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Use the CData ODBC Driver for Amazon Athena in MicroStrategy Web

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

MicroStrategy is an analytics and mobility platform that enables data-driven innovation. When you pair MicroStrategy 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 external data in MicroStrategy Web 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 (the ODBC Driver for Amazon Athena must be installed on the machine hosting the connected MicroStrategy Intelligence Server).

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 Web

Once you have created a database instance in MicroStrategy Developer and connected it to a project, you can perform a data import of Amazon Athena data from MicroStrategy Web. Alternatively, you can create a new data source based on the ODBC Driver.*

  1. Open MicroStrategy Web and select your project.
  2. Click Add External Data, select Databases, and choose Select a Table as the Import Option.
  3. In the Import from Tables wizard, click to add a new data source.
    • Select DSN Data Sources
    • Set the DSN property to the previously configured DSN (CData AmazonAthena Sys)
    • Set the Version property to Generic DBMS
    • Set the User and Password properties (or use filler values)
    • Set the Data Source Name
  4. After creating the data source, click to edit the catalog options and set the following queries and click OK.
    • SQL statement to retrieve tables available in the data source
      SELECT
        CatalogName NAME_SPACE,
        TableName TAB_NAME
      FROM
        SYS_TABLES
          
    • SQL statement to retrieve columns for the selected tables
      SELECT DISTINCT 
        CatalogName NAME_SPACE, 
        TableName TAB_NAME, 
        ColumnName COL_NAME, 
        DataTypeName DATA_TYPE, 
        Length DATA_LEN, 
        NumericPrecision DATA_PREC, 
        NumericScale DATA_SCALE 
      FROM 
        SYS_TABLECOLUMNS 
      WHERE 
        TableName IN (#TABLE_LIST#) 
      ORDER BY
        1,2,3
          
  5. Drag a table into the pane. Note: Since we create a live connection, we can import whole tables and utilize the filtering and aggregation features native to the MicroStrategy products.
  6. Click Finish, choose to the option to connect live, save the query, and choose the option to create a new dossier.
  7. 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 client-side by the CData SQL engine embedded in the driver.
  8. Once you have finished configuring the dossier, click File -> Save.

Using the CData ODBC Driver for Amazon Athena in MicroStrategy Web, 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 Desktop for more examples.


Note: connecting using a ODBC driver requires a 3- or 4-tier architecture.