Visualize Amazon Athena Data from Tableau

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Amazon Athena JDBC Driver

Rapidly create and deploy powerful Java applications that integrate with Amazon Athena.



Use the Tableau Desktop business intelligence tool to connect to Amazon Athena data.

With CData Drivers for Amazon Athena, you can use data access standards to unlock connectivity to business intelligence tools like Tableau. The CData JDBC Driver for Amazon Athena allows you to connect from Tableau on Windows and macOS. This article covers how to discover schemas and query Amazon Athena data data in real-time.

NOTE: If you are using Tableau 2020.3 or higher, you can use the CData Tableau Connector for Amazon Athena. If you wish to connect to Amazon Athena data in Tableau Online, you will need to use CData Connect Cloud.

Connect to Amazon Athena in Tableau

Before starting Tableau, make sure you've placed the .jar file in the correct folder:

  • Windows: C:\Program Files\Tableau\Drivers
  • MacOS: ~/Library/Tableau/Drivers

Once your .jar file is in place, establishing a connection is straightforward.

  1. Start Tableau.
  2. Under To a Server, select More.
  3. Select Other Databases (JDBC)
  4. Enter the JDBC connection string in the URL field.
  5. 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.

    Built-in Connection String Designer

    For assistance in constructing the JDBC URL, use the connection string designer built into the Amazon Athena JDBC Driver. Either double-click the .jar file or execute the .jar file from the command-line.

    From Windows:

    java -jar 'C:\Program Files\CData\CData JDBC Driver for Amazon Athena\lib\cdata.jdbc.amazonathena.jar'

    From MacOS:

    java -jar cdata.jdbc.amazonathena.jar

    Fill in the connection properties and copy the connection string to the clipboard.

    When you configure the JDBC URL, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

    The following is a sample URL created in the designer:

    jdbc:amazonathena:AccessKey='a123';SecretKey='s123';Region='IRELAND';Database='sampledb';S3StagingDirectory='s3://bucket/staging/';
  6. Select Sign in.

Discover Schemas and Query Data

  1. Select CData from the Database pull-down menu.
  2. Select CData from the Schema pull-down menu.
  3. Drag the table onto the join area. You can include multiple tables.
  4. Select Update Now or Automatically Update. Update Now lets you preview the first 10,000 rows of the data source (or enter the number of rows you want to see in the Rows text box). Automatically Update automatically reflects the changes in the preview area.
  5. In the Connection menu, select the Live option, so that you skip loading a copy of the data into Tableau and instead work on real-time data.
  6. Click the tab for your worksheet. Columns are listed as Dimensions and Measures, depending on the data type. The CData Driver discovers data types automatically, allowing you to leverage the powerful data processing and visualization features of Tableau.
  7. Click and drag a field from the Dimensions or Measures area to Rows or Columns. Tableau creates column or row headers.
  8. Select one of the chart types from the Show Me tab. Tableau displays the chart type that you selected.

Using the CData JDBC Driver for Amazon Athena with Tableau, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on Amazon Athena data. Download a free, 30-day trial and get started today.