Create Interactive Metabase Dashboards that Work with SFTP Data

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CData Connect



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

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

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

    SFTP can be used to transfer files to and from SFTP servers using the SFTP Protocol. To connect, specify the RemoteHost;. service uses the User and Password and public key authentication (SSHClientCert). Choose an SSHAuthMode and specify connection values based on your selection.

    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 subfolders to report as views.
    • FileRetrievalDepth: Set this to retrieve files recursively and list them in the Root table.
    Stored Procedures are available to download files, upload files, and send protocol commands. See gdatamodel for more on using SQL to interact with the server.

  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. "SFTP (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. SFTP1)
    • Username: A CData Connect username
    • Password: The password for the above CData Connect user
    • Click to Use a secure connection (SSL)

Query SFTP Data with Metabase

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

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

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