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Build Interactive Dashboards from SQL Analysis Services Data in Amazon QuickSight

Create a virtual MySQL database for SQL Analysis Services data in CData Cloud Hub and import SQL Analysis Services data into Amazon QuickSight SPICE to build interactive dashboards.

Amazon QuickSight allows users to build interactive dashboards in the cloud. When paired with the CData Cloud Hub, you get cloud-to-cloud access to SQL Analysis Services data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to create a virtual database for SQL Analysis Services in Cloud Hub and build dashboards in Amazon QuickSight with access to SQL Analysis Services data.

The CData Cloud Hub provides a pure MySQL, cloud-to-cloud interface for SQL Analysis Services, allowing you to easily build visualizations from SQL Analysis Services data in Amazon QuickSight. By importing your SQL Analysis Services data into the Amazon QuickSight "Super-fast, Parallel, In-memory Calculation Engine" (SPICE), you can leverage the powerful data processing features of the Amazon ecosystem to build responsive dashboards. And with the ability to schedule refreshes of the data stored in SPICE, you control how up-to-date your dashboards are.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for SQL Analysis Services Data

CData Cloud Hub uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Login to Cloud Hub and click Databases.
  2. Select "SQL Analysis Services" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to SQL Analysis Services.

    To connect, provide authentication and set the Url property to a valid SQL Server Analysis Services endpoint. You can connect to SQL Server Analysis Services instances hosted over HTTP with XMLA access. See the Microsoft documentation to configure HTTP access to SQL Server Analysis Services.

    To secure connections and authenticate, set the corresponding connection properties, below. The data provider supports the major authentication schemes, including HTTP and Windows, as well as SSL/TLS.

    • HTTP Authentication

      Set AuthScheme to "Basic" or "Digest" and set User and Password. Specify other authentication values in CustomHeaders.

    • Windows (NTLM)

      Set the Windows User and Password and set AuthScheme to "NTLM".

    • Kerberos and Kerberos Delegation

      To authenticate with Kerberos, set AuthScheme to NEGOTIATE. To use Kerberos delegation, set AuthScheme to KERBEROSDELEGATION. If needed, provide the User, Password, and KerberosSPN. By default, the data provider attempts to communicate with the SPN at the specified Url.

    • SSL/TLS:

      By default, the data provider attempts to negotiate SSL/TLS by checking the server's certificate against the system's trusted certificate store. To specify another certificate, see the SSLServerCert property for the available formats.

    You can then access any cube as a relational table: When you connect the data provider retrieves SSAS metadata and dynamically updates the table schemas. Instead of retrieving metadata every connection, you can set the CacheLocation property to automatically cache to a simple file-based store.

    See the Getting Started section of the CData documentation, under Retrieving Analysis Services Data, to execute SQL-92 queries to the cubes.

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

With the virtual database created, you are ready to build visualizations in Amazon QuickSight.

Import SQL Analysis Services Data into SPICE and Create Interactive Dashboards

The steps below outline creating a new data set based on the virtual SQL Analysis Services database in Cloud Hub, importing the dataset into SPICE, and building a simple visualization from the data.

  1. Log into Amazon QuickSight and click "Manage data."
  2. Click "New data set," select MySQL as the data source, configure the connection to your Cloud Hub instance, and click "Create data source."
  3. Select a table to visualize (or submit a custom SQL query for your data).
  4. Click "Edit/Preview data" to customize the data set.
  5. Select "Import to SPICE for quicker analytics" and click "Visualize."
  6. Select fields to visualize and a visual type.

Schedule Refreshes for SPICE Data Sets

QuickSight users can schedule refreshes for data sets that are imported into SPICE, ensuring that data being analyzed is only as old as the most recent refresh.

  1. Navigate to the QuickSight home page.
  2. Click "Manage data."
  3. Select the data set you wish to refresh.
  4. Click "Schedule refresh."
  5. Click Create, configure the refresh settings (time zone, repeat frequency, and starting datetime), and click Create.

SQL Access to SQL Analysis Services Data from Cloud Applications

At this point, you have a direct, cloud-to-cloud connection to SQL Analysis Services data from your Amazon QuickSight dashboard. You can create new visualizations, build interactive dashboards, and more. For more information on gaining SQL access to data from more than 100 SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources from cloud applications like Amazon QuickSight, refer to our Cloud Hub page.