Data Providers in exMon are used by both Queries and Compare Queries to access data from external data sources.
This tutorial covers the following topics:
Create a new Data Provider
To create a new Data Provider, open exMon Administrator, right click General > Data Providers, and select new Data Provider.
Data source type
In the Data Provider module, you need to define a Data Provider type, hostname information and authentication information.
exMon supports most data sources. Supported data sources include: SQL Server, Oracle, Excel, Analysis Services, Informix, DB2 and WMI.
Choose an appropriate data source type.
In Connection Information, fill in the following fields:
- Host Name: Name or IP address of the server
- Initial Catalog: Database name
- Namespace: Cognos specific authentication namespace
- On connection failure: If the data source is down, for example because of network issues or in a middle of backup, exMon can retry after a number of seconds. You can configure how often to retry and define the seconds to wait between retries.
- Execution Connection: If execution connection is set, test‘s queries will be executed through execution connection
The authentication to the data source can be
- Windows Authentication: The user running the exMon Service. Most often a special service user created for that purpose.
- Username and Password: Basic authentication using username and password. The password is encrypted in the exMon database.
Generating the Connection String
When Connection Information and Authentication is ready, the Connection String has to be generated by clicking the Generate Connection String button.
When the connection string is ready, test the connection with the Test Connection button.
Note that testing a connection using Windows Authentication tests the connection using the Windows user that is using exMon Administrator, not the service user.
When using exMon in separate Development and Production environments, the connection information has to be defined for each environment.
A best practice is to have a Development instance of the Data Provider defined in the Development tab and a connection to the live Production environment in the Production tab.
Queries will then use the Development connection when executed in Development and Production connection when executed in Production.
Data Provider Groups
Some companies have the same or similar data sources in multiple locations. This can for example be a Point of sales system with databases at each store.
A common use case would be to compare product prices between a master database and each store.
With Data Provider Groups you can create a single test that monitors pricing errors at each store.
To Create new Data Provider Group right clicking General->Data Providers and selecting New Data Provider Group
When a Data source Type is selected, all available Data Providers of that type will be available on the left. Data Providers that should be a part of the group are selected and moved over to the right.
There are two main differences between executing a query using a normal Data Provider and a query using Data Provider Groups:
- A Data Provider Group will not be marked as successful unless all its Data Providers succeed.
- A Query against a Data Provider Group will finish processing all successful data providers even if one or more fail (that is, processing exceptions and email)
Note: Data Provider Groups can contain other Data Provider Groups, which allows users to create Data Provider hierarchies.