jotapa
Hi TB team,
I wanted to know if it is possible to access TB's data model, so I can use a standard Analytics tool (like Tableau, Qlik or Microsoft Power BI) to produce reports and analysis.

Can you please let me know what is the database engine, point me to the right tables, and share the data model structure? Access to the metadata is the objective - I am looking for the control structures. This would include thought titles, tags, types, also children, sibling and parent connections, dates, maybe attached file names, or web links. I don't need access to content.

At a later stage you could include this type of capability in your tool, maybe using an open source BI and Analytics solution or coupling this with one of the great, and FREE, BI solutions available out there, so you don't have to pay royalties for it. 

I will be glad to share some standard dashboards to the community, that other users will be able to apply to their brains.

Depending on the information available in the data structures, and how it is stored, this could be a very powerful and helpful functionality - with almost zero work required from the TB team.

Please let me know if you can help.
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zenrain
Post redacted as I remembered TheBrain already made this info available. Sea Bellow.
macOS 10.13
TheBrain 9.0.250
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zenrain
I think the way you can currently access data to report on is by:
  1. Create a .brz archive of your database.
  2. Rename .brz to .zip
  3. Extract the contents
The meta data, thought and link data are available in the .json files. From what I read in previous posts they did this on purpose so people could access the information more easily than the .xml format it used to be in.
macOS 10.13
TheBrain 9.0.250
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jotapa
Hi Zenrain,
thank you for your candid feedback. Let me clarify what I mean by "zero work required".

Assuming that TB's data structures are optimized for query performance and have an "understandable" model, it should be fairly easy to connect analytics tools directly to the CURRENT data structure - without any extraction or transformation required.

Even if some transformation are required, there are enough free tools in the market that would allow us (the community) - not TB's team - to spend a few hours building the ETL processes (extract, transform and load) to an analytics repository, to support the use of a standard analytics tool.

Sorry if I make it sound too easy but this has been my area of expertise for more than 20 years. I have a good idea of what can be done and how long it usually takes to get there.

Obviously, this depends on TB wanting to share the data model structure - although we could try to infer it if it's not encrypted...
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jotapa
Regarding your post:

Quote:
I think the way you can currently access data to report on is by:
  1. Create a .brz archive of your database.
  2. Rename .brz to .zip
  3. Extract the contents
The meta data, thought and link data are available in the .json files. From what I read in previous posts they did this on purpose so people could access the information more easily than the .xml format it used to be in.


This is good but not what is needed. My idea would require access to the database structures, after the .brz file is loaded - meaning, the database supporting TB's runtime operation.

Thanks for the feedback anyway.

I read somewhere that the database engine changed in V9 to a much more capable database, but I can't find the post.
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zenrain
Quote:
Sorry if I make it sound too easy but this has been my area of expertise for more than 20 years. I have a good idea of what can be done and how long it usually takes to get there.


Fair enough. I redacted my original comment on how I thought it was not appropriate to armchair quarterback implementation effort because it didn't really add much to this conversation that would be of any use to anyone and there is already some sort of solution available (although not to the extent you are asking for).

My opinion still hasn't changed, but it does't really matter to this conversation or the outcome of any implementation around this, so… ok.
macOS 10.13
TheBrain 9.0.250
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enkidu
This topic is actually interesting on different levels.

TheBrain is a visualisation app for loosely-structured data, which uses a database for its internal structures / data management.
Proposing to use other viz tools (I am also a Tableau user btw) to visualise TheBrain data :
  • makes sense as it would offer data views that TheBrain itself does not offer
BUT
  • presumes that TheBrain is a 1st-level data source, which it isn't really

And herein lies, in my opinion, a dilemma that finely runs through this forum generally : many people seem to use TheBrain as a data repository / general dumping ground, while others (including myself) see it as a visualisation app for data which is "anywhere".

It would be interesting to see how TheBrain team positions the product in such terms.

cheers
enkidu
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nicobi
Must agree to the OP. It is not only interesting in terms of business analytics tools, but also for statistical, scientific analysis with tools like MaxQDA. Although TheBrain already is very powerful to do research in it, getting to new insights needs according tools.

greets

nico
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jotapa
I am currently using a brain with over 2,000 thoughts and more than 400 attached documents. This could easily grow to become 10x bigger. Being able to run statistics on top of this would be very valuable to me.
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mcaton
No official documentation available yet on opening up TheBrain 9's data model. But if you take a peak around the forums, you may find some API type discussions happening.  Additionally, some folks are talking about JSON on this thread: http://forums.thebrain.com/post/8291060 which may be of interest to you.

Are you familiar with TheBrain 8's XML import/export capabilities.  If you have any interest there, please contact support@thebrain.com for further information.

Thanks,
Matt
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