The ability to access large data sets can be a complex task when it comes to critical business initiatives. This is where APIs play an important role. You can create connections and consume data across multiple other platforms by using APIs.

We have used Catchpoint APIs to integrate several popular third-party tools used by our customers including PagerDuty, BigPanda, Sumologic, Chef, and Splunk. Our out-of-the-box integrations include alerting and notification, collaboration, and other analytics tools. Read more about the integrations we support here.

Our latest integration enables Catchpoint data to be visualized through Tableau. Tableau is a popular business intelligence tool that connects to different data sources like MySQL, Excel, and JSON files.

Why Integrate Catchpoint with Tableau

DevOps teams use different analytical tools for analyzing data from multiple sources. Tableau is one such analytical tool, with added capabilities like smart dashboards, and the ability to share info in seconds. This integration enables teams to import monitoring data from Catchpoint into Tableau.

Data from different monitoring tools can be used to build comprehensive dashboards that provide insight into all services. Such a dashboard with all analytical data from different sources is necessary for quick problem detection and well-informed decision making. 

With a singular dashboard for all monitoring services, end-user experience data from Catchpoint can be viewed side-by-side with data from an infrastructure monitoring tool. This allows you to easily correlate data points and incidents whenever there is performance degradation. You can quickly identify where the issue originated; if it is due to the infrastructure or a bug in the application itself.

Tableau Web Data Connector

The Catchpoint-Tableau integration uses Catchpoint REST API and Tableau Web Data Connector.

Web data connectors (WDCs) are web pages that provide a data connection that is accessible over HTTP/HTTPS. WDCs allow users to connect to almost any type of data that is accessible over the web. Data sources for a WDC can include internal web services, JSON data, REST APIs, and other sources that are available over HTTP or HTTPS. Users can create their own WDC or use one of the built-in connectors.

The web data connector must be hosted on a web server. You can test it by running locally on your computer, on a web server in your domain or on a third-party web server.

Integration Implementation

Implementation of Tableau relies on the following technologies:

Web data connector

Used to connect to a web data source from Tableau. A WDC is an HTML page with JavaScript code that connects to web data (for example, using REST API), converts the data to a JSON format, and passes the data to Tableau.

PHP

Why do we use PHP when we can already access Catchpoint’s REST API through JavaScript or jQuery? As you know the WDC is nothing but an HTML file which is executed on the browser. Trying to get data using JavaScript or jQuery will generate CORS errors when we trying to access data from a different origin. To overcome this, we are using PHP to access Catchpoint’s REST API.

Catchpoint APIs

Catchpoint uses OAuth 2.0 for authentication when requesting specific information. It can be used to pull metrics data for a specific time frame, set up a new test or to run an instant test—depending on the use case.

Implementation Architecture

Catchpoint API
  • A web data connector is launched from a tableau desktop application. Users must provide the necessary credentials to authenticate.
  • This, in turn, invokes a PHP file. The PHP file will authenticate with Catchpoint’s REST API and gets the data based on the configuration.
  • Once the data is fetched through API, it will parse data in the desired format for Tableau. 

Steps to Integrate Catchpoint and Tableau

1. Before we begin the setup, we will need to have REST API credentials, test Id and a favorite charts Id.

  • To find your REST API credentials. Login to the Catchpoint portal and navigate to the API Page.
  • In the “REST API” section click “Add Consumer” and assign a contact.
  • Once saved you will be able to retrieve the consumer key and secret. These will be used for Tableau authentication to Catchpoint’s API.

2. Start Tableau and under Connect, select Web Data Connector.

3. Enter the URL of the web data connector that you want to connect to, and then press Enter.

Example: http://localhost/catchpoint_tableau/html/catchpoint_chart.html

Note: Entering a URL to a website, rather than to a web data connector, will throw an error.

4. If the connector displays a webpage, enter any information that you’re prompted for, and then submit the page.

5. If you are selecting Catchpoint Raw as a connector, you also need to provide a Test Id, start and end time (UTC).

6. Wait while the connector retrieves your data and imports it into Tableau as an extract.

7. Select the sheet tab to start your analysis.

8. There is also a log file that is named “mylog.” This can be used for troubleshooting when there are issues importing data into tableau. All the events such as response codes and messages will be logged under this file with a corresponding timestamp.

Once the web data connector retrieves your data and imports it into Tableau, we can analyze the data retrieved from Catchpoint or even set data visualization for better analysis.

The connector also supports incremental refresh for Catchpoint Favorite Charts (dimensions should be in time for these Favorite Charts) and Catchpoint last raw endpoints.

The Catchppoint-Tableau integration is easy to implement and provides a more comprehensive perspective of the data generated by your monitoring tools. Use the integration to build better dashboards that help your DevOps team identify and fix issues faster.

If you are already a Catchpoint user but want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your tool, watch a demo on our latest product release, Network Insights.