Azure Blob JSON File Connector for SSRS

In this article you will learn how to integrate Azure Blob JSON File data in SSRS without coding in just a few clicks (live / bi-directional connection to Azure Blob JSON File). Azure Blob JSON File Connector can be used to read JSON Files stored in Azure Blob Container. Using this you can easily integrate Azure Blob Storage JSON File data. It's supports latest security standards, and optimized for large data files. It also supports reading compressed files (e.g. GZip /Zip)..

Using Azure Blob JSON File Connector you will be able to connect, read, and write data from within SSRS. Follow the steps below to see how we would accomplish that.

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Create Data Source in ZappySys Data Gateway based on ZappySys Azure Blob JSON Driver

  1. Download and install ZappySys ODBC PowerPack.

  2. Search for gateway in start menu and Open ZappySys Data Gateway:
    Open ZappySys Data Gateway

  3. Go to Users Tab to add our first Gateway user. Click Add; we will give it a name tdsuser and enter password you like to give. Check Admin option and click OK to save. We will use these details later when we create linked server:
    ZappySys Data Gateway - Add User

  4. Now we are ready to add a data source. Click Add, give data source a name (Copy this name somewhere, we will need it later) and then select Native - ZappySys Azure Blob JSON Driver. Finally, click OK. And it will create the Data Set for it and open the ZS driver UI.

    AZUREBLOB-JSONFILEDSN
    Native - ZappySys Azure Blob JSON Driver
    ZappySys Data Gateway - ZappySys Azure Blob JSON Driver

  5. Create and configure a connection for the Azure Blob storage account.

    Create Azure Blob Storage Connection
  6. You can use select your desired single file by clicking [...] path button.

    mybucket/dbo.tblNames.json
    dbo.tblNames.json
    Read Azure Blob JSON File data


    ----------OR----------

    You can also read the multiple files stored in Azure Blob Storage using wildcard pattern supported e.g. dbo.tblNames*.json.

    Note: If you want to operation with multiple files then use wild card pattern as below 
    (when you use wild card pattern in source path then system will treat target path as folder regardless you end with slash)
    
    mybucket/dbo.tblNames.json (will read only single .JSON file)
    mybucket/dbo.tbl*.json (all files starting with file name)
    mybucket/*.json (all files with .json Extension and located under folder subfolder)
    

    mybucket/dbo.tblNames*.json
    Use wildcard pattern .* to read multiple Azure Blob Files data


    ----------OR----------

    You can also read the zip and gzip compressed files also without extracting it in using Azure Blob JSON Source File Task.

    mybucket/dbo.tblNames*.gz
    Reading zip and gzip compressed files (stream mode)
  7. Now select/enter Path expression in Path textbox to extract only specific part of JSON string as below ($.value[*] will get content of value attribute from JSON document. Value attribute is array of JSON documents so we have to use [*] to indicate we want all records of that array)

    NOTE: Here, We are using our desired filter, but you need to select your desired filter based on your requirement.
    Go to Preview Tab.

    Azure Blob JSON Driver Select Filter
  8. Navigate to the Preview Tab and let's explore the different modes available to access the data.

    1. --- Using Direct Query ---

      Click on Preview Tab, Select Table from Tables Dropdown and select [value] and click Preview.
      ZappySys ODBC Driver - Preview Data
    2. --- Using Stored Procedure ---

      Note : For this you have to Save ODBC Driver configuration and then again reopen to configure same driver. For more information click here.
      Click on the Custom Objects Tab, Click on Add button and select Add Procedure and Enter an appropriate name and Click on OK button to create.
      ZappySys ODBC Driver - Custom Objects
      1. --- Without Parameters ---

        Now Stored Procedure can be created with or without parameters (see example below). If you use parameters then Set default value otherwise it may fail to compilation)
        ZappySys ODBC Driver : Without Parameters
      2. --- With Parameters ---

        Note : Here you can use Placeholder with Paramters in Stored Procedure. Example : SELECT * FROM $ WHERE OrderID = '<@OrderID, FUN_TRIM>' or CustId = '<@CustId>' and Total >= '<@Total>'
        ZappySys ODBC Driver : With Parameters
    3. --- Using Virtual Table ---

      Note : For this you have to Save ODBC Driver configuration and then again reopen to configure same driver. For more information click here.

      ZappySys APi Drivers support flexible Query language so you can override Default Properties you configured on Data Source such as URL, Body. This way you don't have to create multiple Data Sources if you like to read data from multiple EndPoints. However not every application support supplying custom SQL to driver so you can only select Table from list returned from driver.

      Many applications like MS Access, Informatica Designer wont give you option to specify custom SQL when you import Objects. In such case Virtual Table is very useful. You can create many Virtual Tables on the same Data Source (e.g. If you have 50 Buckets with slight variations you can create virtual tables with just URL as Parameter setting).

      vt__Customers
      DataPath=mybucket_1/customers.json
      
      vt__Orders
      DataPath=mybucket_2/orders.json
      
      vt__Products
      DataPath=mybucket_3/products.json
      
      1. Click on the Custom Objects Tab, Click on Add button and select Add Table and Enter an appropriate name and Click on OK button to create.
        ZappySys ODBC Driver - Custom Objects
      2. Once you see Query Builder Window on screen Configure it.
        ZappySys ODBC Driver - Custom Objects : Virtual Table Query Builder
      3. Click on Preview Tab, Select Virtual Table(prefix with vt__) from Tables Dropdown or write SQL query with Virtual Table name and click Preview.
        ZappySys ODBC Driver - Custom Objects : Virtual Table Query Execute

  9. Click OK to finish creating the data source

  10. That's it; we are done. In a few clicks we configured the to Read the Azure Blob JSON File data using ZappySys Azure Blob JSON File Connector

Read data in SSRS from ZappySys Data Gateway

  1. Open Visual Studio and create a new SSRS project
  2. Then add a new Shared Data Source (you can create a non-shared data source inside report too): Adding a Data Source in SSRS project
  3. Continue with creating the Shared Data Source. Select Microsoft SQL Server as Type and hit Build button to proceed further: Configuring a Data Source to access API data in SSRS project
  4. Once a window opens, configure it similarly. Configure "AzureBlobJsonFileDSN" as database name. Finally, hit Test Connection and OK:
    AzureBlobJsonFileDSN
    Configuring thoroughly a Data Source to access API data in SSRS project
  5. Another window opens, and it should look similarly to this one below which ends the creation of a Data Source: How Data Source in SSRS project looks like
  6. Now it's time to create a Dataset. If you don't have a report created, in one of the wizard's steps it will look like this: Specifying a query in SSRS Dataset to access API data #1
  7. If you did not follow through report's creation wizard and already had report created, you can simply add a new dataset: Specifying a query in SSRS Dataset to access API data #2
  8. Finally, once you complete the report, similar results show up: ZappySys Data Gateway API data source results

Passing Parameters to SSRS Report / Filter data

If you want to parameterized your report then refer to this article

Create Custom Stored Procedure in ZappySys Driver

You can create procedures to encapsulate custom logic and then only pass handful parameters rather than long SQL to execute your API call.

Steps to create Custom Stored Procedure in ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders anywhere inside Procedure Body. Read more about placeholders here

  1. Go to Custom Objects Tab and Click on Add button and Select Add Procedure:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Stored Procedure

  2. Enter the desired Procedure name and click on OK:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Stored Procedure Name

  3. Select the created Stored Procedure and write the your desired stored procedure and Save it and it will create the custom stored procedure in the ZappySys Driver:
    Here is an example stored procedure for ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders anywhere inside Procedure Body. Read more about placeholders here

    CREATE PROCEDURE [usp_get_orders]
        @fromdate = '<<yyyy-MM-dd,FUN_TODAY>>'
     AS
        SELECT * FROM Orders where OrderDate >= '<@fromdate>';
    

    ZappySys Driver - Create Custom Stored Procedure

  4. That's it now go to Preview Tab and Execute your Stored Procedure using Exec Command. In this example it will extract the orders from the date 1996-01-01:

    Exec usp_get_orders '1996-01-01';

    ZappySys Driver - Execute Custom Stored Procedure

  5. Let's generate the SQL Server Query Code to make the API call using stored procedure. Go to Code Generator Tab, select language as SQL Server and click on Generate button the generate the code.
    As we already created the linked server for this Data Source, in that you just need to copy the Select Query and need to use the linked server name which we have apply on the place of [MY_API_SERVICE] placeholder.

    SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY([MY_API_SERVICE], 'EXEC usp_get_orders @fromdate=''1996-07-30''')

    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

  6. Now go to SQL served and execute that query and it will make the API call using stored procedure and provide you the response.
    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

Create Custom Virtual Table in ZappySys Driver

ZappySys API Drivers support flexible Query language so you can override Default Properties you configured on Data Source such as URL, Body. This way you don't have to create multiple Data Sources if you like to read data from multiple EndPoints. However not every application support supplying custom SQL to driver so you can only select Table from list returned from driver.

If you're dealing with Microsoft Access and need to import data from an SQL query, it's important to note that Access doesn't allow direct import of SQL queries. Instead, you can create custom objects (Virtual Tables) to handle the import process.

Many applications like MS Access, Informatica Designer wont give you option to specify custom SQL when you import Objects. In such case Virtual Table is very useful. You can create many Virtual Tables on the same Data Source (e.g. If you have 50 URLs with slight variations you can create virtual tables with just URL as Parameter setting.

  1. Go to Custom Objects Tab and Click on Add button and Select Add Table:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Table

  2. Enter the desired Table name and click on OK:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Table Name

  3. And it will open the New Query Window Click on Cancel to close that window and go to Custom Objects Tab.

  4. Select the created table, Select Text Type AS SQL and write the your desired SQL Query and Save it and it will create the custom table in the ZappySys Driver:
    Here is an example SQL query for ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders also. Read more about placeholders here

    SELECT
      "ShipCountry",
      "OrderID",
      "CustomerID",
      "EmployeeID",
      "OrderDate",
      "RequiredDate",
      "ShippedDate",
      "ShipVia",
      "Freight",
      "ShipName",
      "ShipAddress",
      "ShipCity",
      "ShipRegion",
      "ShipPostalCode"
    FROM "Orders"
    Where "ShipCountry"='USA'

    ZappySys Driver - Create Custom Table

  5. That's it now go to Preview Tab and Execute your custom virtual table query. In this example it will extract the orders for the USA Shipping Country only:

    SELECT * FROM "vt__usa_orders_only"

    ZappySys Driver - Execute Custom Virtual Table Query

  6. Let's generate the SQL Server Query Code to make the API call using stored procedure. Go to Code Generator Tab, select language as SQL Server and click on Generate button the generate the code.
    As we already created the linked server for this Data Source, in that you just need to copy the Select Query and need to use the linked server name which we have apply on the place of [MY_API_SERVICE] placeholder.

    SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY([MY_API_SERVICE], 'EXEC [usp_get_orders] ''1996-01-01''')

    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

  7. Now go to SQL served and execute that query and it will make the API call using stored procedure and provide you the response.
    ZappySys Driver - Generate SQL Server Query

Conclusion

In this article we discussed how to connect to Azure Blob JSON File in SSRS and integrate data without any coding. Click here to Download Azure Blob JSON File Connector for SSRS and try yourself see how easy it is. If you still have any question(s) then ask here or simply click on live chat icon below and ask our expert (see bottom-right corner of this page).

Download Azure Blob JSON File Connector for SSRS Documentation 


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Download Azure Blob JSON File Connector for SSRS Documentation

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