Create Interactive Metabase Dashboards that Work with Kafka Data

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CData Connect



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

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

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

    Set BootstrapServers and the Topic properties to specify the address of your Apache Kafka server, as well as the topic you would like to interact with.

    Authorization Mechanisms

    • SASL Plain: The User and Password properties should be specified. AuthScheme should be set to 'Plain'.
    • SASL SSL: The User and Password properties should be specified. AuthScheme should be set to 'Scram'. UseSSL should be set to true.
    • SSL: The SSLCert and SSLCertPassword properties should be specified. UseSSL should be set to true.
    • Kerberos: The User and Password properties should be specified. AuthScheme should be set to 'Kerberos'.

    You may be required to trust the server certificate. In such cases, specify the TrustStorePath and the TrustStorePassword if necessary.

  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. "Kafka (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. Kafka1)
    • Username: A CData Connect username
    • Password: The password for the above CData Connect user
    • Click to Use a secure connection (SSL)

Query Kafka Data with Metabase

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

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

    SELECT Id, Column1 FROM SampleTable_1 WHERE Column2 = '100'
  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 Kafka data in Metabase. You can continue to work with live Kafka data in Metabase just like you would any MySQL database. For more information on creating a virtual MySQL database for Kafka (and more than 200 other data sources), visit the Connect Cloud page. Sign up for a free trial and start working with live Kafka data in Metabase today.