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Impressive Salesforce integration with Cognos Business Intelligence and DataDirect ODBC

Impressive Salesforce integration with Cognos Business Intelligence and DataDirect ODBC

August 02, 2011 0 Comments

As an IBM Certified Consultant for Cognos BI, I am impressed with the new Connect XE for ODBC Salesforce driver release from Progress DataDirect.  And this Salesforce integration with Cognos is fully supported by IBM as an ODBC 3.5 compliant driver for BI versions 8.x and 10.x ,TM1, Transformer and Cognos Data Manager.

What makes BI to Salesforce Integration using ODBC so impressive?

  • Real-time access to Salesforce.com customer data
  • Includes advanced caching technology built into the driver
  • SQL 92 compliance makes Salesforce.com look like any relational data source
  • Salesforce referred to the release of the driver as, "an exciting announcement"
  • Flexibility.  The same driver can be used throughout your Data Warehouse with ETL tools: Infosphere, Cognos Data Manager, Ab Initio, Informatica, SSIS; and Database Links: Oracle Gateways, Teradata Parallel Transporter (TPT), Linked Server
  • The release sets the standard for next generation data integration by combining traditional ODBC with real-time web services interfaces cited in the TDWI BEST PRACTICES REPORT, Q2 2011.
  • It's Progress DataDirect Connect!  That means the driver was built on the flagship ODBC Connect technology that runs enterprise data connectivity for virtually every fortune 1000 company.

The following tutorial will show you how to start building your metadata model using Framework Manager against Salesforce.com.

The preliminary steps are: 1.  Assume Cognos BI Environment (v8.4.1) with Framework Manager and BI server are installed on Windows.

2 . Install Progress DataDirect Connect XE for ODBC Salesforce using the instructions in the Installation Guide.  Download free 15-day trial to test-connect to Salesforce today.

Install Salesforce ODBC

3. From ODBC Administrator, setup ODBC data source named “Salesforce” to the Salesforce.com cloud.   For sandbox accounts, change Host Name to "test.salesforce.com".

Test connect to Salesforce

Security Token can be requested from Salesforce.com, or the Salesforce administrator can configure Salesforce Web Services to accept the IP address of your system.

Test Connect to Salesforce

4. Launch IBM Cognos Administration and configure "New Data Source" in IBM Cognos Administration as type "ODBC".

Salesforce ODBC to Cognos

5. Connect to Salesforce System DSN using user id and password to connect to Salesforce.  Note if domain for e-mail address of Salesforce user was configured in security tab of ODBC configuration, it is not required in the User ID field.

Test connect FM to Salesforce

6.  Launch Framework Manager and create new project using Metadata Wizard.

Select Salesforce ODBC Data Source

7. Select objects from Salesforce.com that you want to import into the Metadata Model.

Select Salesforce objects to import

8. Select defaults when creating relationships between selected table objects.

Salesforce ODBC objects in Framework Manager

Now you can start building your metadata models and presentation layers for your BI report developers!!

Why does IBM recommend integrating Salesforce with Cognos?

  • Incorporate all your critical information into one system.
  • Combine Salesforce data with other data sources.
  • View current and historical data about customers side-by-side.
  • Reconcile data across systems to gain complete view of customers.
  • Use snapshots of Salesforce data for time-period analysis.
  • Supplement data warehouse data with up-to-the-minute information.
  • Enhance Salesforce reporting with a full breadth of BI capabilities not otherwise available.

From my experience, Cognos administrators held a negative perception about using ODBC because native drivers can be slow and challenging to configure.  However, Progress DataDirect has been changing this perception over time by introducing the storied Connect for ODBC drivers to Cognos shops one at a time.

Get connected in 15 minutes with a live Solutions Consultant:

Call us today at 1-800-876-3101 and read more about Salesforce Integration with Cognos BI.

Sumit Sakar

Sumit Sarkar

Sumit Sarkar is a Chief Data Evangelist at Progress, with over 10 years experience working in the data connectivity field. The world's leading consultant on open data standards connectivity with cloud data, Sumit's interests include performance tuning of the data access layer for which he has developed a patent pending technology for its analysis; business intelligence and data warehousing for SaaS platforms; and data connectivity for aPaaS environments, with a focus on standards such as ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET and ODATA. He is an IBM Certified Consultant for IBM Cognos Business Intelligence and TDWI member. He has presented sessions on data connectivity at various conferences including Dreamforce, Oracle OpenWorld, Strata Hadoop, MongoDB World and SAP Analytics and Business Objects Conference, among many others. 

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