Connecting Quick Base With DBs - Peter Fearey


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Peter and his team have been busy developing best practices for importing and exporting data into QuickBase – learn some of the tricks to help make integration with other data sources seamless. Boomi, QuNext and QBDesktop are just some of the examples Peter will touch upon during his talk.

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  • Impact: Reduced # of clicks to get information from about 5 per account to seeing all data on one screen and enabled reporting that allowed us to reduce “non-payment”
  • Connecting Quick Base With DBs - Peter Fearey

    1. 1. Connecting QuickBase with Data(bases)<br />Peter Fearey, Customer Success Group Manager<br />
    2. 2. What’s The Problem People Want to Solve?<br />2<br />Importing Examples<br />Business Needs…<br /><ul><li>Give users more reference data
    3. 3. Improve reporting with add’l data</li></ul>…which can require additional data…<br />Reference Data<br /><ul><li>Employee info
    4. 4. Customer firmographics</li></ul>Transactional<br /><ul><li>Sales / Orders
    5. 5. Support tickets</li></ul>QuickBase Application<br />…that’s stored in variety of formats<br />Files<br />Databases<br />Business Apps<br />
    6. 6. What’s The Problem People Want to Solve?<br />3<br />Exporting Examples<br />Importing Examples<br />Business Needs…<br />Business Needs…<br /><ul><li>Give users more reference data
    7. 7. Improve reporting with add’l data
    8. 8. Use “enterprise reporting” tools
    9. 9. Integrate with a data warehouse
    10. 10. Backup / Archive data</li></ul>…which can require additional data…<br />Reference Data<br /><ul><li>Employee info
    11. 11. Customer firmographics</li></ul>Transactional<br /><ul><li>Sales / Orders
    12. 12. Support tickets</li></ul>QuickBase Application<br />…where need to get data out to<br />other data sources<br />Databases<br />Files<br />…that’s stored In variety of formats<br />Business<br />Applications<br />Reporting <br />Tools<br />Files<br />Databases<br />Business Apps<br />
    13. 13. And to Accomplish Business Needs, Need to…<br />4<br />Extract<br />Load<br />Files<br />Files<br />QuickBase Application<br />Databases<br />Databases<br />Reporting <br />Tools<br />Transform<br />Business Apps<br />Extract Transform Load<br />More commonly known as “ETL”<br />Business Apps<br />
    14. 14. General ETL/Integration1 Options<br />Complexity Continuum<br />Programming Required Point and Click<br />1 This list only includes technologies not specific to single packaged business applications<br />2 The list of supported applications is a representative sample and not ALL supported apps<br />5<br />
    15. 15. What it requires…<br />A developer that can use the HTTP API or one of the QuickBase SDKs<br />A scripting environment (which one depends on that language want to use)<br />A server for triggering/running the scripts and logging results<br />How you do it…<br />Pick a language/SDK and development environment want to use and get educated on it<br />Review example code (e.g. what’s on QIN and what’s in QuickBase Desktop)<br />Learn about ways to import/export data…<br />API calls used for data integration: API_ImportFromCSV, API_AddRecord and API_DoQuery<br />Techniques for exporting, including defining reports that export data in specific formats…<br />Start developing… (see other Tech Fest presentations for help)<br />Best for…<br />Integrating with other custom developed applications<br />Coding complex business logic and data processing<br />Example: Doing a lookup for a related master before importing<br />6<br />API Scripting<br />For more information, go to our QuickBase Innovator’s Network (QIN)… <br /><br />
    16. 16. What it requires…<br />A computer with Microsoft Access installed<br />A copy of the QuickBase Desktop MS Access template/file<br />How you use it…<br />Download and open a copy of the “QuickBase Desktop” MDB file<br />Enter username/password, which will prompt QuickBase to list your apps<br />Select which tables you’d like to sync down to your desktop / MS Access<br />QuickBase will pull 1) field/report definitions and 2) all data to local machine<br />Best used for…<br />Archiving of data<br />Pulling data onto local server for a reporting<br /> engine to access for advanced analytics<br />7<br />QuickBase Desktop<br />For more information, go here… <br /> and search for “QuickBase Desktop”<br />
    17. 17. What it requires…<br />A server or client machine to install the driver<br />Software to run the driver e.g.<br />MS Excel, MS Access, MS Word, MS Visio, Crystal Reports<br />WinSQL, FuzzyDupes, SQL Server, Informatica<br />A purchased license to the driver<br />How you use it…<br />Install QuNect and configure ODBC sources on server/system<br />Depending on application/environment you’re using…<br />If Excel / Crystal, can import or build reports by pointing to created data source <br />If developing custom app (e.g. VBA app), can start referencing data in code <br />Best used for…<br />Leveraging eco system of ODBC software<br /> and team of developers who know SQL<br />Building easily maintainable scripts<br />8<br />QuNect ODBC<br />For more information, go here…<br />
    18. 18. What it requires…<br />MS Excel installed on all user’s machines<br />A VBA developer who’s able to customize (or can get partner help)<br />A purchased license of Advantage Software’s App-Link template<br />How you use it…<br />Configure the tables and reports want to download<br />Build dashboard content & summary reports to render the data<br />Best used for…<br />Creating custom dashboard & reporting<br />Offering smart, sophisticated data input <br />9<br />App-Link<br />For more information, go here…<br />
    19. 19. What it requires…<br />Subscription to Boomi AtomSphere<br />A developer who’s capable of creating integration scripts <br />How you use it…<br />Connect QuickBase with any other SaaS or on-premise application using drag-and-drop web-based workflow environment<br />Deploy integration into Boomi’s cloud, or on-premise for integrating apps behind the firewall<br />Best used for…<br />A platform for coding and<br /> scheduling many integrations<br />Integrating with many <br /> different packaged apps<br />10<br />Boomi<br />For more information, go here… <br /><br />
    20. 20. Other Partner/Targeted Examples…<br />11<br />For more information, go here… <br /><br />
    21. 21. Like any other business we have two key needs…<br />Front line employees need…<br />Systems that are easy to use / navigate (and we chose QuickBase :-&gt;)<br />Access to information relevant to doing their job <br />Management needs…<br />Dashboard reporting to see daily results (without huge costs)<br />Access to information across all functions (e.g. operations, sales, etc)<br />So we set out to do two things…<br />Consolidate all invoice and credit card charge info<br />Build a data warehouse of all cross-functional business data<br />12<br />A Case Study… The QuickBase Business Warehouse<br />
    22. 22. Enabling Front Line Teams With Data they Need<br />13<br /><ul><li>The Problem…
    23. 23. Front line teams needed to be able to see payment status for each account, and</li></ul>Invoice data resided in company billing system- an Oracle database<br />Credit card charges were done in back end system and not stored in easy to access repository<br /><ul><li>The Solution…</li></ul>Load<br />Transform<br />Extract<br />Match / Lookup<br />Augment<br />Oracle “Job”<br />Automated <br />Sync<br />Oracle DB w/<br />Invoice Data<br />CSV File<br />SQL Server<br />Integration<br />Services<br />QuickBase<br />Desktop<br />QuickBase<br />Customer Central<br />Application<br />API_AddRecord called from<br />Billing Application<br />Credit Card Billing App<br /><ul><li>ROI and Impact…
    24. 24. Front line teams can…
    25. 25. no longer need to click between many screens to get basic billing info...saves hours
    26. 26. be more proactive about helping accounts deal with billing during renewal time
    27. 27. New reporting has helped identify handful of “non-paying accounts”
    28. 28. Lessons Learned…
    29. 29. There’s no single approach to data integration because every system has unique challenges
    30. 30. Automated two-way sync’ing and permissions with QB Desktop simplified loading</li></li></ul><li>Building Enterprise Data Warehouse and Reporting<br />14<br /><ul><li>The Problem…
    31. 31. Team needed ability to run reports on huge amounts of data
    32. 32. Data we needed resided in various sources: QuickBase, SQL Server production database, logs, etc
    33. 33. The Solution…</li></ul>Extract<br />Load<br />Transform<br />Report<br />Aggregate<br />Match / Lookup<br />Consolidate<br />Augment<br />SQL Bulk Load<br />Account Data<br />SQL Analysis <br />Services<br />Dashboard &<br />Pivot tables<br />SQL Bulk Load<br />QuNect Single<br />Record Updates<br />SQL Server<br />Integration<br />Services<br />QuNect<br />Bulk Extract<br />Web Server Logs<br />SQL Data<br />Warehouse<br />QuickBase<br />QuickBase<br />Customer Central<br />Application<br />QuickBase <br />Reports<br />Customer Central<br />Application<br /><ul><li>ROI and Impact…
    34. 34. Daily updating gives us almost real-time access to how the business is doing
    35. 35. Key decisions are backed by sound analysis and are grounded in data (as opposed to opinion)
    36. 36. Lessons Learned…
    37. 37. Single record updating gives us ability to notify team members when changes occur
    38. 38. Multiple reporting technologies can be necessary for different levels of detail and capability</li></li></ul><li>Realize that there’s no “one size fits all” approach…<br />Each integration is unique…and it just takes time to build them out<br />It’s good to be aware/familiar with different techniques and technologies<br />Focus on the integrations that will help the largest # of people first<br />Standardize on one “platform” for scheduling and monitoring the entire environment. Options include:<br />Custom scripting environment using SDK / API<br />Packaged tools: SQL Server Integration Services, Boomi, Informatica, etc<br />Select the tools / languages you’re organization knows best…<br />And if necessary, don’t be afraid to get help from one of our partners<br /><br />15<br />Best Practices to Working with Data<br />But most importantly, remember that…<br />QuickBase is a database, and like other databases, it can be integrated with most anything<br />
    39. 39. Questions?<br />16<br />
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