Board is an information management tool that aims to improve an organisation's decision making processes. Board provides a Business Intelligence toolkit that has reporting, analysis and data navigation components. In addition, Board enables organisations to simulate and model situations, thereby helping to answer what-if questions.
Example Board uses include:
- Sales and marketing analysis, planning and rolling forecasts.
- Financial reporting, budgeting and planning.
- Personnel appraisal.
- Customer ranking models.
- Financial consolidation.
- Product or customer profitability analysis
Board can adapt to any organisation structure and size and does not require any programming to operate.
Board is a client server application. Board clients are front-end user programs. For example, dashboards and reports.
The Board server is a database engine that executes all aggregations, calculations, selections, procedures, data import procedures and any other interaction involving the Board multidimensional database.
The Board database is a set of files stored in a directory. The Board database can be stored on the hard disk of the machine running the Board Server or on a storage device connected to it. To adapt to changing requirements over time, the Board database model can be easily modified. Database design changes might include adding new InfoCubes, changing hierarchy structures or adding new data sources.
The Board database includes a Data Reader component which enables Board to load data from external systems into the database's entities, hierarchies and InfoCubes. External systems include transactional systems, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools and ODBC data sources.
Board uses a DataReader to define how the external data should be imported into the Board database and mapped to entities and InfoCubes. It defines what fields of a relational database table (or file) should be fed into what entities and InfoCubes. The DataReader protocol can include a set of transformation formulas and validation rules to apply to the incoming external data.
This article describes how to use a Board Data Reader to connect to a third party (Easysoft) ODBC data source.
ODBC provides a uniform, cross-DBMS interface and insulates applications from the database by using middleware known as an ODBC driver to translate the application's (i.e. Board Data Reader) requests into something that the database understands.
Installing the Easysoft ODBC Driver
- Download the ODBC driver for your database platform.
- Install and license the ODBC driver on the machine where APPX is installed.
For installation and licensing instructions, refer to the documentation for your Easysoft driver.
Configuring the ODBC Data Source
Before you can use an Easysoft ODBC Driver to connect Board to an external database, you need to configure an ODBC data source. An ODBC data source stores the connection details for the target database and the ODBC driver that is required to connect to it.
You configure ODBC data sources in ODBC Administrator, which is included with Windows. Board is a 64-bit application, and so you need to use the 64-bit version of ODBC Administrator. To start the 64-bit ODBC Administrator, in the Windows Run dialog box, enter:
In ODBC Administrator:
- Choose the System DSN tab.
- Choose the Add button.
- Choose the Easysoft ODBC driver from the list of drivers, and then choose OK.
- Complete the fields in the Easysoft Driver DSN Setup dialog box.
Refer to the documentation for your Easysoft driver for information about the fields you need to complete.
Creating an ODBC DataReader Protocol in Board
- In the DataReader SQL tab, choose the new connections icon.
- In the Connection params dialog box, choose the ODBC data source in the Connection Source section.
- In the DataReader SQL tab, choose the Action icon and choose New Protocol.
- Type a protocol name in the Title field.
- Select the entities and InfoCubes to feed. When you select an InfoCube, ensure that you also select all its dimensions.
- Select the data source connection from the Connection drop-down list.
- Upon selecting the connection from the list-box, Board connects to the data source and lists the tables and views of the database.
- Select the tables and views you want to import.
- Drag and drop the table fields in the cell next to the entity or InfoCube you want to feed.
Defining a DataReader protocol generates a SQL statement. When the protocol is launched, Board sends the SQL statement to the ODBC driver and waits for the results. Note that the SQL statements and syntax that can be used entirely depend on what the ODBC backend supports.
Board recommends that you test the protocol SQL statement using the Browse function. The query will be executed on the first 200 rows and the resulting data is retrieved.