Use the CData ODBC Driver for Zendesk in MicroStrategy Desktop

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Zendesk ODBC Driver

The Zendesk ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live Zendesk project management data, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Zendesk like you would a database - read, write, and update Tickets, Groups, Users, Schedules, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Connect to Zendesk data in MicroStrategy Desktop using the CData ODBC Driver for Zendesk.

MicroStrategy is an analytics and mobility platform that enables data-driven innovation. When paired with the CData ODBC Driver for Zendesk, you gain database-like access to live Zendesk data from MicroStrategy, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. In this article, we walk through adding Zendesk as a data source in MicroStrategy Desktop and creating a simple visualization of Zendesk data.

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

Connect to Zendesk as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to Zendesk follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments.

Connecting to Zendesk

To connect, set the URL and provide authentication. The URL is your Zendesk Support URL: https://{subdomain}.zendesk.com.

Authenticating to Zendesk

You can authenticate using the Basic or OAuth methods.

Using Basic Authentication

To use Basic authentication, specify your email address and password or your email address and an API token. Set User to your email address and follow the steps below to provide the Password or ApiToken.

  • Enable password access in the Zendesk Support admin interface at Admin > Channels > API.
  • Manage API tokens in the Zendesk Support Admin interface at Admin > Channels > API. More than one token can be active at the same time. Deleting a token deactivates it permanently.

Using OAuth Authentication

See the Getting Started guide in the CData driver documentation for an authentication guide.

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.

Windows

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.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for Zendesk in a Linux environment, the driver installation predefines a system DSN. You can modify the DSN by editing the system data sources file (/etc/odbc.ini) and defining the required connection properties.

/etc/odbc.ini

[CData Zendesk Sys] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for Zendesk Description = My Description URL = https://subdomain.zendesk.com User = my@email.com Password = test123

For specific information on using these configuration files, please refer to the help documentation (installed and found online).

Connect to and Visualize Zendesk Data using MicroStrategy Desktop

In addition to connecting Zendesk in MicroStrategy enterprise products, you can connect to Zendesk in MicroStrategy Desktop. Follow the steps below to add Zendesk data as a dataset and create visualizations and reports of Zendesk data.

  1. Open MicroStrategy Desktop and create a new dossier.
  2. In the datasets panel, click New Data, select Databases, and select Type a Query as the Import Option.
  3. Add a new data source and choose DSN data sources.
  4. Choose the DSN you previously configured (likely CData Zendesk Sys) and select Generic DBMS in the Version menu.
  5. Set the User and Password properties for the DSN (or use placeholder values) and name the data source.
  6. Select the new database instance to view the tables. You may need to manually click the search icon in the Available Tables section to see the tables.
  7. Create a SQL query for the Zendesk data (see below) and click Execute SQL to test the query. SELECT * FROM Tickets NOTE: Since we create a live connection, we can execute a SELECT * query and utilize the filtering and aggregation features native to the MicroStrategy products.
  8. Click Finish and choose to connect live.
  9. Choose a visualization, choose fields to display (data types are discovered automatically through dynamic metadata discovery) and apply any filters to create a new visualization of Zendesk data. Where possible, the complex queries generated by the filters and aggregations will be pushed down to Zendesk, 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.
  10. Once you are finished configuring the dossier, click File -> Save.

Using the CData ODBC Driver for Zendesk in MicroStrategy Desktop, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on Zendesk data. Read our other articles on connecting to Zendesk in MicroStrategy and connecting to Zendesk in MicroStrategy Web for more examples.