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Rapidly Develop SQL Analysis Services-Driven Apps with Active Query Builder

Leverage the Active Query Builder SQL interface builder and the ease of .NET data access to create data-driven WinForms and ASP.NET apps.

Write standard .NET to expose SQL Analysis Services data through an SQL interface: Active Query Builder helps developers write SQL interfaces; the CData ODBC Driver for SQL Analysis Services enables standards-based access to SQL Analysis Services. This integration uses the Microsoft ADO.NET Provider for ODBC as a bridge between the ODBC Driver and the Active Query Builder objects to build a visual SQL composer.

Connect to SQL Analysis Services 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.

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.

Use SQL to Interact with SQL Analysis Services

Follow the steps below to create a WinForms visual query builder.

  1. In a new Windows Forms project, drag the QueryBuilder from the Toolbox onto the form.
  2. Add a reference to ActiveQueryBuilder.ODBCMetadataProvider.
  3. Add an OdbcConnection and set the connection string to the DSN that you created in the first section. OdbcConnection connection = new OdbcConnection(); connection.ConnectionString = "DSN=SSAS"
  4. Initialize ODBCMetadataProvider and GeneralSyntaxProvider instances and set the Connection property of the ODBCMetadataProvider object to the OdbcConnection. GenericSyntaxProvider syntaxProvider = new GenericSyntaxProvider(); ODBCMetadataProvider metadataProvider = new ODBCMetadataProvider(); metadataProvider.Connection = connection;
  5. Set the corresponding MetadataProvider and SyntaxProvider properties of the QueryBuilder object. queryBuilder1.MetadataProvider = metadataProvider; queryBuilder1.SyntaxProvider = syntaxProvider;
  6. Call the InitiatelizeDatabaseSchemaTree method of the QueryBuilder class to retrieve SQL Analysis Services metadata and generate a tree view of SQL Analysis Services tables. queryBuilder1.InitializeDatabaseSchemaTree();
  7. After creating the QueryBuilder, connect it to a TextBox or, as we use, the ActiveQueryBuilder SQLTextEditor: Drag and drop an SQLTextEditor onto the designer.

  8. Add the following code to the Validating event for the SQLTextEditor: private void sqlTextEditor1_Validating(object sender, CancelEventArgs e) { try { // Update the query builder with manually edited query text: queryBuilder1.SQL = sqlTextEditor1.Text; } catch (SQLParsingException ex) { e.Cancel = true; // Set caret to error position sqlTextEditor1.SelectionStart = ex.ErrorPos.pos; // Report error MessageBox.Show(ex.Message, "Parsing error"); } }
  9. Add the following to the SQLUpdated event: private void queryBuilder1_SQLUpdated(object sender, EventArgs e) { sqlTextEditor1.Text = queryBuilder1.FormattedSQL; }
  10. You can now build queries visually: Double-click a table in the Columns Pane Area and an entity/relationship diagram is displayed in the Query Building Area. Columns that you select in the diagram are added to the query.