Having the right data available at the right time is absolutely critical to making smart business decisions. To ensure that you have the latest data available, Sisense provides live connections to some of the most popular data sources.
Traditionally, your data was only as fresh as your latest ElastiCube build. With live connections, you can refresh your dashboards manually or set them to refresh automatically every few seconds.
When you add a live connection, Sisense creates a data set. A data set includes connection and credential details to the data source and defines the table where live data is pulled from. Each data set supports a single table from your data source. After creating a data set, it is displayed in the ElastiCube page of the Admin section from where you can manage all your data sets.
Adding Live Connections
To add a live connection:
- In the Sisense Web Application, select Admin > ElastiCubes & Data Sets. The ElastiCubes & Data Sets page is displayed.
- In the ElastiCubes & Data Sets page, click Add Live Connection. The Add Live Connection dialog box is displayed.
- In the Add Live Connection dialog box, select your live data source.
- Under the Connect tab, enter the following credentials:
Location: The IP address of your data source.
User Name: The user name to access data source.
Password: The password to access your data source.
- Click Next.
- Under the Select Data tab, on the left side is a list of schemas located in your data source. Select the relevant schema. You can find the schema easily by searching for it through the search field at the top of the list to filter the schemas displayed. After selecting the schema, a list of the available tables and views are displayed.
- Select a table or view. You can find the table easily by searching for it through the search field at the top of the list to filter the tables displayed.
- Click Next.
- Under the Connection Settings tab, set the following:
Connection Name: Enter a name for your connection. This field defines the name of your data source displayed in the Sisense Web Application.
Refresh Rate: Enter or select the refresh rate for your data source. The shortest refresh rate you can set is 10 seconds.
Time Out: Enter or select the Time Out rate for your data source. The Time Out rate determines how long Sisense waits before cancelling a query that does not receive a response from your data source.
- Click Done. The connection is added as a data set to your ElastiCube & Data Set page.
Working with Data Sets
While you can create dashboards from a live data set like you would an ElastiCube, you can also add data sets as a data source to a dashboard that already has a data source such as an ElastiCube. When have multiple data sources working together on a single dashboard, the data source and the widgets built on it operate independently of each other. This allows you to view widgets that visualize time sensitive information in addition to widgets that are refreshed less frequently. For more information about adding multiple data sources, see Changing a Dashboard’s Data Source.
In terms of governance, all existing access rights settings and data security settings can be applied for live connections.
The most significant difference between dashboards built on ElastiCubes and dashboards connected to live data sources is how the load is managed. With an ElastiCube, you refresh the data when you build an ElastiCube and query the ElastiCube, not the data sources that define your ElastiCube. With live connections, queries are run against the data source itself. This means that you don’t have to wait for an ElastiCube to finish building before you see the results, however, your data source must be able to handle the potential load of multiple refreshes.
When you refresh the data for a live connection, Sisense uses the connection settings and credentials in the data set to query the live data source. Depending on your Sisense role, there are several options for refreshing the data.
Administrators create the data set. They define the refresh rate in seconds and timeout for each data set. After the refresh rate is set by the Administrator, no user can set a refresh rate shorter than the rate set by the Administrator. Administrators can manually refresh the data set from the ElastiCube & Data Set page in the Admin section.
Keep in mind that each time a refresh takes place, your data source is queried, so your data source needs to handle the refresh rate you define. Designers can reduce the frequency of data refreshes or stop automatic refreshes on a per widget level, but they cannot increase the frequency of refreshes beyond the threshold set by an Administrator.
Refreshing a Data Set
There are several ways in which you can refresh a widget build on a live data set depending on your Sisense role.
Administrators set the default refresh and can refresh the data manually from the ElastiCubes & Data Sets page in the Admin section of the Sisense Web Application.
In addition, Designers can reset the Refresh Rate, however, the rate cannot be lower than the default rate set by the Administrator.
While any users can refresh a widget, Sisense has a minimum 10 second refresh limit. Any refreshes requested within 10 seconds are ignored.
Cancelling a Refresh
If you have a refresh that you want to cancel, you can cancel it by clicking Cancel in the widget’s information box.
This button is displayed only when a refresh is in progress.
In addition, any time a user leaves a query, for example, to view another page in their browser, Sisense pauses the query.
The current features are not supported by live connections:
- Pulse alerts
- Bow & Whisker
- R is not currently supported
- Some functions are not currently supported
- Changing live data sources for dashboards
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I cannot connect to my data source?
A: As the connection is live, the data source must be available for Sisense to connect. Also, if your credentials changes, you must update the Administrator must update their data set so Sisense can continue to connect and refresh the data.
Q: No data sources are displayed when trying to add one?
A: In Windows Services, verify that the following are running, and if not, restart them:
Q: If I use Windows Authentication with my SQL server, what do I enter in the Username and Password fields?
A: Enter the Location and leave the Username and Password fields blank.
Q: After entering a data set name, the Done button is not displayed:
A: Make sure the data set’s name is unique. You cannot create data sets with the same name.
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