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Connect to Rest API data source

The Bold Reports supports connecting almost all web services that has a REST API interface.

Choose web data source

To configure the web data source, follow the below steps:

  1. Click on the Data icon in the configuration panel. Data icon configuration panel
  2. In the DATA configuration panel, click on the NEW DATA button. New Data Panel
  3. In the connection type panel, choose the Web API data source type. Connection types panel
  4. After clicking the data source, the NEW DATASOURCE configuration panel opens. Specify the data source name without special characters, in Name field. Web datasource properties

Connect to web data source with GET action

  1. Enter a valid REST API endpoint in the URL text box to perform GET action.
  2. Choose GET in Method drop-down.
  3. Choose a Data Format from the drop-down based on the response of your provided REST API. Options are JSON and XML.
  4. Choose an Authentication Type supported by the data source. Options are Basic http authentication and None. Learn more about Authentication Types. Now, the basic connection details looks something similar to below image,

GET configuration

If required by the REST API, provide key value pairs in Headers.

GET action with headers

Click on the Connect to proceed with query design pane. The query design pane will show a list of schema in left pane. Left schema

Drag and drop the table from the left pane in the query design view page and execute. Its corresponding values will be shown in grid for preview.

New connection panel

Note: In schema tree, the nested fields in the specified REST API will be shown as flat structure.

Click Finish to save the data source with a relevant name to proceed with designing report. New connection panel

Connect to web data source with POST action

  1. Enter a valid REST API endpoint in the URL text box to perform POST action.
  2. Choose POST in Method drop-down.
  3. Choose a Data Format from the drop-down based on the response of your provided REST API. Options are JSON and XML.
  4. Choose an Authentication Type supported by the data source. Options are Basic http authentication and None. Learn more about Authentication Types. Now, the connection details looks something similar to below image,

Post configuration

Click on the Connect to proceed with query design pane.

Drag and drop the table from the left pane in the query design view page and execute. The results for posted data will be shown in grid for preview.

New connection panel

Note: In schema tree, the nested fields in the specified REST API will be shown as flat structure.

Click Finish to save the data source with a relevant name to proceed with designing report.

New connection panel

Pass dynamic value for URL

You can pass dynamic values for URL, Follow the below steps to set expression for URL field.

  1. Click on the square icon in right corner of URL field to open expression menu, Expression option
  2. Choose Expression option from the menu, Choose expression option
  3. Now, this will launch the expression dialog, Open expression dialog
  4. Enter the required expression and click OK. Enter expression
  5. Now, the square icon will be indicated with black color and URL field denoted with <<Exp>>, Enter expression

To reset the expression, choose Reset option from the menu. Specify other required connection settings and click Connect. Once you click on connect for the first time, it will prompt for a actual URL to load data in query design.

Enter expression

Enter a direct URL value instead of expression and click OK.

Enter expression

The above action will take you to query design view.

Enter expression

How to pass headers

Based on the REST API URL, pass the required headers in Headers property. To add headers, follow these steps:

Click on the + ADD to add new header. Pass parameters for post action

Enter the valid key and its value required to connect with REST API. Pass parameters for post action

Similarly, you can add multiple headers and pass value for it.

How to pass dynamic value for headers

During report processing, you can pass dynamic values for each key in headers using expressions. To set expression for headers, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the square icon in right corner of Value field to open expression menu, Expression for headers
  2. Choose Expression option from the menu, Choose expression option
  3. Now, this will launch the expression dialog, Open expression dialog
  4. Enter the required expression and click OK. Enter expression
  5. Now, the square icon will be indicated with black color and value field denoted with <<Exp>>, Enter expression

To reset the expression, choose Reset option from the menu. Specify other required connection settings and click Connect. Once you click on connect for the first time, it will prompt for a valid header values to load data in query design.

Enter expression

Enter a valid headers value instead of expression and click OK.

Enter expression

The above action will fetch field information from specified REST API URL and take you to query design view.

Enter expression

How to pass parameters

The parameter option will start displaying once you choose POST method. To add parameter, follow these steps:

Click on the + ADD to add new parameter. Pass parameters for post action

Enter the property name and its value to post the data. Pass parameters for post action

How to pass dynamic value for parameters

During report processing, you can pass dynamic values for each parameter using expressions. To set expression for parameter value, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the square icon in right corner of Value field to open expression menu, Expression for parameters
  2. Choose Expression option from the menu, Choose expression option
  3. Now, this will launch the expression dialog, Open expression dialog
  4. Enter the required expression and click OK. Enter expression
  5. Now, the square icon will be indicated with black color and value field denoted with <<Exp>>, Enter expression

To reset the expression, choose Reset option from the menu. Specify other required connection settings and click Connect. Once you click on connect for the first time, it will prompt for a direct values to load data in query design.

Enter expression

Enter a values instead of expression and click OK.

Enter expression

The above action will post information into specified REST API URL and take you to query design view.

Enter expression

How to pass raw data

To specify raw value, follow these steps:

Choose POST method and switch the Raw radio button. Now, a text area with an option to set expression will start displaying.

Pass parameters for post action

Enter the direct value in the text area, for example

{
  "ID": 220,
  "Title": "Book 220",
  "Description": "Book 220 added",
  "PageCount": 100,
  "Excerpt": "Lorem lorem lorem. Lorem lorem lorem. Lorem lorem lorem.\r\n",
  "PublishDate": "2020-08-06T10:42:22.464Z"
}

How to pass dynamic value for raw data

During report processing, you can directly pass raw data using expressions. To set expression for raw value, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the square icon in right corner of Raw field to open expression menu, Expression for parameters
  2. Choose Expression option from the menu. Now, this will launch the expression dialog, Open expression dialog
  3. Enter the required expression and click OK. Enter expression
  4. Now, the square icon will be indicated with black color and value field denoted with <<Exp>>, Enter expression

To reset the expression, choose Reset option from the menu. Specify other required connection settings and click Connect. Once you click on connect for the first time, it will prompt for a raw data to load data in query design.

Enter expression

Enter a valid data and click OK.

Enter expression

The above action will post the information into specified REST API URL and take you to query design view.

Enter expression

Syntax to pass expression in raw data

Syntax 1 : When passing data as JSON object, it should be enclosed with in double quotes, the key/value strings should be enclosed within single quotes. Otherwise it can follow any syntax which supports the Client-Server transaction.

= "{'ItemType':'Dataset','ReportReferences':['3fe0ea1c-b6a1-4b20-95dd-158edd24ae4b']}"

Enter expression

Syntax 2 : To use the Parameters, Data fields, or Variables along with Json object, follow the below syntax.

="{'ItemType':'Dataset','ReportReferences':['" & Parameters!ReportParameter1.Value & "']}"

Enter expression

We use double quotes to identify the data is whole string value or not.

Pagination

Pagination allows REST API to conserve resources, improve response times and optimize the user experience. To get better response time for huge records append pagination properties along with URL or specify it as Headers. For example, you can append the pagination parameter in URL like below,

https://demo.net/rest/api/2/Books?id=1278&startAt=0&maxResults=33&fields=title,author,price

Authentication types

You can set authentication type, either as None or Basic HTTP Authentication.

Use None type in following cases,

  1. If your data source supports authentication directly through REST API URL, choose None under Authentication Type.
  2. If your data source supports API Key/API Token authentication, pass these values under Header(s) by clicking +Add. Choose None under Authentication Type.

Use Basic Http authentication, if your data source requires username and password to authenticate. Choose Basic HTTP Authentication under Authentication Type and input the username and password.

See also

Formatting Columns

Dataset Parameter