Metabase 0.23.0 Pick
FREEWAREFILES EDITOR'S REVIEW
If you want a simple way for people in your organization to learn from databases as they ask questions, then Metabase is right for you. The Java-based, open-source tool is designed to help average users handle and share information in data-centric companies with relative ease.
You need at least Java 6 installed on your system to use Metabase. The software works well with both Oracle JDK and OpenJDK. We downloaded and saved the JAR file on a folder from where we ran the application.
We opened a terminal and launched it using the "java -jar metabase.jar" command. Log entries started running in the terminal window as the application launched, and a confirmation appeared once it had fully started. Its server was launched on port 3000, but we could use a different port by making configurations before running the application.
We then set up Metabase and connected it to our database. The first time that we started the application, it displayed a welcome screen with a brief message and button marked "Let's get started".
When we clicked the button, it opened a window where we needed to set up an admin account. We entered the required details and clicked the "Next" button. We then added the information required to connect to our database. The details included hostname, port, database name, username and password.
Before we started using our database, the application asked us whether we would allow it to collect anonymous information concerning our usage, not our data. There was also an optional newsletter sign-up step.
When we logged into Metabase, the first thing that we saw was the activity feed, which did not have much information since we had just started using the application.
The "New Question" button on the upper part of the user interface opened a page where we typed our question. A drop-down list allowed us to select the required table in our database. The "Run query" button displayed all raw data in the selected table. When we wanted specific answers, we added appropriate filters and then typed what we wanted to see before clicking the "Run query" button.
We could change the way the application displayed the results depending on what we wanted. For example, we could view the information in a table, graph or map. We could save questions and share them with colleagues. We also created a dashboard that displayed selected questions and answers together, which appeared as cards on the dashboard.
Whether we wanted to share questions or dashboards, we simply copied the URL in our browser and sent it via chat or e-mail.
Metabase provides a simple way of asking questions from databases, getting answers and sharing the details with others. For sharing to work, the application must be installed on a shared server and the people with who you share must have Metabase accounts. The open-source tool comes with a sample dataset that can help you learn the ropes even before you connect to any database.