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Build Interactive Dashboards from REST Data in Amazon QuickSight

Create a virtual MySQL database for REST data in CData Cloud Hub and import REST data into Amazon QuickSight SPICE to build interactive dashboards.

Amazon QuickSight allows users to build interactive dashboards in the cloud. When paired with the CData Cloud Hub, you get cloud-to-cloud access to REST data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to create a virtual database for REST in Cloud Hub and build dashboards in Amazon QuickSight with access to REST data.

The CData Cloud Hub provides a pure MySQL, cloud-to-cloud interface for REST, allowing you to easily build visualizations from REST data in Amazon QuickSight. By importing your REST data into the Amazon QuickSight "Super-fast, Parallel, In-memory Calculation Engine" (SPICE), you can leverage the powerful data processing features of the Amazon ecosystem to build responsive dashboards. And with the ability to schedule refreshes of the data stored in SPICE, you control how up-to-date your dashboards are.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for REST Data

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

  1. Login to Cloud Hub and click Databases.
  2. Select "REST" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to REST.

    See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models REST APIs as bidirectional database tables and XML/JSON files as read-only views (local files, files stored on popular cloud services, and FTP servers). The major authentication schemes are supported, including HTTP Basic, Digest, NTLM, OAuth, and FTP. See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation for authentication guides.

    After setting the URI and providing any authentication values, set Format to "XML" or "JSON" and set DataModel to more closely match the data representation to the structure of your data.

    The DataModel property is the controlling property over how your data is represented into tables and toggles the following basic configurations.

    • Document (default): Model a top-level, document view of your REST data. The data provider returns nested elements as aggregates of data.
    • FlattenedDocuments: Implicitly join nested documents and their parents into a single table.
    • Relational: Return individual, related tables from hierarchical data. The tables contain a primary key and a foreign key that links to the parent document.

    See the Modeling REST Data chapter for more information on configuring the relational representation. You will also find the sample data used in the following examples. The data includes entries for people, the cars they own, and various maintenance services performed on those cars.

  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

With the virtual database created, you are ready to build visualizations in Amazon QuickSight.

Import REST Data into SPICE and Create Interactive Dashboards

The steps below outline creating a new data set based on the virtual REST database in Cloud Hub, importing the dataset into SPICE, and building a simple visualization from the data.

  1. Log into Amazon QuickSight and click "Manage data."
  2. Click "New data set," select MySQL as the data source, configure the connection to your Cloud Hub instance, and click "Create data source."
  3. Select a table to visualize (or submit a custom SQL query for your data).
  4. Click "Edit/Preview data" to customize the data set.
  5. Select "Import to SPICE for quicker analytics" and click "Visualize."
  6. Select fields to visualize and a visual type.

Schedule Refreshes for SPICE Data Sets

QuickSight users can schedule refreshes for data sets that are imported into SPICE, ensuring that data being analyzed is only as old as the most recent refresh.

  1. Navigate to the QuickSight home page.
  2. Click "Manage data."
  3. Select the data set you wish to refresh.
  4. Click "Schedule refresh."
  5. Click Create, configure the refresh settings (time zone, repeat frequency, and starting datetime), and click Create.

SQL Access to REST Data from Cloud Applications

At this point, you have a direct, cloud-to-cloud connection to REST data from your Amazon QuickSight dashboard. You can create new visualizations, build interactive dashboards, and more. For more information on gaining SQL access to data from more than 100 SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources from cloud applications like Amazon QuickSight, refer to our Cloud Hub page.