Publish Amazon Athena-Connected Dashboards in Tableau Server

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Amazon Athena Tableau Connector

The fastest and easiest way to connect Tableau to Amazon Athena data. Includes comprehensive high-performance data access, real-time integration, extensive metadata discovery, and robust SQL-92 support.



Use the CData Tableau Connector for Amazon Athena and Tableau Server to visualize live Amazon Athena data.

Tableau Server is a visual analytics platform transforming the way businesses use data to solve problems. When paired with the CData Tableau Connector for Amazon Athena, you get access to live Amazon Athena data within Tableau Server. This article shows how to connect to Amazon Athena in Tableau Desktop, publish a Data Source to Tableau Server, and build a simple chart from that data.

The CData Tableau Connectors enable high-speed access to live Amazon Athena data in Tableau Server. Once you install the connector, you simply authenticate with Amazon Athena and you can immediately start building responsive, dynamic visualizations and dashboards. By surfacing Amazon Athena data using native Tableau data types and handling complex filters, aggregations, & other operations automatically, CData Tableau Connectors grant seamless access to Amazon Athena data.

NOTE: The CData Tableau Connectors require Tableau 2020.3 or higher. If you are using an older version of Tableau, you will need to use the CData JDBC Driver for Amazon Athena. If you wish to connect to Amazon Athena data in Tableau Online, you will need to use CData CloudHub.

Enable Connectivity to Amazon Athena in Tableau Server

NOTE: The Other (JDBC) method for connecting will only be supported until Tableau fixes some known issues with Tableau Server. There will be a connector update that will disable use via Other (JDBC).

Start by installing the CData Tableau Connector on the machine hosting Tableau Server.

If your server is a Linux Machine:

  1. Copy cdata.amazonathena.taco and cdata.tableau.amazonathena.lic.
  2. Place the copies in the Tableau Server Connectors folder (/opt/tableau/tableau_driver/jdbc).
  3. Restart Tableau Server.

If your server is a Windows Machine:

  1. Copy cdata.tableau.amazonathena.lic. (typically found in C:\Program Files\CData\CData Tableau Connector for Amazon Athena\lib\) .
  2. Place the copy in the Tableau Server drivers directory (C:\ Program Files\Tableau\Drivers).
  3. Restart Tableau Server.

Next, install the CData Tableau Connector on the machine running Tableau Desktop. The connector will be installed to the correct location automatically.

Connect to Amazon Athena in Tableau Desktop

Once the connectors are installed on the Server machine, we can configure a connection to Amazon Athena in Tableau Desktop and publish a Amazon Athena-based Data Source to Tableau Server.

  1. Open Tableau Desktop.
  2. Click More under Connect -> To a Server.
  3. Select "Other Databases (JDBC)".
  4. Configure the connection to the data. The connector comes with a connection string builder that streamlines creating and managing the content of connection strings. Note that you will need to manually add "jdbc.amazonathena" to the beginning of the connection string.
  5. Click "Sign In".

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.

Discover Schemas and Query Data

Once you establish the connection to Amazon Athena data, you can configure which entities to visualize.

  1. Select CData from the Database pull-down menu.
  2. Select AmazonAthena from the Schema pull-down menu.
  3. Drag the tables and views you wish to visualize 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 auto-loads the changes in the preview area.

Publish Data to Tableau Server

After you configure the data you wish to visualize, you can publish the Data Source to a Tableau Server instance. In Tableau Desktop:

  1. Click Server -> Sign In.
  2. Enter the URL for your Tableau Server.
  3. Authenticate with Tableau Server credentials.
  4. Click Server -> Publish Data Source and select your data source.
  5. Click Publish.
  6. Select the Project, name the Data Source, and optionally add a description.
  7. Click Publish.

This creates a new entry under the server's data source list, from which you an change the data source's permissions, view its history, and perform other management tasks.

Note that workstation connected to the same server will be able to use the same source in Tableau Desktop, even if the connector isn't installed there. Also, workbooks created directly on Tableau Server (via the web interface) can use this source.

Visualize Amazon Athena Data in Tableau Server

With the Data Source published to Tableau Server, you are ready to visualize Amazon Athena data.

  1. Login to your Tableau Server instance.
  2. Connect to the remote source using the Search for Data -> Tableau Server in the Connect sidebar.
  3. Click the published Data Source.
  4. Click New Workbook.
  5. In the workbook, Amazon Athena fields are listed as Dimensions and Measures, depending on the data type. The CData Tableau Connector discovers data types automatically, allowing you to leverage the powerful data processing and visualization features of Tableau.
  6. Drag a field from the Dimensions or Measures area to Rows or Columns. Tableau creates column or row headers.
  7. Select one of the chart types from the Show Me tab. Tableau displays the chart type that you selected.

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