Okta and SAML 2.0 SSO support in Analysis Services with XLCubedWeb

We previously briefly covered the updates to XLCubedWeb to support single sign-on using SAML 2.0, in this blog we will go through the process needed to setup SSO in XLCubedWeb using Okta and the steps required to map the users through to cube-defined roles in Analysis Services.

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SAML 2.0 authentication with Analysis Services and XLCubedWeb

With the upcoming maintenance release of V9.2 we are introducing support for Single sign-on in XLCubedWeb, this can be configured to use any SAML 2.0 identity provider and provides some useful functionality for integrated user-level data access in Analysis Services.

For the moment Analysis Services only supports windows-based authentication, and many of our customers are using single-sign on providers to authenticate users and provide application access. As part of our single-sign on solution we give the ability to define the Analysis Services access level for the users in the identity provider (or via a custom SQL lookup if access level mapping is stored outside of the provider).

This allows customers to setup SSO and still allow different users to have different access to different cube levels. To do this XLCubed makes use of the “EffectiveUser” and “Roles” connection properties, these properties allow the connection to run as a particular user or in the context of a cube-define role.

The following gives an overview of the process when using role mappings stored in the identity provider:

Or if using SQL to provide the user to role mapping:

You can see more about the setup process on the following page:

https://help.xlcubed.com/Single_sign-on

We will also look at a practical example of setting up single sign with role mapping in a future blog

 

Result

Common Row Highlighting

Last week’s post looked at the fundamentals of formatting XLCubed grids. A lot can be done with these techniques but sometimes more interactive formatting is desired. Within an XLCubed grid you can set Interaction Options to track which cell has been selected and output the selection and/or format it. In this post, we will look at how to apply this to highlight a row across multiple grids.

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Dashboard Designs: Dynamic Cards

Dashboard cards are a great way to group related data and make key information more accessible. The flexibility of Excel and XLCubed means there are a number of ways you might choose the incorporate a card-based design into your dashboards. In this blog we will consider one way to do this using XLCubed dashboard sheets and paged viewports.

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Combining Sets

XLCubed has lots of options for Ranking, Sorting and Filtering (And Searching. And Grouping. And, and and … 😉)

As well as all of these, one often overlooked aspect of the Advanced member selector is the member combination mode.

This enables lots of interesting scenarios, especially as you can run more advanced selections on the results of these.

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Propagate across Sheets

Propagate across Sheets

Today’s blog will run through Propagate across Sheets – it’s an XLCubed feature that’s been around for some time but is definitely one of our hidden gems!

Propagate across Sheets is some great functionality that allows users to quickly replicate a report onto additional sheets within the same workbook or a new workbook.

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Workbook Aspects – Same Report, Different View

A common scenario in business reporting is for different users to want reports to open with ‘their’ view on the data. So for a particular Store or business unit.

Many back-ends already support setting Default Members for different users and groups, for example Analysis Services allows this, but as XLCubed can connect to an increasing number of back-ends we can’t rely on this and sometimes a single report user may have different combinations of views on data (for example, a set of store/product group combinations)

Version 9.2 of XLCubed has added Workbook Aspects to help with this, allowing users to store their own slicer selections and quickly switch between those and also to set the default for when the report is loaded.

With this feature you can define the aspects at a report level, shared by all users, and also allow users to define their own private aspects.

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Data Mashups 101

In an ideal world for report designers, all the data required for a report is available in one data source, and the structure and hierarchies perfectly match the reporting needs. Sadly, the world isn’t always ideal (just ask Theresa May…).

We often see scenarios where users are reporting numerical data from Analysis Services but want to include descriptive or textual information held elsewhere. People have approached this in different ways, but XLCubed’s mashup capability can make it a much more streamlined and maintainable process.

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