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Access Redshift Data from MySQL in Amazon QuickSight

Connect to Redshift and build visualizations of Redshift data using a MySQL Connection in Amazon QuickSight.

Amazon QuickSight gives you a way to quickly build visualizations, perform analytics, and get insights from AWS data sources, uploaded files, and other databases in the cloud. When paired with the CData SQL Gateway, you get the same functionality with access to 170+ Big Data, NoSQL, and SaaS sources, both on-premises and in the cloud. In this article, we use the SQL Gateway with the CData ODBC Driver for Redshift to access Redshift data through a MySQL connection in Amazon QuickSight, either in real time using direct queries, or by importing the data into SPICE.

Connect to Redshift Data

If you have not already done so, provide values for the required connection properties in the data source name (DSN). You can use the built-in Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to configure the DSN. This is also the last step of the driver installation. See the "Getting Started" chapter in the help documentation for a guide to using the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure a DSN.

To connect to Redshift, set the following:

  • Server: Set this to the host name or IP address of the cluster hosting the Database you want to connect to.
  • Port: Set this to the port of the cluster.
  • Database: Set this to the name of the database. Or, leave this blank to use the default database of the authenticated user.
  • User: Set this to the username you want to use to authenticate to the Server.
  • Password: Set this to the password you want to use to authenticate to the Server.

You can obtain the Server and Port values in the AWS Management Console:

  1. Open the Amazon Redshift console (http://console.aws.amazon.com/redshift).
  2. On the Clusters page, click the name of the cluster.
  3. On the Configuration tab for the cluster, copy the cluster URL from the connection strings displayed.

When you configure the DSN, 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.

Configure the SQL Gateway

See the SQL Gateway Overview to set up connectivity to Redshift data as a virtual MySQL database. You will configure a MySQL remoting service that listens for MySQL requests from clients. The service can be configured in the SQL Gateway UI.


To connect to the SQL Gateway from QuickSight, you will need to run the SQL Gateway on a web-facing machine. After configuring the SQL Gateway, make note of the following information:

  • The IP address or domain name of the machine hosting the SQL Gateway
  • The data source name (likely CData Redshift Sys) of the MySQL service
  • The port number of the MySQL service
  • The credentials of a SQL Gateway user with access to the service

Connect to Redshift in QuickSight

Once you have a MySQL Service configured for the Redshift ODBC Driver, you are ready to connect to the data in QuickSight. Start by logging in to your QuickSight console. From there, click Manage Data, then click New Data Set and choose MySQL as the data source.


Configure the data set using the values for the MySQL service for Redshift you configured in SQL Gateway (be sure to use the DSN for the database name). Validate your connection and click Create Data Source.


Visualize Redshift Data in QuickSight

For this article, we will use a custom SQL query for our data visualization. To do so, click Edit/Preview Data and in the resulting Data Prep screen follow the steps below:

  1. Name your data set (for example, Orders).
  2. If you wish to import your data into QuickSight SPICE, click the SPICE option, otherwise QuickSight will query the data directly.
  3. Under the Tables menu, click Switch to Custom SQL Tool.
    • Give your SQL query a name.
    • Enter your custom SQL query. For example:
      SELECT ShipName, ShipCity FROM Orders
    • Click Finish.
  4. Click Save & Visualize.


After you have saved the data set, you can configure the visualization. Select the columns you wish to visualize and choose a visual type. Your visualization can be customized, from its name to the way that data is aggregated.


With the CData ODBC Driver for Redshift and SQL Gateway, you are able to easily build data visualizations and perform analytics on Redshift data in Amazon QuickSight. If you have any questions, such as needing to access your on-premises data from AWS QuickSight, let our Support Team know.