Create Interactive Metabase Dashboards that Work with Azure Data Lake Storage Data

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CData Connect



Use CData Connect to create a virtual MySQL database for Azure Data Lake Storage data and create an interactive dashboard in Metabase from Azure Data Lake Storage data.

Metabase is an open source data visualization tool that allows users to create interactive dashboards. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, users can easily create visualizations and dashboards linked to live Azure Data Lake Storage data. This article describes how to create a virtual database for Azure Data Lake Storage and build a simple visualization using Azure Data Lake Storage data.

CData Connect provides a pure SQL interface for Azure Data Lake Storage, allowing you to easily integrate with live Azure Data Lake Storage data in Metabase — without replicating the data. Connect looks exactly like a MySQL database to Metabase and uses optimized data processing out of the box to push all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to Azure Data Lake Storage, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return Azure Data Lake Storage data.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for Azure Data Lake Storage Data

CData Connect Cloud uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Log into Connect Cloud and click Databases.
  2. Select "Azure Data Lake Storage" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Azure Data Lake Storage.

    Authenticating to a Gen 1 DataLakeStore Account

    Gen 1 uses OAuth 2.0 in Azure AD for authentication.

    For this, an Active Directory web application is required. You can create one as follows:

    1. Sign in to your Azure Account through the .
    2. Select "Azure Active Directory".
    3. Select "App registrations".
    4. Select "New application registration".
    5. Provide a name and URL for the application. Select Web app for the type of application you want to create.
    6. Select "Required permissions" and change the required permissions for this app. At a minimum, "Azure Data Lake" and "Windows Azure Service Management API" are required.
    7. Select "Key" and generate a new key. Add a description, a duration, and take note of the generated key. You won't be able to see it again.

    To authenticate against a Gen 1 DataLakeStore account, the following properties are required:

    • Schema: Set this to ADLSGen1.
    • Account: Set this to the name of the account.
    • OAuthClientId: Set this to the application Id of the app you created.
    • OAuthClientSecret: Set this to the key generated for the app you created.
    • TenantId: Set this to the tenant Id. See the property for more information on how to acquire this.
    • Directory: Set this to the path which will be used to store the replicated file. If not specified, the root directory will be used.

    Authenticating to a Gen 2 DataLakeStore Account

    To authenticate against a Gen 2 DataLakeStore account, the following properties are required:

    • Schema: Set this to ADLSGen2.
    • Account: Set this to the name of the account.
    • FileSystem: Set this to the file system which will be used for this account.
    • AccessKey: Set this to the access key which will be used to authenticate the calls to the API. See the property for more information on how to acquire this.
    • Directory: Set this to the path which will be used to store the replicated file. If not specified, the root directory will be used.
  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

Connect to CData Connect from Metabase

After creating the virtual database, navigate to your Metabase instance. Use the MySQL interface to connect to CData Connect.

  1. Navigate to the administration screen (Settings -> Admin) and click "Add Database" from the "Databases" tab
  2. Configure the connection to CData Connect and click "Save"
    • Database type: Select "MySQL"
    • Name: Name the connection (e.g. "Azure Data Lake Storage (CData Connect)")
    • Host: The URL of your Connect instance (e.g. https://myinstance.cdatacloud.net)
    • Port: The port of the MySQL endpoint for your Connect instance (e.g. 3306)
    • Database name: The name of the virtual database you just created (e.g. Azure Data Lake Storage1)
    • Username: A CData Connect username
    • Password: The password for the above CData Connect user
    • Click to Use a secure connection (SSL)

Query Azure Data Lake Storage Data with Metabase

Once you configure the connection to CData Connect, you can query Azure Data Lake Storage and build visualizations.

  1. Use the "Write SQL" tool to retrieve the Azure Data Lake Storage data
  2. Write a SQL query based on the virtual database, e.g.

    SELECT FullPath, Permission FROM Resources WHERE Type = 'FILE'
  3. Navigate to the "Visualization" screen, choose a visualization, and configure the visualization

More Information & Free Trial

At this point, you have built a simple visualization from Azure Data Lake Storage data in Metabase. You can continue to work with live Azure Data Lake Storage data in Metabase just like you would any MySQL database. For more information on creating a virtual MySQL database for Azure Data Lake Storage (and more than 200 other data sources), visit the Connect Cloud page. Sign up for a free trial and start working with live Azure Data Lake Storage data in Metabase today.