DropBox Connector for Tableau

In this article you will learn how to integrate DropBox data in Tableau without coding in just a few clicks (live / bi-directional connection to DropBox). Read / write DropBox data inside your app; perform many DropBox operations without coding, just use easy to use high performance API Connector for DropBox.

Using DropBox Connector you will be able to connect, read, and write data from within Tableau. Follow the steps below to see how we would accomplish that.

Download  Documentation 

Create Data Source in ZappySys Data Gateway based on ZappySys API 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 API Driver. Finally, click OK. And it will create the Data Set for it and open the ZS driver UI.

    DropBoxDSN

    ZappySys Data Gateway - Add Data Source

  5. When the Configuration window appears give your data source a name if you haven't done that already, then select "DropBox" from the list of Popular Connectors. If "DropBox" is not present in the list, then click "Search Online" and download it. Then set the path to the location where you downloaded it. Finally, click Continue >> to proceed with configuring the DSN:

    DropBoxDSN
    DropBox
    ODBC DSN Template Selection

  6. Now it's time to configure the Connection Manager. Select Authentication Type, e.g. Token Authentication. Then select API Base URL (in most cases, the default one is the right one). More info is available in the Authentication section.

    Steps to get DropBox Credentials : User Account [OAuth]

    To use OAuth authentication, firstly, you need to create OAuth application:

    1. Log into your DropBox account.
    2. Go to https://www.dropbox.com/developers/apps.
    3. Press Create app button to create a new app.
    4. Once a new page opens, select Scoped access option.
    5. Next, select Full Dropbox to access all files and folders or App folder to access specific folder's files and folders option
    6. Give your app a name
    7. Click create app
    8. Once a new page opens, click Scoped App in Permission type line to select application scopes.
    9. Select all Individual Scopes and Team Scopes if you want to manage team data. Click Submit button.
    10. Select Settings tab, scroll down to App key and App secret and copy paste them into Notepad.
    11. Then in OAuth 2 section add a URL as Redirect URI. If you don't have a working Redirect URI, you may add https://zappysys.com/oauth as Redirect URI

    Use App key and App secret and Redirect URI for use in Connection String when connecting or in UI.

    NOTE: If you are planning to use your current data connection/token for automated processes, we recommend that you use a generic account for token generation when the login box appears (e.g. sales_automation@mycompany.com instead of bob_smith@mycompany.com). When you use a personal account which is tied to a specific employee profile and that employee leaves the company, the token may become invalid and any automated processes using that token will fail. Another potentially unwanted effect of using a personal token is incorrect logging; the API calls (e.g. Read, Edit, Delete, Upload) made with that token will record the specific user as performing the calls instead of an automated process.

    Fill in all required parameters and set optional parameters if needed:

    DropBoxDSN
    DropBox
    User Account [OAuth]
    https://api.dropboxapi.com/2/
    Required Parameters
    UseCustomApp Fill in the parameter...
    ReturnUrl Fill in the parameter...
    Optional Parameters
    ClientId Fill in the parameter...
    ClientSecret Fill in the parameter...
    Scope Fill in the parameter...
    RetryMode Fill in the parameter...
    RetryStatusCodeList Fill in the parameter...
    RetryCountMax Fill in the parameter...
    RetryMultiplyWaitTime Fill in the parameter...
    ODBC DSN Oauth Connection Configuration

  7. Once the data source has been configured, you can preview data. Select the Preview tab and use settings similar to the following to preview data:
    ODBC ZappySys Data Source Preview

  8. Click OK to finish creating the data source.

Read data in SQL Server from the ZappySys Data Gateway

  1. To read the data in SQL Server the first thing you have to do is create a Linked Server. Go to SQL Server Management Studio and configure it in a similar way:
    SSMS SQL Server Configure Linked Server

  2. Then click on Security option and configure username we created in ZappySys Data Gateway in one of the previous steps:
    SSMS SQL Server Configure Linked Server User Name

  3. Optional: Under the Server Options, Enable RPC and RPC Out and Disable Promotion of Distributed Transactions(MSDTC).

    RPC and MSDTC Settings

    You need to enable RPC Out if you plan to use EXEC(...) AT [MY_LINKED_SERVER_NAME] rather than OPENQUERY.
    If don't enabled it, you will encounter the Server 'MY_LINKED_SERVER_NAME' is not configured for RPC error.

    Query Example:

    EXEC('Select * from Products') AT [MY_LINKED_SERVER_NAME]


    If you plan to use 'INSERT INTO...EXEC(....) AT [MY_LINKED_SERVER_NAME]' in that case you need to Disable Promotion of Distributed Transactions(MSDTC).
    If don't disabled it, you will encounter the The operation could not be performed because OLE DB provider "SQLNCLI11" for linked server "MY_LINKED_SERVER_NAME" was unable to begin a distributed transaction. error.

    Query Example:

    Insert Into dbo.Products
     EXEC('Select * from Products') AT [MY_LINKED_SERVER_NAME]
    


  4. Finally, open a new query and execute a query we saved in one of the previous steps:

    SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY([MY_LINKED_SERVER_NAME], 'SELECT * FROM Products');

    SSMS SQL Server Query Data Results

Create Linked Server using Code

In previous section you saw how to create a Linked Server from UI. You can do similar action by code too (see below). Run below script after changing necessary parameters. Assuming your Data Source name on ZappySys Data Gateway UI is 'DropBoxDSN'

    USE [master]
    GO
    --///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    --Run below code in SSMS to create Linked Server and use ZappySys Drivers in SQL Server
    --///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    //Replace YOUR_GATEWAY_USER, YOUR_GATEWAY_PASSWORD
    //Replace localhost with IP/Machine name if ZappySys Gateway Running on different machine other than SQL Server
    //Replace Port 5000 if you configured gateway on a different port


    --1. Configure your gateway service as per this article https://zappysys.com/links?id=10036
    
    --2. Make sure you have SQL Server Installed. You can download FREE SQL Server Express Edition from here if you dont want to buy Paid version https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sql-server/sql-server-editions-express

    --Uncomment below if you like to drop linked server if it already exists
    --EXEC master.dbo.sp_dropserver @server=N'LS_DropBoxDSN', @droplogins='droplogins'

    --3. Create new linked server
    
    EXEC master.dbo.sp_addlinkedserver
      @server = N'LS_DropBoxDSN'  --Linked server name (this will be used in OPENQUERY sql
    , @srvproduct=N''
    , @provider=N'SQLNCLI11'
    , @datasrc=N'localhost,5000' --//Machine / Port where Gateway service is running
    , @provstr=N'Network Library=DBMSSOCN;'
    , @catalog=N'DropBoxDSN' --Data source name you gave on Gateway service settings

    --4. Attach gateway login with linked server

    EXEC master.dbo.sp_addlinkedsrvlogin
      @rmtsrvname=N'LS_DropBoxDSN'  --linked server name
    , @useself=N'False'
    , @locallogin=NULL
    , @rmtuser=N'YOUR_GATEWAY_USER' --enter your Gateway user name
    , @rmtpassword='YOUR_GATEWAY_PASSWORD'  --enter your Gateway user's password
    GO

    --5. Enable RPC OUT (This is Optional - Only needed if you plan to use EXEC(...) AT YourLinkedServerName rather than OPENQUERY
    EXEC sp_serveroption 'LS_DropBoxDSN', 'rpc', true;
    EXEC sp_serveroption 'LS_DropBoxDSN', 'rpc out', true;

    --Disable MSDTC - Below needed to support INSERT INTO from EXEC AT statement
    EXEC sp_serveroption 'LS_DropBoxDSN', 'remote proc transaction promotion', false;
    
    --Increase query timeout if query is going to take longer than 10 mins (Default timeout is 600 seconds)
    --EXEC sp_serveroption 'LS_DropBoxDSN', 'query timeout', 1200;
    GO

Create View in SQL Server

Finally, use this or similar query in a view or stored procedure, which you will be able to use in Tableau. We will create a view to return invoices:

  1. CREATE VIEW vwApiInvoices AS
     SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY([MY_LINKED_SERVER_NAME], 'SELECT * FROM Invoices')

Read data in Tableau from SQL Server

Actually, we will be getting data from SQL Server which in turn will be getting data from ZappySys Data Gateway data source. Let's begin and see how to accomplish that:

  1. Open Tableau Desktop and click File > New
  2. To create new Connection click More > Microsoft SQL Server > Enter your credentials to connect to SQL Server (in our example before we used tdsuser): Tableau connect to SQL Server
  3. Once connection is created for SQL Server we can read DropBox data 3 different ways:
    1. Query View which contains OPENQUERY to Linked Server for DropBox data
    2. Use direct SQL Query using OPENQUERY
    3. Use Stored Procedure (Mostly useful to parameterize calls
  4. See below example to pull data from DropBox in Tableau using SQL View approach: Create data source in Tableau
  5. Once your data sources are created you can click on Sheet1 and drag fields to create visualizations for Tableau Dashboard: Create data source in Tableau

Passing Parameters to DropBox calls in Tableau (Dynamic SQL)

Now let's look at scenario where you have to pass parameters to build Dynamic Dashboard. You can try to insert Parameters in your Direct SQL when you build Dynamic SQL but we found some issues with that so we are going to suggest Stored Procedure approach. For more information on Known issue on Dynamic Metadata Check this post.
  1. First lets create a stored procedure in SQL Server for Parameter Example. Notice how we added WITH RESULT SETS in the code to describe metadata.
    --DROP PROC dbo.usp_GetInvoicesByCountry
    --GO
    /*
    Purpose: Parameterize DropBox call via SQL. Call ZappySys Drivers inside SQL Server.
    */
    CREATE PROC dbo.usp_GetInvoicesByCountry
    	@country varchar(100) 
    AS 
    
    DECLARE @sql varchar(max)
    --//Escape single ticks carefully
    SET @sql =  'SELECT OrderID,CustomerID,Country,Quantity FROM $
    WITH (Src=''https://services.odata.org/V3/Northwind/Northwind.svc/Invoices?$format=json@filter=Country eq '+ @country +'''
    	 ,Filter=''$.value[*]''
    	 ,DataFormat=''OData''
    )'
    
    DECLARE @sqlFull varchar(max)
    SET @sqlFull='SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY( [LS] , ''' + REPLACE( @sql, '''', '''''' ) + ''' )'
    PRINT @sqlFull --//For DEBUG purpose
    
    EXECUTE (@sqlFull) 
    WITH RESULT SETS ( 
     (OrderID int,CustomerID varchar(100),Country varchar(100),Quantity int) --//describe first result. If you don't do this then wont work in Tableau 
    )
    GO
    -- Example call
    EXEC dbo.usp_GetInvoicesByCountry @country='Germany'
  2. Once you create a stored procedure go to Tableau datasource and select Database which contains the stored procedure we just created.
  3. Now find your stored proc and drag it on the datasource pane. You will see parameters UI as below. You can create new parameter - Select New Parameter under Value Column. Parameterize Tableau DropBox datasource (Stored Procedure Parameters)
  4. Thats it now you can reuse your parameterized datasource anywhere in Dashboard.
  5. If you have need to select Parameters from predefined values rather than free text then edit your parameter and select List option. Define values you like to select from as below. Allow Tableau Parameter selection from multiple values
  6. When you create Tableau Dashboard you will see Parameter dropdown (If you selected List) elase you may see Textbox to enter custom value. Tableau Dashboard Example - REST API Source with Parameterized Datasource

Firewall settings

So far we have assumed that Gateway is running on the same machine as SQL Server. However there will be a case when ZappySys ODBC PowerPack is installed on a different machine than SQL Server. In such case you may have to perform additional Firewall configurations. On most computers firewall settings wont allow outside traffic to ZappySys Data Gateway. In such case perform following steps to allow other machines to connect to Gateway.

Method-1 (Preferred)

If you are using newer version of ZappySys Data Gateway then adding firewall rule is just a single click.

  1. Search for gateway in start menu and open ZappySys Data Gateway.
  2. Go to Firewall Tab and click Add Firewall Rule button like below. This will create Firewall rule to all Inbound Traffic on Port 5000 (Unless you changed it). Allow Inbound Traffic - Add Firewall Rule for ZappySys Data Gateway

Method-2 Here is another way to add / edit Inbound Traffic rule in windows firewall. Use below method if you choose to customize your rule (for advanced users).
  1. Search for Windows Firewall Advanced Security in start menu.
  2. Under Inbound Rules > Right click and click [New Rule] >> Click Next
  3. Select Port on Rule Type >> Click Next
  4. Click on TCP and enter port number under specified local port as 5000 (use different one if you changed Default port) >> Click Next
  5. Select Profile (i.e. Private, Public) >> Click Next
  6. Enter Rule name [i.e. ZappySys Data Gateway – Allow Inbound ] >> Click Next
  7. Click OK to save the rule
SQL Server Firewall Allow Inbound Data Gateway

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 DropBox in Tableau and integrate data without any coding. Click here to Download DropBox Connector for Tableau 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 DropBox Connector for Tableau Documentation 

Actions supported by DropBox Connector

DropBox Connector support following actions for REST API integration. If some actions are not listed below then you can easily edit Connector file and enhance out of the box functionality.
 Make connection test
Makes a connection test    [Read more...]
 List folder
Lists folder    [Read more...]
Parameter Description
Path
Recursive
Option Value
true true
false false
 Download a file
Downloads a file    [Read more...]
Parameter Description
SourceFilePath
 Download a folder and folders/files within as ZIP archive
Downloads a folder with all the files and folders it contains as ZIP file    [Read more...]
Parameter Description
SourcePath
 Upload a file
Upload a file    [Read more...]
Parameter Description
TargetFilePath Specify a file path in DropBox to save file to
SourceFilePath Specify a disk file path to upload
 Create folder
Creates folder    [Read more...]
Parameter Description
Path
 Delete
Deletes file or folder    [Read more...]
Parameter Description
Path
 Generic Request
This is generic endpoint. Use this endpoint when some actions are not implemented by connector. Just enter partial URL (Required), Body, Method, Header etc. Most parameters are optional except URL.    [Read more...]
Parameter Description
Url API URL goes here. You can enter full URL or Partial URL relative to Base URL. If it is full URL then domain name must be part of ServiceURL or part of TrustedDomains
Body Request Body content goes here
IsMultiPart Check this option if you want to upload file(s) (i.e. POST RAW file data) or send data using Multi-Part encoding method (i.e. Content-Type: multipart/form-data). Multi-Part request allows you to mix key/value and upload files in same request. On the other hand raw upload allows only single file upload (without any key/value) ==== Raw Upload (Content-Type: application/octet-stream) ===== To upload single file in raw mode check this option and specify full file path starting with @ sign in the Body (e.g. @c:\data\myfile.zip ) ==== Form-Data / Multipart Upload (Content-Type: multipart/form-data) ===== To treat your Request data as multi part fields you must specify key/value pairs separated by new lines into RequestData field (i.e. Body). Each key value pair is entered on new-line and key/value are separated using equal sign (=). Preceding and trailing spaces are ignored also blank lines are ignored. If field value has some any special character(s) then use escape sequence (e.g. For NewLine: \r\n, For Tab: \t, For at (@): \@). When value of any field starts with at sign (@) its automatically treated as File you want to upload. By default file content type is determined based on extension however you can supply content type manually for any field using this way [ YourFileFieldName.Content-Type=some-content-type ]. By default File Upload Field always includes Content-Type in the request (non file fields do not have content-type by default unless you supply manually). For some reason if you dont want to use Content-Type header in your request then supply blank Content-Type to exclude this header altogather [e.g. SomeFieldName.Content-Type= ]. In below example we have supplied Content-Type for file2 and SomeField1, all other fields are using default content-type. See below Example of uploading multiple files along with additional fields. If some API requires you to pass Content-Type: multipart/form-data rather than multipart/form-data then manually set Request Header => Content-Type: multipart/mixed (it must starts with multipart/ else will be ignored). file1=@c:\data\Myfile1.txt file2=@c:\data\Myfile2.json file2.Content-Type=application/json SomeField1=aaaaaaa SomeField1.Content-Type=text/plain SomeField2=12345 SomeFieldWithNewLineAndTab=This is line1\r\nThis is line2\r\nThis is \ttab \ttab \ttab SomeFieldStartingWithAtSign=\@MyTwitterHandle
Filter Enter filter to extract array from response. Example: $.rows[*] --OR-- $.customers[*].orders[*]. Check your response document and find out hierarchy you like to extract
Headers Headers for Request. To enter multiple headers use double pipe or new line after each {header-name}:{value} pair

DropBox Connector Examples for Tableau Connection

This page offers a collection of SQL examples designed for seamless integration with the ZappySys API ODBC Driver under ODBC Data Source (36/64) or ZappySys Data Gateway, enhancing your ability to connect and interact with Prebuilt Connectors effectively.

Test connection    [Read more...]

Tests connection

SELECT *
  FROM make_test

List folder #1    [Read more...]

Lists all files and folders within a folder

SELECT *
  FROM list_folder

List folder #2    [Read more...]

Lists all files and folders within a folder

SELECT *
  FROM list_folder
  WITH (Path='/MySubfolder'
       ,Recursive='true')

Download file    [Read more...]

Downloads a file

SELECT *
  FROM download_file
  WITH (SourceFilePath='/file-I-want-to-download.dat'
        ,ResponseDataFile='C:\path\I\want\to\save\my\file\to.dat'
      )

Download folder as ZIP file    [Read more...]

Downloads a folder with all files and folders within it as ZIP file

SELECT *
  FROM download_folder
  WITH (SourcePath='/folder-I-want-to-download'
        ,ResponseDataFile='C:\path\I\want\to\save\my\folder\to.zip'
      )

Upload a file    [Read more...]

Uploads a file

SELECT *
  FROM upload_file
  WITH (TargetFilePath='/MySubfolder/file-I-want-to-upload-to-dropbox.dat'
        ,DiskFilePath='C:\file\I\want\to\upload.dat'
      )

Delete a file or a folder    [Read more...]

Deletes a file or a folder

SELECT *
  FROM delete
  WITH (Path='/path/to/file/in/dropbox/I/want/to/delete.dat')

Create a folder    [Read more...]

Creates a folder

SELECT *
  FROM create_folder
  WITH (Path='/folder/in/dropbox/I/want/to/create')

Other App Integration scenarios for DropBox

Other Connectors for Tableau


Download DropBox Connector for Tableau Documentation 

  • How to connect DropBox in Tableau?

  • How to get DropBox data in Tableau?

  • How to read DropBox data in Tableau?

  • How to load DropBox data in Tableau?

  • How to import DropBox data in Tableau?

  • How to pull DropBox data in Tableau?

  • How to push data to DropBox in Tableau?

  • How to write data to DropBox in Tableau?

  • How to POST data to DropBox in Tableau?

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  • Consume real-time DropBox API data in Tableau

  • DropBox ODBC Driver | ODBC Driver for DropBox | ODBC DropBox Driver | SSIS DropBox Source | SSIS DropBox Destination

  • Connect DropBox in Tableau

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  • Read DropBox data in Tableau

  • DropBox API Call in Tableau