Build Visualizations of Databricks Data in Birst

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Databricks JDBC Driver

Rapidly create and deploy powerful Java applications that integrate with Databricks.



Use the CData JDBC Driver for Databricks and the Birst Cloud Agent to build real-time visualizations of Databricks data in Birst.

Birst is a cloud business intelligence (BI) tool and analytics platform that helps organizations quickly understand and optimize complex processes. When paired with the CData JDBC Driver for Databricks, you can connect to live Databricks data through the Birst Cloud Agent and build real-time visualizations. In this article, we walk you through, step-by-step, how to connect to Databricks using the Cloud Agent and create dynamic reports in Birst.

With powerful data processing capabilities, the CData JDBC Driver offers unmatched performance for live Databricks data operations in Birst. When you issue complex SQL queries from Birst to Databricks, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Databricks and utilizes the embedded SQL Engine to process unsupported operations client-side (often SQL functions and JOIN operations). With built-in dynamic metadata querying, the JDBC driver enables you to visualize and analyze Databricks data using native Birst data types.

Configure a JDBC Connection to Databricks Data in Birst

Before creating the Birst project, you will need to install the Birst Cloud Agent (in order to work with the installed JDBC Driver). Also, copy the JAR file for the JDBC Driver (and the LIC file, if it exists) to the /drivers/ directory in the installation location for the Cloud Agent.

With the driver and Cloud Agent installed, you are ready to begin.

  1. Create a new project in Birst.
  2. Name the connection (e.g. CDataDatabricks).
  3. Choose Live Access.
  4. Select an agent.
  5. Set Database Type to Other.
  6. Set SQL Type to MSSQL
  7. Set the Connection string.

    To connect to a Databricks cluster, set the properties as described below.

    Note: The needed values can be found in your Databricks instance by navigating to Clusters, and selecting the desired cluster, and selecting the JDBC/ODBC tab under Advanced Options.

    • Server: Set to the Server Hostname of your Databricks cluster.
    • HTTPPath: Set to the HTTP Path of your Databricks cluster.
    • Token: Set to your personal access token (this value can be obtained by navigating to the User Settings page of your Databricks instance and selecting the Access Tokens tab).

    Built-in Connection String Designer

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

    java -jar cdata.jdbc.databricks.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.

    Below is a typical JDBC connection string for Databricks:

    jdbc:databricks:Server=127.0.0.1;Port=443;TransportMode=HTTP;HTTPPath=MyHTTPPath;UseSSL=True;User=MyUser;Password=MyPassword;
  8. Set the Driver Name: cdata.jdbc.databricks.DatabricksDriver and click Save.

NOTE: Since authentication to Databricks is managed from the connection string, you can leave Security Credentials blank.

Configure Databricks Data Objects

Now that the connection is configured, we are ready to configure the schema for the dataset, choosing the tables, views, and columns we wish to visualize.

  1. Select the Schema (e.g. Databricks).
  2. Click on Tables and/or Views to connect to those entities and click Apply.
  3. Select the Tables and Columns you want to access and click Done.

With the objects configured, you can perform any data preparation and discover any relationships in your data using the Pronto Prepare and Relate tools.

Build a Visualization

After you prepare your data and define relationships between the connected objects, you are ready to build your visualization.

  1. Select the Visualizer tool from the menu.
  2. Select Measures & Categories from your objects
  3. Select and configure the appropriate visualization for the Measure(s) you selected.

Using the CData JDBC Driver for Databricks with the Cloud Agent and Birst, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on Databricks data. Download a free, 30-day trial and start building Birst visualizations today.