2018: The Year in Data Studio Community Connectors
It's been a busy year for Data Studio Community Connectors. Since the developer launch, we've added over ten new features, had significant growth, seen partners grow their businesses, and collaborated with the community on open source projects. As we move forward, we're reflecting on what has been accomplished, and what's coming next for Community Connectors.
Where were we last year?
In late 2017, we launched Community Connectors to allow Data Studio users to connect to their external data and started working with partners to bring access to new data sources. The developer preview provided a platform for developers to build connectors, but there were a lot of features to add and work to do before it was ready for a full launch. This is what we've been busy working on the last year. Since then, we've seen 140+ partner connectors, 500+ data sources, integrated solutions, and fun data sets.
Now that we've delivered on the key improvements and updates highlighted at the outset of the developer launch, we've concluding the developer preview phase. Let's look at what's been added in 2018.
New Developer Features
Throughout 2018, we‘ve added features to improve the connector developer experience and enabled new use-cases.
We introduced the community-connectors GitHub repository as a place to let the community contribute open source connector code.
There are new ways to authenticate a connector. Services that expect username & password, API tokens, or username and API key are easier to add. See Authentication for full details.
Connectors can define the semantic types for their schemas ahead of time. This means your users no longer have to tweak settings on the schema configuration page every time they make a data source from your connector.
The Data Studio Apps Scripts service is now available and provides useful builders & validation to make building a connector a breeze.
Error handling has been vastly improved. Through the Data Studio App Scripts service, you can clearly indicate to a user when something goes wrong (and hopefully how to fix it!).
Some other features worth mentioning:
Direct links to a connector can pre-populate the config
Links provided in the manifest description and info config entries are now clickable
Connectors can force viewers credentials for data sources created from the connector
Configuration entries can be parameterized so they can be changed without creating a new data source
What Partners Are Saying
Our connector partners and their customers have seen great success with community connectors. Mikael Thuneberg, CEO of Supermetrics, had this to say:
"The focus we’ve put on creating high-quality connectors has been rewarded by the large number of companies around the world who have chosen these as their primary cross-platform marketing reporting tool. [ … ] Data Studio connectors have become an exciting and rapidly growing business area for Supermetrics."
Marc Soares, Manager at Clickinsight, has also seen success through community connectors:
"[Community Connectors have] allowed us to fully take advantage of Data Studio as a central reporting platform. Thanks to community connectors, our analysts spend less time making reports and more time conducting meaningful analysis for our clients."
What's Coming Next?
Next year, we're planning to provide even more ways to configure connectors, extending existing features, and adding more educational content to help you get the most out of community connectors.
It’s been a great year, and we're excited for what's coming in the future.