Tableau Google Sheets Connector
In this article you will learn how to integrate
Using Google Sheets 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.
Driver mentioned in this article is part of ODBC PowerPack which is a collection of high-performance Drivers for various API data source (i.e. REST API, JSON, XML, CSV, Amazon S3 and many more). Using familiar SQL query language you can make live connections and read/write data from API sources or JSON / XML / CSV Files inside SQL Server (T-SQL) or your favorite Reporting (i.e. Power BI, Tableau, Qlik, SSRS, MicroStrategy, Excel, MS Access), ETL Tools (i.e. Informatica, Talend, Pentaho, SSIS). You can also call our drivers from programming languages such as JAVA, C#, Python, PowerShell etc.
If you are new to ODBC and ZappySys ODBC PowerPack then check the following links to get started.
Create Data Source in ZappySys Data Gateway based on ZappySys API Driver
Download and install ZappySys ODBC PowerPack.
Search for gateway in start menu and Open ZappySys Data Gateway:
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:
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.GoogleSheetsDSN
When the Configuration window appears give your data source a name if you haven't done that already, then select "Google Sheets" from the list of Popular Connectors. If "Google Sheets" 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:GoogleSheetsDSNGoogle Sheets
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 Google Sheets Credentials
This connection can be configured in two ways. Use Default App (Created by ZappySys) OR Use Custom App created by you.
To use minimum settings you can start with the ZappySys created App. Just change UseCustomApp=false on the properties grid so you dont need ClientID / Secret. When you click Generate Token you might see a warning about App is not trusted (Simply Click Advanced Link to expand hidden section and then click Go to App link to Proceed). To register a custom app, perform the following steps (Detailed steps found in the help link at the end):
- Go to Google API Console.
- From the Project Dropdown (usually found at the top bar) click Select Project.
- On the Project Popup click CREATE PROJECT.
- Once the project is created you can click Select Project to switch the context (You can click on Notification link or Choose from Top Dropdown).
- Click ENABLE APIS AND SERVICES.
- Now we need to Enable two APIs one by one (Sheets API and Drive API).
- Search Sheets. Select and click ENABLE.
- Search Drive. Select and click ENABLE.
- Go back to the main screen of the Google API Console
- Click the OAuth Consent Screen tab. Enter necessary details and Save.
- Click the Credentials tab.
- Click CREATE CREDENTIALS (some where in topbar) and select OAuth Client ID option.
- When prompted Select Application Type as Desktop App and click Create to receive your ClientID and Secret. You can use this information now to configure Connection with UseCustomApp=true.
Fill in all required parameters and set optional parameters if needed:GoogleSheetsDSNUser Account [OAuth]https://sheets.googleapis.com/v4/spreadsheets
Required Parameters UseCustomApp Fill in the parameter... Optional Parameters ClientId Fill in the parameter... ClientSecret Fill in the parameter... Scope Fill in the parameter... Default SpreadSheetId Fill in the parameter... Default Tab Name (i.e. Sheet1) Fill in the parameter... RetryMode Fill in the parameter... RetryStatusCodeList Fill in the parameter... RetryCountMax Fill in the parameter...Steps to get Google Sheets Credentials
Use these steps to authenticate as service account rather than Google / GSuite User. Learn more about service account here Basically to call Google API as Service account we need to perform following steps listed in 3 sections (Detailed steps found in the help link at the end)
Create ProjectFirst thing is create a Project so we can call Google API. Skip this section if you already have Project (Go to next section)
- Go to Google API Console
- From the Project Dropdown (usually found at the top bar) click Select Project
- On Project Propup click CREATE PROJECT
- Once project is created you can click Select Project to switch the context (You can click on Notification link or Choose from Top Dropdown)
- Click ENABLE APIS AND SERVICES
- Now we need to Enable two APIs one by one (Sheets API and Drive API).
- Search Sheets. Select and click ENABLE
- Search Drive. Select and click ENABLE
Create Service AccountOnce Project is created and APIs are enabled we can now create a service account under that project. Service account has its ID which looks like some email ID (not to confuse with Google /Gmail email ID)
- Go to Create Service Account
- From the Project Dropdown (usually found at the top bar) click Select Project
- Enter Service account name and Service account description
- For Role, do not select anything for now and Click Continue and then click Done. Next we will create Key.
Create KeyOnce service account is created we need to create key file (i.e. credentials).
- In the Cloud Console, click the email address for the service account that you created.
- Click Keys.
- Click Add key, then click Create new key.
- Click Create and select P12 format. A P12 key file is downloaded to your computer. We will use this file in our API connection.
- Click Close.
- Now you may use downloaded *.p12 key file as secret file and Service Account Email as Client ID (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Add PermissionNow last thing is give read/write permission to Service Account. Basically you can create or open Google Sheet and add the Service Account as an editor to it as below.
- Copy the email address of your service account we created in previous step (its usually like this email@example.com).
- Create or select an existing Google Sheet.
- Navigate to Sheet for which you like to give read/write access to Service Account.
- Click on the Share button in the top right, and add the email address of the service account as an editor. Here is how to share file(s) with specific people. Juse share with Service Account (use Service Account Email found on previous section)
Fill in all required parameters and set optional parameters if needed:GoogleSheetsDSNService Account (Using Private Key File) [OAuth]https://sheets.googleapis.com/v4/spreadsheets
Required Parameters Service Account Email Fill in the parameter... Service Account Private Key Path (i.e. *.p12) Fill in the parameter... Optional Parameters Scope Fill in the parameter... Default SpreadSheetId Fill in the parameter... Default Tab Name (i.e. Sheet1) Fill in the parameter... RetryMode Fill in the parameter... RetryStatusCodeList Fill in the parameter... RetryCountMax Fill in the parameter...
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:
Click OK to finish creating the data source.
Read data in SQL Server from the ZappySys Data Gateway data source
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:
Then click on Security option and configure username we created in ZappySys Data Gateway in one of the previous steps:
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');
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:
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:
- Open Tableau Desktop and click File > New
- To create new Connection click More > Microsoft SQL Server > Enter your credentials to connect to SQL Server (in our example before we used tdsuser):
Once connection is created for SQL Server we can read REST API data 3 different ways:
- Query View which contains OPENQUERY to Linked Server for REST API data
- Use direct SQL Query using OPENQUERY
- Use Stored Procedure (Mostly useful to parameterize calls
- See below example to pull data from REST API in Tableau using SQL View approach:
- Once your data sources are created you can click on Sheet1 and drag fields to create visualizations for Tableau Dashboard:
Passing Parameters to REST API 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.
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 REST API 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'
- Once you create a stored procedure go to Tableau datasource and select Database which contains the stored procedure we just created.
- 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.
- Thats it now you can reuse your parameterized datasource anywhere in Dashboard.
- 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.
- When you create Tableau Dashboard you will see Parameter dropdown (If you selected List) elase you may see Textbox to enter custom value.
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.
- Search for gateway in start menu and open ZappySys Data Gateway.
- 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).
- Search for Windows Firewall Advanced Security in start menu.
- Under Inbound Rules > Right click and click [New Rule] >> Click Next
- Select Port on Rule Type >> Click Next
- Click on TCP and enter port number under specified local port as 5000 (use different one if you changed Default port) >> Click Next
- Select Profile (i.e. Private, Public) >> Click Next
- Enter Rule name [i.e. ZappySys Data Gateway – Allow Inbound ] >> Click Next
- Click OK to save the rule
Create Custom Store 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 Store Procedure in ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders anywhere inside Procedure Body. Read more about placeholders here
Go to Custom Objects Tab and Click on Add button and Select Add Procedure:
Enter the desired Procedure name and click on OK:
Select the created Store Procedure and write the your desired store procedure and Save it and it will create the custom store 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>';
That's it now go to Preview Tab and Execute your Store 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';
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.
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.
Go to Custom Objects Tab and Click on Add button and Select Add Table:
Enter the desired Table name and click on OK:
And it will open the New Query Window Click on Cancel to close that window and go to Custom Objects Tab.
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'
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"
ConclusionIn this article we discussed how to connect to Google Sheets in Tableau and integrate data without any coding. Click here to Download Google Sheets 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).
Actions supported by Google Sheets ConnectorGoogle Sheets 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.
|Range Start Index (starts from 0)||
|Range End Index (starts from 0)||
|Range for Table Boundary (Including Header)||
|Range for Data Cells||
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