect Cloud is ideal for working with cloud-based BI and analytics tools. With no servers to configure or data proxies to set up, you can simply use the web-based UI to create a virtual database for SFTP and connect from MicroStrategy to start performing analytics based on live SFTP data.

Configuring Connect Cloud

To work with live SFTP data in MicroStrategy, we need to create a virtual database for SFTP in Connect Cloud.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for SFTP in Connect Cloud

CData Connect Cloud uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and create virtual databases.

  1. Open Connect Cloud and click Databases
  2. Select "SFTP" from Available Data Sources
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to SFTP

    SFTP can be used to transfer files to and from SFTP servers using the SFTP Protocol. To connect, specify the RemoteHost;. service uses the User and Password and public key authentication (SSHClientCert). Choose an SSHAuthMode and specify connection values based on your selection.

    Set the following connection properties to control the relational view of the file system:

    • RemotePath: Set this to the current working directory.
    • TableDepth: Set this to control the depth of subfolders to report as views.
    • FileRetrievalDepth: Set this to retrieve files recursively and list them in the Root table.
    Stored Procedures are available to download files, upload files, and send protocol commands. See gdatamodel for more on using SQL to interact with the server.

  4. Click Test Database
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions

Connect to and Visualize SFTP Data Using MicroStrategy

You can connect to SFTP in MicroStrategy by adding a data source based on the native MySQL functionality. Once you have created a data source, you can build dynamic visualizations of SFTP data in MicroStrategy.

  1. Open MicroStrategy and select your project.
  2. Click Add External Data, select Databases, and use Select Tables as the Import Option.
  3. In the Import from Tables wizard, click to add a new Data Source.
  4. Select MySQL in the Database menu and select MySQL 5.x in the Version menu.
  5. Set the connection properties as follows:
    • Server Name: the URL for your Connect Cloud instance (i.e.: myinstance.cdatacloud.net)
    • Port Number: the port for your Connect Cloud MySQL service (3306 by default)
    • Database Name: the name of your virtual SFTP database (i.e.: SFTP1)
    • User: a Connect Cloud user with permissions to access your SFTP database
    • Password: the password for your Connect Cloud user
    • Data Source Name: a name for the new external data source, like "Connect Cloud SFTP"
  6. Expand the menu for the new data source and choose "Edit Catalog Options"
  7. Edit the "SQL statement retrieve columns ..." query to include TABLE_SCHEMA = '#?Schema_Name?#' in the WHERE clause, and click Apply and then OK (the complete query is below).

    SELECT DISTINCT 
      TABLE_SCHEMA NAME_SPACE, 
      TABLE_NAME TAB_NAME, 
      COLUMN_NAME COL_NAME, 
      (CASE 
        WHEN 
          (DATA_TYPE LIKE '%char' AND (CHARACTER_SET_NAME='utf8' OR CHARACTER_SET_NAME='ucs2')) 
        THEN 
          CONCAT('n',DATA_TYPE) 
        ELSE 
          DATA_TYPE 
      END) DATA_TYPE, 
      CHARACTER_MAXIMUM_LENGTH DATA_LEN, 
      NUMERIC_PRECISION DATA_PREC, 
      NUMERIC_SCALE DATA_SCALE 
    FROM 
      INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS 
    WHERE 
      TABLE_NAME 
    IN 
      (#TABLE_LIST#) AND TABLE_SCHEMA='#?Schema_Name?#' 
    ORDER BY 
      1,2,3
    
  8. Select the new data source and select the Namespace that corresponds to your virtual SFTP database (like SFTP1).
  9. Drag tables into the pane to import them. Note: Since we create a live connection, we can import whole tables and utilize the filtering and aggregation features native to the MicroStrategy products to customize our datasets.
  10. Click Finish, choose the option to connect live, save the query, and choose the option to create a new dossier. Live connections are possible and effective, thanks to high-performance data processing native to CData Connect Cloud.
  11. Choose a visualization, choose fields to display, and apply any filters to create a new visualization of SFTP data. Data types are discovered automatically through dynamic metadata discovery. Where possible, the complex queries generated by the filters and aggregations will be pushed down to SFTP, while any unsupported operations (which can include SQL functions and JOIN operations) will be managed by the CData SQL engine embedded in Connect Cloud.
  12. Once you have finished configuring the dossier, click File -> Save.

Using CData Connect Cloud with MicroStrategy, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on SFTP data. For more information on creating virtual databases for SFTP (and more than 200 other data sources), visit the Connect Cloud page. Sign up for a free trial and start working with live SFTP data in MicroStrategy.