Create Interactive Metabase Dashboards that Work with Airtable Data

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CData Connect



Use CData Connect to create a virtual MySQL database for Airtable data and create an interactive dashboard in Metabase from Airtable 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 Airtable data. This article describes how to create a virtual database for Airtable and build a simple visualization using Airtable data.

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

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for Airtable Data

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

  1. Log into Connect Cloud and click Databases.
  2. Select "Airtable" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Airtable.

    APIKey, BaseId and TableNames parameters are required to connect to Airtable. ViewNames is an optional parameter where views of the tables may be specified.

    • APIKey : API Key of your account. To obtain this value, after logging in go to Account. In API section click Generate API key.
    • BaseId : Id of your base. To obtain this value, it is in the same section as the APIKey. Click on Airtable API, or navigate to https://airtable.com/api and select a base. In the introduction section you can find "The ID of this base is appxxN2ftedc0nEG7."
    • TableNames : A comma separated list of table names for the selected base. These are the same names of tables as found in the UI.
    • ViewNames : A comma separated list of views in the format of (table.view) names. These are the same names of the views as found in the UI.
  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

Connect to CData Connect from Metabase

After creating the virtual database, navigate to your Metabase instance. Use the MySQL interface to connect to CData Connect.

  1. Navigate to the administration screen (Settings -> Admin) and click "Add Database" from the "Databases" tab
  2. Configure the connection to CData Connect and click "Save"
    • Database type: Select "MySQL"
    • Name: Name the connection (e.g. "Airtable (CData Connect)")
    • Host: The URL of your Connect instance (e.g. https://myinstance.cdatacloud.net)
    • Port: The port of the MySQL endpoint for your Connect instance (e.g. 3306)
    • Database name: The name of the virtual database you just created (e.g. Airtable1)
    • Username: A CData Connect username
    • Password: The password for the above CData Connect user
    • Click to Use a secure connection (SSL)

Query Airtable Data with Metabase

Once you configure the connection to CData Connect, you can query Airtable and build visualizations.

  1. Use the "Write SQL" tool to retrieve the Airtable data
  2. Write a SQL query based on the virtual database, e.g.

    SELECT Id, Column1 FROM SampleTable_1 WHERE Column1 = 'Value1'
  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 Airtable data in Metabase. You can continue to work with live Airtable data in Metabase just like you would any MySQL database. For more information on creating a virtual MySQL database for Airtable (and more than 200 other data sources), visit the Connect Cloud page. Sign up for a free trial and start working with live Airtable data in Metabase today.