Connecting to Cloud Storage

Applies To:

  • Centerprise - Enterprise Edition
  • ReportMiner - Enterprise Edition

In this article, we will see how a user can create a shared connection to access and store files from and to the cloud in Astera ReportMiner. To browse cloud files in a report model, the report model should be a part of a project containing the Shared Action Connection.

Note: This feature of browsing files from the cloud only works in ReportMiner Enterprise and Centerprise Enterprise if the user has the Cloud Connector add-on.

Creating a New Cloud Connection

To create a new cloud connection in a project, you need to add a shared connection within the scope of that project. Once that is done, you can browse for cloud files from the Report Options panel in a report model that is present within the same project.

Adding a Shared Connection in a Project

1. To add a shared connection, we need to create a new project first. Here, we have named our project RMCloud.cprj.

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2. Next, create a folder, Shared Connections, inside the project. We will save our shared connections (.sact files) in this folder.

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3. Right-click on the folder, and select Add New Item…

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4. Select SharedAction from the list of file types, give it a meaningful name, and click on Add.

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5. A .sact file will open. We have saved it with the name SharedAction.sact.

Go to Toolbox > Resources and drag-and-drop the Cloud Storage Connection object onto the designer.

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6. Right-click on the header of the object and select Properties.

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7. A Cloud Connection Properties window will open, where you can configure your Cloud Connection object by providing appropriate credentials. Select the Provider from the drop-down menu. In this case, we will select Amazon S3.

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8. Provide appropriate credentials, Access Key ID and Access Key. Click OK.

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Your SharedAction.sact is now configured. You can access files from this cloud connection in the project.

Adding a Shared Connection via Report Options

1. To create a new cloud connection through Report Options, we need to create/add a report model within our project first.

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2. Open the report model. Go to the Report Options panel, and click on the arrow next to the folder icon in the Data File Location group-box. Select the Browse Cloud Files option.

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3. A Browse Files window will open. We can see the Amazon S3 SharedAction connection we created above in this window.

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4. Click on the Add New Connection icon.

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Note: This is an alternative way for you to add a shared action (shared cloud connection) to the project you are working in. If you have already created a shared action for the cloud connection you want to use in your project, there is no need to add a new connection.

5. A window to Add a Cloud Connection will open.

Here, we will select Microsoft Azure Blob Storage as our Provider.

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6. There are two ways to authenticate the connection, using an Access Key or through Shared Access Signature. For now, we will use the Access Key.

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7. Provide relevant credentials by specifying the Storage Account Name and Access Key. Click OK.

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8. The newly created connection is now a part of the project.

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9. Select the file you want to extract data from from the cloud connection and click Open.

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10. Create a data region and relevant fields in the report model to extract relevant data from the source file.

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11. Click on Preview Data to see if the report model is extracting data from the specified fields correctly.

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12. The Data Preview window shows the data extracted from the file located on the cloud.

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Exporting Data to a Cloud Destination

Here is how we can export our extracted data to an Excel or a Delimited file and save it on the cloud destination.

1. Go to Report Browser > Data Export Settings and select Create New Export Setting and Run (to Excel) option.

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2. A configuration window will open. Click on the arrow next to the folder icon and select Browse Cloud Files option.

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3. Locate the cloud directory where you want to save the Excel file, give it a meaningful name, and click Open.

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4. The file path is now pointing towards the Amazon S3 cloud provider. Click OK.

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5. The Job Progress window shows the job status and the cloud path where the destination file has been created.

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6. If you want to create a Delimited File Destination, click on this icon in the Data Export Settings window and follow the same steps (step 2 onwards) as mentioned above.

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Using Files from the Cloud in a Dataflow

We can access files from the cloud in a dataflow using the Report Source object. For that, the dataflow must be a part of the project or must contain a Cloud Storage Connection object pointing to the cloud location.

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In this case, we will extract data from a file saved on a cloud location using a report model from the local directory.

1. Go to Toolbox > Sources and drag-and-drop the Report Source object onto the designer.

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2. Right-click on top of the Report Model object header and select Properties from the menu.

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3. Click on the arrow button next to the folder icon in the Report Location group-box to browse files from the cloud.

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4. Locate the file in cloud directory and click OK.

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5. The file path is now pointing towards the Amazon S3 cloud provider. Click on the folder icon to browse the report model from your local directory.

Note: The report model must be a part of your project.

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6. Click OK to close the window.

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7. The Report Source object is now configured with a file path coming in from the Amazon S3 cloud connection and the report model from the local directory.

Right-click on the header and select Preview Output.

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8. The Data Preview window shows that the file is correctly being read by the report model.

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Using Files from the Cloud in a Workflow

We can access files from the cloud in a workflow as well, using the File System object. For that, the workflow must be a part of the same project as your shared connection.

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Use-Case

In this case, we want to read all the files from a particular cloud directory (in a workflow) and extract data from those files to write it in an Excel Workbook Destination (in a dataflow).

We will do this by using the Report Source as a Transformation in a dataflow where we can parametrize the path of the file we want to extract data from using the Variables object. This is what the dataflow will look like:

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Then, we will call the dataflow in a workflow using a Run Dataflow object and read the files from the cloud using a File System Items Source in a loop. We will send the cloud file path of the source file to the File Path variable in the dataflow as shown below.

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Using File System Items Source to Browse Cloud Files

1. Go to Toolbox > Sources and drag-and-drop the File System Items Source object onto the designer.

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2. Right-click on the object header and select Properties.

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3. Click on Browse Cloud Folders to access the cloud folder from where you want to read files.

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4. Here, we have selected the folder containing the source files from our Amazon S3 cloud connection. Click Open.

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5. Our File Path is now pointing towards a cloud file path. Click OK.

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6. Our workflow is now complete. Click on Start Workflow to run the workflow.

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7. The Job Progress window shows the status of the job and the path of the Excel destination.

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This is how you can create cloud connections and browse files from the cloud in Astera ReportMiner.