Often times, the topic of data source connectivity comes up when prospects inquire about iDashboards software. Specifically, they would like to know if we have any experience connecting to a particular CRM, EHR, ABC Accounting/Finance system, or any other myriad of data sources on the back-end.
Let’s explain the criteria iDashboards uses to determine if a direct connection can be made.
When discussing data source connectivity, it is important to understand that iDashboards is “data agnostic.” We can potentially connect to any data source that utilizes an ODBC or JDBC driver. For the non-technical prospect, this stands for Open Data Base Connectivity or Java Data Base Connectivity.
These ODBC and JDBC drivers are the key component that must be available for your particular data source if you wish to have a real-time connection to your back-end data and display it live.
Let’s take it a step further and look at some examples:
iDashboards has the capability to connect to any relational data source. This includes (but is not limited to) the following: SQL Server, MySQL, Excel, Access, Oracle, DB2, Flat Files and Cache systems.
Furthermore, iDashboards also includes real-time data source connectivity to Salesforce, Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter and MS OLAP Cubes.
Here are a couple of different scenarios:
- I have EPIC software as my back-end, can I connect directly? EPIC software supports an ODBC driver. So YES, iDashboards would be able to directly connect and deliver real-time dashboards displaying EPIC KPIs and Metrics.
- I have SAP, as a back-end data source, would I be able to directly connect with iDashboards and display real-time data? As of right now, SAP does not have an ODBC or JDBC driver, so we would not be able to directly connect. However, we would be able to connect secondarily, meaning that you would need to export the SAP data into something like Excel, Access, SQL or some other relational data source, at which point iDashboards would connect to the secondary source. The end result would be the same—SAP data being displayed through iDashboards. However, it would only be as real-time as when that nightly, weekly, monthly, etc., export takes place.
Given the multiple data sources and back-end systems that are utilized between all industries and verticals in business today, iDashboards is able to take that data and turn it into dashboards.
The key question that must be answered though is this: Does the data source I am looking to turn into dashboards support an ODBC or JDBC driver?
If the answer is YES, then iDashboards will theoretically be able to directly connect to that data source.
If the answer is NO, then you must ask yourself: Can I export the data from this back-end data source into something that does support an ODBC or JDBC driver, with the understanding that the dashboards will only be as “real-time” as when that export takes place?
But how will I know if there is a driver available? Here are 3 possible answers:
- Your system administrator/IT will more than likely know what type of platform your data source resides on (i.e. SQL, Oracle, MySQL, OLAP Cubes, etc.).
- You can go right to the source and contact the data source creator themselves.
- You can download a free trial and utilize one of the many ODBC or JDBC connectors we have available and, with the help of our support team, determine if there is a driver that will allow for this connection. To contact our support team, email email@example.com.
Interested in more information about data source connectivity? Click here.