Create Interactive Metabase Dashboards that Work with Amazon Athena Data

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Use CData Connect Cloud to connect to live Amazon Athena data and create an interactive dashboard in Metabase from Amazon Athena data.

Metabase is an open source data visualization tool that allows users to create interactive dashboards. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, users can easily create visualizations and dashboards linked to live Amazon Athena data. This article describes how to connect to Amazon Athena and build a simple visualization using Amazon Athena data.

CData Connect provides a pure cloud-to-cloud interface for Amazon Athena, allowing you to easily integrate with live Amazon Athena data in Metabase — without replicating the data. Connect looks exactly like a SQL Server database to Metabase and uses optimized data processing out of the box to push all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to Amazon Athena, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return Amazon Athena data.

Connect to Amazon Athena in Connect Cloud

CData Connect Cloud uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources.

  1. Log into Connect Cloud, click Connections and click Add Connection
  2. Select "Amazon Athena" from the Add Connection panel
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Amazon Athena.

    Authenticating to Amazon Athena

    To authorize Amazon Athena requests, provide the credentials for an administrator account or for an IAM user with custom permissions: Set AccessKey to the access key Id. Set SecretKey to the secret access key.

    Note: Though you can connect as the AWS account administrator, it is recommended to use IAM user credentials to access AWS services.

    Obtaining the Access Key

    To obtain the credentials for an IAM user, follow the steps below:

    1. Sign into the IAM console.
    2. In the navigation pane, select Users.
    3. To create or manage the access keys for a user, select the user and then select the Security Credentials tab.

    To obtain the credentials for your AWS root account, follow the steps below:

    1. Sign into the AWS Management console with the credentials for your root account.
    2. Select your account name or number and select My Security Credentials in the menu that is displayed.
    3. Click Continue to Security Credentials and expand the Access Keys section to manage or create root account access keys.

    Authenticating from an EC2 Instance

    If you are using the CData Data Provider for Amazon Athena 2018 from an EC2 Instance and have an IAM Role assigned to the instance, you can use the IAM Role to authenticate. To do so, set UseEC2Roles to true and leave AccessKey and SecretKey empty. The CData Data Provider for Amazon Athena 2018 will automatically obtain your IAM Role credentials and authenticate with them.

    Authenticating as an AWS Role

    In many situations it may be preferable to use an IAM role for authentication instead of the direct security credentials of an AWS root user. An AWS role may be used instead by specifying the RoleARN. This will cause the CData Data Provider for Amazon Athena 2018 to attempt to retrieve credentials for the specified role. If you are connecting to AWS (instead of already being connected such as on an EC2 instance), you must additionally specify the AccessKey and SecretKey of an IAM user to assume the role for. Roles may not be used when specifying the AccessKey and SecretKey of an AWS root user.

    Authenticating with MFA

    For users and roles that require Multi-factor Authentication, specify the MFASerialNumber and MFAToken connection properties. This will cause the CData Data Provider for Amazon Athena 2018 to submit the MFA credentials in a request to retrieve temporary authentication credentials. Note that the duration of the temporary credentials may be controlled via the TemporaryTokenDuration (default 3600 seconds).

    Connecting to Amazon Athena

    In addition to the AccessKey and SecretKey properties, specify Database, S3StagingDirectory and Region. Set Region to the region where your Amazon Athena data is hosted. Set S3StagingDirectory to a folder in S3 where you would like to store the results of queries.

    If Database is not set in the connection, the data provider connects to the default database set in Amazon Athena.

  4. Click Create & Test
  5. Navigate to the Permissions tab in the Add Amazon Athena Connection page and update the User-based permissions.

Add a Personal Access Token

If you are connecting from a service, application, platform, or framework that does not support OAuth authentication, you can create a Personal Access Token (PAT) to use for authentication. Best practices would dictate that you create a separate PAT for each service, to maintain granularity of access.

  1. Click on your username at the top right of the Connect Cloud app and click User Profile.
  2. On the User Profile page, scroll down to the Personal Access Tokens section and click Create PAT.
  3. Give your PAT a name and click Create.
  4. The personal access token is only visible at creation, so be sure to copy it and store it securely for future use.

With the connection configured, you are ready to connect to Amazon Athena data from Metabase.

Connect to CData Connect from Metabase

After creating the virtual database, navigate to your Metabase instance. Use the SQL Server interface to connect to Connect Cloud.

  1. Navigate to the administration screen (Settings -> Admin) and click "Add Database" from the "Databases" tab
  2. Configure the connection to Connect Cloud and click "Save"
    • Database type: Select "SQL Server"
    • Name: Name the connection (e.g. "Amazon Athena (Connect Cloud)")
    • Host: tds.cdata.com
    • Port: 14333
    • Database name: The name of the connection you just created (e.g. AmazonAthena1)
    • Username: A Connect Cloud username (e.g. user@mydomain.com)
    • Password: The PAT for the above Connect Cloud user
    • Click to Use a secure connection (SSL)

Execute Amazon Athena Data with Metabase

Once you configure the connection to Connect Cloud, you can query Amazon Athena and build visualizations.

  1. Use the "Write SQL" tool to retrieve the Amazon Athena data
  2. Write a SQL query based on the Amazon Athena connection in CData Connect Cloud, e.g.

    SELECT Name, TotalDue FROM Customers
  3. Navigate to the "Visualization" screen, choose a visualization, and configure the visualization

More Information & Free Trial

At this point, you have built a simple visualization from Amazon Athena data in Metabase. You can continue to work with live Amazon Athena data in Metabase just like you would any SQL Server database. For more information on creating a live connection to Amazon Athena (and more than 100 other data sources), visit the Connect Cloud page. Sign up for a free trial and start working with live Amazon Athena data in Metabase today.