Connect to Live Amazon Athena Data in MicroStrategy through CData Connect Cloud

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Create a virtual database for Amazon Athena in CData Connect Cloud and connect to it from MicroStrategy.

MicroStrategy is an analytics and mobility platform that enables data-driven innovation. When you pair MicroStrategy with CData Connect Cloud, you gain database-like access to live Amazon Athena data from MicroStrategy, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. In this article, we walk through creating a virtual database for Amazon Athena in Connect Cloud and connecting to Connect Cloud in MicroStrategy to create a simple visualization of Amazon Athena data.

As a cloud-based integration platform, Connect Cloud is ideal for working with cloud-based BI and analytics tools. With no servers to configure or data proxies to set up, you can simply use the web-based UI to create a virtual database for Amazon Athena and connect from MicroStrategy to start performing analytics based on live Amazon Athena data.

Configuring Connect Cloud

To work with live Amazon Athena data in MicroStrategy, we need to create a virtual database for Amazon Athena in Connect Cloud.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for Amazon Athena in Connect Cloud

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

  1. Open Connect Cloud and click Databases
  2. Select "Amazon Athena" from Available Data Sources
  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 Test Database
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions

Connect to and Visualize Amazon Athena Data Using MicroStrategy

You can connect to Amazon Athena in MicroStrategy by adding a data source based on the native MySQL functionality. Once you have created a data source, you can build dynamic visualizations of Amazon Athena data in MicroStrategy.

  1. Open MicroStrategy and select your project.
  2. Click Add External Data, select Databases, and use Select Tables as the Import Option.
  3. In the Import from Tables wizard, click to add a new Data Source.
  4. Select MySQL in the Database menu and select MySQL 5.x in the Version menu.
  5. Set the connection properties as follows:
    • Server Name: the URL for your Connect Cloud instance (i.e.: myinstance.cdatacloud.net)
    • Port Number: the port for your Connect Cloud MySQL service (3306 by default)
    • Database Name: the name of your virtual Amazon Athena database (i.e.: AmazonAthena1)
    • User: a Connect Cloud user with permissions to access your Amazon Athena database
    • Password: the password for your Connect Cloud user
    • Data Source Name: a name for the new external data source, like "Connect Cloud Amazon Athena"
  6. Expand the menu for the new data source and choose "Edit Catalog Options"
  7. Edit the "SQL statement retrieve columns ..." query to include TABLE_SCHEMA = '#?Schema_Name?#' in the WHERE clause, and click Apply and then OK (the complete query is below).

    SELECT DISTINCT 
      TABLE_SCHEMA NAME_SPACE, 
      TABLE_NAME TAB_NAME, 
      COLUMN_NAME COL_NAME, 
      (CASE 
        WHEN 
          (DATA_TYPE LIKE '%char' AND (CHARACTER_SET_NAME='utf8' OR CHARACTER_SET_NAME='ucs2')) 
        THEN 
          CONCAT('n',DATA_TYPE) 
        ELSE 
          DATA_TYPE 
      END) DATA_TYPE, 
      CHARACTER_MAXIMUM_LENGTH DATA_LEN, 
      NUMERIC_PRECISION DATA_PREC, 
      NUMERIC_SCALE DATA_SCALE 
    FROM 
      INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS 
    WHERE 
      TABLE_NAME 
    IN 
      (#TABLE_LIST#) AND TABLE_SCHEMA='#?Schema_Name?#' 
    ORDER BY 
      1,2,3
    
  8. Select the new data source and select the Namespace that corresponds to your virtual Amazon Athena database (like AmazonAthena1).
  9. Drag tables into the pane to import them. Note: Since we create a live connection, we can import whole tables and utilize the filtering and aggregation features native to the MicroStrategy products to customize our datasets.
  10. Click Finish, choose the option to connect live, save the query, and choose the option to create a new dossier. Live connections are possible and effective, thanks to high-performance data processing native to CData Connect Cloud.
  11. Choose a visualization, choose fields to display, and apply any filters to create a new visualization of Amazon Athena data. Data types are discovered automatically through dynamic metadata discovery. Where possible, the complex queries generated by the filters and aggregations will be pushed down to Amazon Athena, while any unsupported operations (which can include SQL functions and JOIN operations) will be managed by the CData SQL engine embedded in Connect Cloud.
  12. Once you have finished configuring the dossier, click File -> Save.

Using CData Connect Cloud with MicroStrategy, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on Amazon Athena data. For more information on creating virtual databases for Amazon Athena (and more than 200 other data sources), visit the Connect Cloud page. Sign up for a free trial and start working with live Amazon Athena data in MicroStrategy.