Monday, August 8, 2016

Using Power BI to query EXASOL via ROLAP

You're using Power BI against an EXASOL analytic database. Unfortunately, the only connection currently supported uses ODBC (as of August, 2106). ODBC is a stable connector, but is generally considered to be slow. A native connector would be ideal.

Update July 2017:  GitHub has a Power BI Connector to Exasol project. it is still in beta, and it is NOT an official Exasol supported project. But, it was created by Thomas Bestfleisch, an Exasol Solution Engineer. You can find it here: GitHub - Power BI to EXASOL project.

Power BI does have native connectors to other systems, so might an EXASOL connector be in the pipeline?  Going to the Power BI Ideas section, where new features are requested and voted on, you do find a posted suggestion to create an EXASOL Direct Query Connector. (Power BI ideas - EXASOL Direct Query Connector). Unfortunately, it only has a nominal number of votes. Fortunately, you do have an alternative.

Virtual Data Mart - using ROLAP

EXASOL has an OLAP Connector for SSAS that allows Microsoft shops to create virtual data marts. Using SSAS's real-time ROLAP protocol, you can setup a virtual data mart against an EXASOL analytic database. SSAS's ROLAP provides an intermediate bridge between Power BI and your EXASOL database. This has multiple benefits

  • Curate analytic data into targeted virtual analytic cubes (or single if need be)
  • Add a layer of security, when needed
  • Push processing down to the analytics database engine

We've already taken a look at SSAS ROLAP cubes using EXASOL.  You can find the details here:  Build an SSAS ROLAP Cube using EXASOL.

1 comment:

Rick Campbell said...

Thank you for your article. Can you followers also expect you to write some kind of virtual data rooms reviews ? Interesting to know your opinion and to discuss some points. Thanks in advance for your reply!