Features

  • Conduit makes it easy to connect your data to your favorite BI and data science tools, including Power BI. Your data approachable and interactive – in a matter of minutes, no matter where it's stored.
  • Data aggregation and JOINs 
  • Access your data in real-time. Conduit allows you to connector in DirectQuery mode vs. Power BI’s standard import mode, which limits your data refreshes per day. 
  • Advanced Parquet Store cache for a fast performance. Configurable expiration and re-caching.
  • Custom pick data to use only specific columns needed for reporting to speed things up even more.
  • Built-in data governance and security controls. Flexible yet robust.

Prerequisites

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to sign up for a Conduit account.  Try the power and flexibility of Conduit firsthand with a free trial.

For your Dynamics 365 datasource, have the following handy:

  • Connection URL
  • Connection Active Directory Subscription
  • Service account Username and Password

Create Connector

Connectors can be created from the main dashboard. To create new connector, click on "Add New Connector" button, then select desired connector type to load wizard for configuring the new connector.

There are a few basic steps to getting any connector up an running:

  1. Define your datasource
  2. Configure access
  3. Select what data you want to make available via connector
  4. Configure virtualization and caching options







Datasources

Define your connector name and connection URL.

  • Connector Name
    • Required
    • Will be used to identify published tables
    • Only lowercase letters, numbers and underscore symbols are allowed
    • Can be changed only before the connector is saved
  • Description
    • Optional field for notes about connector; visible in Conduit only
    • Can be changed at any point
  • Connection URL
    • Required
    • Can be changed only before the connector is saved


Click Next button (blue right arrow) to go to the Authentication tab to continue configuring your connector.

To cancel connector creation, click Close button.



Authentication

Define how external BI users should be authorized by Conduit to access specific data and how Conduit is connecting to the datasource.

  1. Select Authentication Method for external users connecting to Conduit:
    1.  Anonymous with Impersonation
      1. Anyone with the connector link has read access to all tables/data published through the connector
      2. BI users are not required to provide any form of credentials
      3. Default option
    2.  Conduit Authentication with Impersonation
      1. Allows Conduit Admins to configure data access only to users from specific Conduit Group(s)
      2. BI users are required to provide credentials that are looked up by Conduit in its user database
    3. Active Directory with Impersonation
      1.  Allows Conduit Admins to configure data access only to users from specific Active Directory Groups(s) for a selected User Subscription. The access to the database will be done by Conduit authentication credentials.
    4.  Active Directory Pass Through
      1. Allows the admin to let users have access to the published tables using their AD credentials.
  2. Select AD Subscription to be used to connect. If needed AD Subscription is missing from the dropdown menu, create one  under Security - Active Directory Subscriptions.
  3. Enter the service account credentials to be used by Conduit to explore and publish the data source entities during connector creation/editing and to execute all runtime queries against the datasource (if authentication with impersonation was selected)
    • Username

    • Password

Click Next button to go to the next tab to continue configuring your connector.

To cancel connector creation, click Close button.


Publish

Select what data will be available to the BI users. Choose to publish one or more tables, specific columns only or entire table(s). 

Publish tab provides an interface to prune tables to include only fields required for analytics, thus reducing the resource load while querying and improving querying times.

To explore tables click on black arrow(s)  to expand datasource node(s).

Use Search to find specific fields you would like to select. Please note that search will be finding only items on expanded nodes.

Selection should be limited to tables from the same database.

Once all the desired fields/tables are selected, the user has 2 options:

  1. Save the connector using the default settings:
    1. Caching not enabled.
    2. Conduit SQL engine for non-native and join queries enabled.
    3. Authorization not enabled, hence all Conduit users will have access to the published data.
    4. Default Advanced tab settings
  2. Continue configuring the connector.

To save connector, click Submit button.

To continue configuring connector properties, click Next button.

To cancel connector creation, click Close button.


Virtualization

On Virtualization tab you can configure the following:

  • Enable Caching
    • Caching is a component of hardware or software that allows for storage of relevant data for quick future access
    • Disabled by default
    • Recommended to enable for large datasets and/or when expensive queries are expected  
    • When enabled, Conduit will do the following: 
      • Data Cache on Disk: temporary parquet store will be created for a connector's dataset. In case of OData connector non-native and join queries will be ran against parquet store. The rest of the queries will be ran against source.
      • Query Cache: results of all queries, that can be run against the data source natively or against Data Cache. Query Cache will expire with Data Cache.
    • All tables for a given connector will have cache enabled.
  • Enable Conduit SQL engine for non-native and join queries 
    • Enabled by default
    • If unchecked, the reporting tool will throw a message to the analyst and won't run non-native or join queries.


Authorization

Configure access for a selected Authentication type.

If you've selected on the Authentication tab "Conduit Authentication with Impersonation" or "Active Directory with Impersonation" authentication type, then here you can configure which Conduit Group (s) Or Active Directory Group(s) should grant access to published table(s).

  • By default Authorization is not enabled, meaning all your Conduit users will have access to all published tables for a given connector.
  • To enforce Authorization click Enable Authorization
  • From a group list you can select which groups(s) should grant access to the connector
    • Access is granted on a table level.
      • If you need some group(s) to have access to certain fields from table A, and other group(s) should have access to another set of fields from the same table A, please create two connectors to pruned versions of the table A, one for each permissions case. 
    • If Authorization is enabled but not groups are selected, the connector's tables will be accessible to no one. 

Only Admins are allowed to view and modify Authorization tab. 

Authentication type and Authorization configuration can be changed at any time. If permissions are revoked, the data will no longer be accessible to external user(s) as well as connector to a restricted table will no longer be present in connector list in BI tools. 




Advanced

Fine-tune how your selections should be published.

For each table the following can be configured:

  • Cache Settings – available if cache has been enabled for the connector on Virtualization tab
    • Caching Expiration
      • Default cache expiration time is 30 minutes.
      • After expiration, cache will re-create when a non-native or join query is ran.
      • Connectors to large datasets with complex JSON documents structure would benefit from having less frequent caching.
    • Cache Now
      • Initiate caching of the data source on connector save to avoid waiting for cache upon initial query. 
    • Memory and Disk
      • Connector's tables stored in Spark Cache on disk, and also in memory for a better performance.
    • Disk Only
      • Connector's tables stored in Parquet Store on disk. 
  • Other settings
    • Alias
      • A user-friendly table name to be used to identify published tables by external users.
      • Optional. If not specified, real table name will be used for identification.
    • Fetch Size
      • The number of results per page from a single search request, in much the same way as you would use a cursor on a traditional database.
    • Query Timeout
      • A search timeout, bounding the search request to be executed within the specified time value and bail with the hits accumulated up to that point when expired. Search requests are canceled after the timeout is reached.
    • Partition Size
      • This parameter advises the connector what the maximum number of documents per input partition should be. The connector will sample and estimate the number of documents on each shard to be read and divides each shard into input slices using the value supplied by this property.

Endpoints

This page contains the endpoints for the newly created connector that you can use to access the data from different applications:

JDBC/ODBC/Thrift Endpoint  to connect to dataset(s) defined on the connector from various BI and data science tools.

Power BI Spark Connector  to connect to dataset(s) defined on the connector from Power BI.

Tableau Spark Connector – to connect to dataset(s) defined on the connector from Tableau.