Create Interactive Metabase Dashboards that Work with FTP Data

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CData Connect



Use CData Connect to create a virtual MySQL database for FTP data and create an interactive dashboard in Metabase from FTP 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 FTP data. This article describes how to create a virtual database for FTP and build a simple visualization using FTP data.

CData Connect provides a pure SQL interface for FTP, allowing you to easily integrate with live FTP 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 FTP, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return FTP data.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for FTP 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 "FTP" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to FTP.

    To connect to FTP or SFTP servers, specify at least RemoteHost and FileProtocol. Specify the port with RemotePort.

    Set User and Password to perform Basic authentication. Set SSHAuthMode to use SSH authentication. See the Getting Started section of the data provider help documentation for more information on authenticating via SSH.

    Set SSLMode and SSLServerCert to secure connections with SSL.

    The data provider lists the tables based on the available folders in your FTP server. Set the following connection properties to control the relational view of the file system:

    • RemotePath: Set this to the current working directory.
    • TableDepth: Set this to control the depth of folders to list as views.
    • FileRetrievalDepth: Set this to retrieve and list files recursively from the root table.

    Stored Procedures are available to download files, upload files, and send protocol commands. See the Data Model chapter of the FTP data provider documentation for more information.

  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. "FTP (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. FTP1)
    • Username: A CData Connect username
    • Password: The password for the above CData Connect user
    • Click to Use a secure connection (SSL)

Query FTP Data with Metabase

Once you configure the connection to CData Connect, you can query FTP and build visualizations.

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

    SELECT Filesize, Filename FROM MyDirectory
  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 FTP data in Metabase. You can continue to work with live FTP data in Metabase just like you would any MySQL database. For more information on creating a virtual MySQL database for FTP (and more than 200 other data sources), visit the Connect Cloud page. Sign up for a free trial and start working with live FTP data in Metabase today.