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Use the CData ODBC Driver for Amazon Athena in MicroStrategy Desktop

Connect to Amazon Athena data in MicroStrategy Desktop using the CData ODBC Driver for Amazon Athena.

MicroStrategy is an analytics and mobility platform that enables data-driven innovation. When paired with the CData ODBC Driver for Amazon Athena, you gain database-like access to live Amazon Athena data from MicroStrategy, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. In this article, we walk through adding Amazon Athena as a data source in MicroStrategy Desktop and creating a simple visualization of Amazon Athena data.

The CData ODBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live Amazon Athena data in MicroStrategy due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from MicroStrategy to Amazon Athena, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Amazon Athena and utilizes the embedded SQL Engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. With built-in dynamic metadata querying, you can visualize and analyze Amazon Athena data using native MicroStrategy data types.

Connect to Amazon Athena as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to Amazon Athena follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments.

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.

When you configure the DSN, 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.

Windows

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for Amazon Athena in a Linux environment, the driver installation predefines a system DSN. You can modify the DSN by editing the system data sources file (/etc/odbc.ini) and defining the required connection properties.

/etc/odbc.ini

[CData AmazonAthena Sys] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for Amazon Athena Description = My Description AccessKey = 'a123' SecretKey = 's123' Region = 'IRELAND' Database = 'sampledb' S3StagingDirectory = 's3://bucket/staging/'

For specific information on using these configuration files, please refer to the help documentation (installed and found online).

Connect to and Visualize Amazon Athena Data using MicroStrategy Desktop

In addition to connecting Amazon Athena in MicroStrategy enterprise products, you can connect to Amazon Athena in MicroStrategy Desktop. Follow the steps below to add Amazon Athena data as a dataset and create visualizations and reports of Amazon Athena data.

  1. Open MicroStrategy Desktop and create a new dossier.
  2. In the datasets panel, click New Data, select Databases, and select Type a Query as the Import Option.
  3. Add a new data source and choose DSN data sources.
  4. Choose the DSN you previously configured (likely CData AmazonAthena Sys) and select Generic DBMS in the Version menu.
  5. Set the User and Password properties for the DSN (or use placeholder values) and name the data source.
  6. Select the new database instance to view the tables. You may need to manually click the search icon in the Available Tables section to see the tables.
  7. Create a SQL query for the Amazon Athena data (see below) and click Execute SQL to test the query. SELECT * FROM Customers NOTE: Since we create a live connection, we can execute a SELECT * query and utilize the filtering and aggregation features native to the MicroStrategy products.
  8. Click Finish and choose to connect live.
  9. Choose a visualization, choose fields to display (data types are discovered automatically through dynamic metadata discovery) and apply any filters to create a new visualization of Amazon Athena data. 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 client-side by the CData SQL Engine embedded in the driver.
  10. Once you are finished configuring the dossier, click File -> Save.

Using the CData ODBC Driver for Amazon Athena in MicroStrategy Desktop, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on Amazon Athena data. Read our other articles on connecting to Amazon Athena in MicroStrategy and connecting to Amazon Athena in MicroStrategy Web for more examples.