Solution for with Tableau’s Data Connector and APIs

Tableau Data Conectors and APIs

Looking for simplicity? Not so fast. If you have a developer who is able to build a Web Data Connector, and the APIs you are using supports CORS (Cross Origin Resource Sharing), then Tableau’s Data Connector will make quick work of connecting to APIs. If you find yourself without a developer, then that could really slow your momentum.

At Boulder Insight, we built a solution based on real world scenarios, where this problem was impacting our clients on a daily basis. Simply put, our Smart Proxy System handles all the messy stuff that Tableau’s Data Web Connector doesn’t.

Web Data Connectors and APIs Issues:

At first glance, Tableau’s Web Connector looks like an easy plug and play exercise, and for some, it is. About Tableau Web Data Connectors. Here are a couple of issues that you may run into when working with order APIs that don’t support CORS:

  1. Smart Proxy System Features:
    • We saw large variations in API documentation from vendor to vendor. Some had written their documentation over seven years ago, never to review it again. Others had used “http” instead of “https” with API keys. In many instances, we had to research our client’s system, and contact them for clarification on how their API even worked. This cost us real time and cost our client real money.
  2. Difficulty Debugging Complex Web Data Connectors
    • Debugging a web data connector is a real pain point. First you have to debug within a special mode within Tableau Desktop, that itself is slow and buggy. Then every time you fix an issue you find yourself uploading a new WDC to Tableau and restarting the entire long process of testing a complex script all over again. Current tools for debugging a WDC are not time friendly.
  3. Cost per Query
    • Most of the vendors that you will be pulling data from have an associated cost per query. For example every month they could give you an allocated number of points, 2,000,000, then each query you sent would deduct points from that total. If you don’t set up your queries correctly it could cost you $$.

Boulder Insight’s Smart Proxy System

Boulder Insight’s Smart Proxy System is built to handle all of the common problems you will encounter. Plus, our API Monitoring service will ensure that the data keeps flowing even if the API changes. If you do end up running into issues, just give us a call. We are happy to talk about building web connectors or our Smart Proxy System solutions if needed.

Smart Proxy System Features:
  1. CORS proxy
  2. Debugs Complex Web Data
  3. Controls Cost per Query
  4. Compounded Slow Responses from Servers
  5. End to end Encryption
  6. API Key Authorization (protecting our customers’ data)
  7. API Fault Tolerant (Vendor API down? We can still get historical data)
  8. Authorization Security
  9. API Monitoring (alerts if company changes API protocol)