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Fortes Change Cloud data exchange using the Odata protocol

Odata (Open Data Protocol) is an ISO/IEC-approved standard that defines a set of best practices for building and using REST APIs. OData enables the creation of REST-based services that allow resources, identified with URLs and defined in a data model, to be published and edited by Web clients using simple HTTP messages.

Through Odata, the FCC can thus be made accessible to other reporting systems. To exchange data, an Odata link must be configured.

Configuration of Odata

In the FCC, the Odata link can be configured in the dashboard tab under the menu button.

In the control panel, you will see the Odata link to this portfolio at the top. Furthermore, there is the possibility of creating and deleting different keys. The use of multiple keys is possible if the FCC data is exchanged to several separate reports or systems. Access from these reports/systems to FCC data can be managed separately through these keys. Thus, you can remove a key and cancel a particular report’s access to the FCC data, without blocking the other reports from the FCC data as well.

Generate a key

If you click the +Key button, a dialog will appear to generate a key. To create a new key, enter a description it click the ‘Add key’.

After clicking on ‘Add Key’ you will see the API Key. You will see this once and only in this dialog box.

There are several reporting tools that can receive data using the Odata protocol. As an example, the following describes how to create an Odata link between the FCC and Microsoft Power BI desktop. In addition to Power BI, the Odata link can also be used to connect to other systems, such as data warehousing tools.

  • Click Retrieve Data in a new Power BI report and then click Odata feed

Paste the Odata link into the URL field in the Odata feed dialog box.

  • In the new dialog box, click Basic and paste the API Key into the Password field. The username field must be left blank.
  • Then click ‘Connect’. The data is then retrieved and displayed in tables in a new dialog box. In this window, you can view examples of each data table and then select the tables you wish to import.
  • After selecting the desired tables with a check mark to the left of the table, press Load and the data will be loaded into the report. The tables are loaded not only with data but also with a definition that automatically captures the relationship between the imported tables.

‘Error’ fields while importing tables

To keep the size of the data as low as possible, the odata service does not send empty/null values in the odata feed toward the Power BI desktop. When these values are not sent along, they appear as ‘Error’ in Power BI.

The appearance of this ‘Error’ is not a problem because Power BI assigns the value null to fields containing ‘Error’. However, if desired, these ‘Error’ fields can be manually modified using the ‘Transform Data’ and then ‘Replace Errors’ buttons to replace these error fields with an empty string or with the value null.

You can now get started creating reports in Power BI desktop with the data coming from your portfolio. When changes are made to the portfolio, you can refresh the data in the report by clicking the Refresh button in the ribbon on the Home tab.

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