Access SFTP Data from MySQL in Amazon QuickSight

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SFTP ODBC Driver

The SFTP ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from remote files and directories, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access remote data like you would a database through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Connect to SFTP and build visualizations of SFTP 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 200+ 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 SFTP to access SFTP data through a MySQL connection in Amazon QuickSight, either in real time using direct queries, or by importing the data into SPICE.

Connect to SFTP 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.

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.

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 SFTP 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 SFTP 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 SFTP in QuickSight

Once you have a MySQL Service configured for the SFTP 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 SFTP you configured in SQL Gateway (be sure to use the DSN for the database name). Validate your connection and click Create Data Source.


Visualize SFTP 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, MyDirectory).
  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 Filesize, Filename FROM MyDirectory
    • 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 SFTP and SQL Gateway, you are able to easily build data visualizations and perform analytics on SFTP 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.