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Prepare, Blend, and Analyze Sugar CRM Data in Alteryx Designer

Build workflows to access live Sugar CRM data for self-service data analytics.

The CData ODBC Driver for Sugar CRM enables access to live data from Sugar CRM under the ODBC standard, allowing you work with Sugar CRM data in a wide variety of BI, reporting, and ETL tools and directly, using familiar SQL queries. This article shows how to connect to Sugar CRM 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 Sugar CRM data in Alteryx Designer due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from Alteryx Designer to Sugar CRM, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Sugar CRM 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 Sugar CRM data using native Alteryx data field types.

Connect to Sugar CRM 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.

    The User and Password properties, under the Authentication section, must be set to valid SugarCRM user credentials. This will use the default OAuth token created to allow client logins. OAuthClientId and OAuthClientSecret are required if you do not wish to use the default OAuth token.

    You can generate a new OAuth consumer key and consumer secret in Admin -> OAuth Keys. Set the OAuthClientId to the OAuth consumer key. Set the OAuthClientSecret to the consumer secret.

    Additionally, specify the URL to the SugarCRM account.

    Note that retrieving SugarCRM metadata can be expensive. It is advised that you store the metadata locally as described in the "Caching Metadata" chapter of the help documentation.

    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 Sugar CRM, 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 Sugar CRM data you want.

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

Perform Self-Service Analytics on Sugar CRM Data

You are now ready to create a workflow to prepare, blend, and analyze Sugar CRM 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 Sugar CRM 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 Sugar CRM data with Alteryx.