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MongoDB Using Mongo Connector for BI (MongoBI) on the Same Server

There are several ways Looker can use Mongo Connector for BI (MongoBI) to access MongoDB:

Configuring Looker to Use a Custom JDBC

Looker uses Mongo’s authentication plugin, so you must update Mongo’s driver to the custom JDBC by doing the following steps:

  1. Create the directory ~/looker/custom_jdbc_drivers/mongobi/
  2. Download these two JAR files into the ~/looker/custom_jdbc_drivers/mongobi/ directory:
  3. In the ~/looker/ directory, create a custom_jdbc_config.yml file (if it does not already exist):

vim ~/looker/custom_jdbc_config.yml

  1. Add the following to the custom_jdbc_config.yml file to tell Looker to use the new driver:

- name: mongobi dir_name: mongobi module_path: com.mysql.jdbc.Driver override_jdbc_url_subprotocol: mysql

  1. Only if you are on Looker 6.2 or below, add the following maria15x entry to the custom_jdbc_config.yml file. (Do not add this entry if you are on Looker 6.4 or above.)

- name: maria15x dir_name: mongobi module_path: com.mysql.jdbc.Driver override_jdbc_url_subprotocol: mysql

When you upgrade to Looker 6.4 or above, you must delete the maria15x entry as part of your upgrade.

  1. In the ~/looker/ directory, create a lookerstart.cfg file (if it does not already exist):

vim ~/looker/lookerstart.cfg

  1. In the lookerstart.cfg file, add --use-custom-jdbc-config to the end of the list of LOOKERARGS environment variables. Leave all other arguments in the list, if there are any. In this example, there are existing arguments --no-ssl and --port 8080, so we will add --use-custom-jdbc-config to the end, inside the quotes:

LOOKERARGS="‐‐no-ssl ‐‐port 8080 ‐‐use-custom-jdbc-config"

  1. Restart Looker:

./looker restart

Configuring the Mongo Connector for BI

Before creating a connection in Looker, your MongoDB administrator should set up MongoDB and the Mongo Connector for BI using the following steps, which are explained below:

Installing the Mongo Connector for BI

To use Looker, you must be running MongoDB 4.0 (or later) and the Mongo Connector for BI 2.6.1 (or later).

Install the Mongo Connector for BI on the same server as the MongoDB database, as explained on the Install BI Connector On Premises MongoDB documentation page.

Encrypting Network Traffic

The Mongo Connector for BI requires using SSL encryption between MongoDB’s server and the Looker application. Follow the SSL setup instructions on the Configure SSL for BI Connector MongoDB documentation page.

Setting Up the Looker User and Permissions

In the MongoDB shell, create a user for Looker with the role readWriteAnyDatabase:

  1. Specify the database that you want Looker to access:

use my_db_name

  1. Create a new user, typically called looker, and give it readWriteAnyDatabase permission. In the following example, change some_password_here to a unique, secure password:

db.createUser( { user: looker, pwd: some_password_here, roles: [ “readWriteAnyDatabase” ] } )

Allowing Use of Regular Derived Tables (Recommended)

Derived tables are important tools in Looker that enable you to expand the sophistication of your analyses. They can also play a valuable role in enhancing query performance. At a high level, Looker’s derived table functionality provides a way to create new tables that don’t already exist in your database.

The Mongo Connector for BI supports temporary regular derived tables but does not yet support persistent derived tables.

Since regular derived tables are temporary, they do not need to be stored. Thus, you don’t need to create a schema for them. However, you need to grant the dbOwner role to looker_tmp schema, even if that schema does not exist.

db.grantRolesToUser(“looker”, [ {role: “dbOwner”, db: ”looker_tmp” ])

Connecting Looker to Mongo

Configure a database connection via the Looker interface. From the Admin section, select Connections then New Connection. See the Connecting Looker to Your Database documentation page for more information.

Click on Test These Settings to verify the connection is successful. The Testing Database Connectivity documentation page has troubleshooting information.

Using SQL Functions and Operators with MongoDB Connector for BI

When developing using a MongoDB Connector for BI connection, you can use the SQL functions and operators listed on this MongoDB documentation page.

Feature Support

Looker’s ability to provide some features depends on whether the database dialect can support them.

In the current Looker release, MongoDB supports the following Looker features:

MongoBI connections also do not support:

In addition, Looker treats all timestamps accessed from MongoBI as being in the coordinated universal time (UTC) time zone.

Next Steps

After completing the database configuration, you can connect to the database from Looker using these directions.

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