Connect to and Query SFTP Data in QlikView over ODBC

Ready to get started?

Download for a free trial:

Download Now

Learn more:


The SFTP ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from remote files and directories, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access remote data like you would a database through a standard ODBC Driver interface.

Create data visualizations with SFTP data in QlikView.

The CData ODBC drivers expand your ability to work with data from more than 200 data sources. QlikView is a business discovery platform that provides self-service BI for all business users in an organization. This article outlines simple steps to connect to SFTP data using the CData ODBC driver and create data visualizations in QlikView.

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

Connect to SFTP 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.

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.

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.

Populate a Chart with SFTP Data

The steps below supply the results of an SQL query to a visualization in QlikView. In this article, you will create a bar chart with the query below:

SELECT Filesize, Filename FROM MyDirectory WHERE FilePath = /documents/doc.txt
  1. Click File -> Edit Script (or click the Edit Script button in the Toolbar).
  2. On the Data tab, select ODBC in the Database menu and click Connect.
  3. Select the DSN (CData SFTP Sys) in the resulting dialog. A command like the following is generated: ODBC CONNECT TO [CData SFTP Sys];
  4. Enter the SQL query directly into the script with the SQL command (or click Select to build the query in the SELECT statement wizard). SQL SELECT Filesize, Filename FROM MyDirectory WHERE FilePath = /documents/doc.txt;

    Where possible, the SQL operations in the query, like filters and aggregations, will be pushed down to SFTP, 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.

  5. Close the script editor and reload the document to execute the script.
  6. Click Tools -> Quick Chart Wizard. In the wizard, select the chart type. This example uses a bar chart. When building the chart, you have access to the fields from SFTP, typed appropriately for QlikView, thanks to built-in dynamic metadata querying.
  7. When defining Dimensions, select Filesize in the First Dimension menu.
  8. When defining Expressions, click the summary function you want and select Filename in the menu.
  9. Finish the wizard to generate the chart. The CData ODBC Driver for SFTP connects to live SFTP data, so the chart can be refreshed to see real-time changes. Live connections are possible and effective, thanks to the high-performance data processing native to CData ODBC Drivers.