Db2 to Metabase

This page provides you with instructions on how to extract data from Db2 and analyze it in Metabase. (If the mechanics of extracting data from Db2 seem too complex or difficult to maintain, check out Stitch, which can do all the heavy lifting for you in just a few clicks.)

What is Db2?

Db2 is IBM's relational DBMS. IBM provides versions of Db2 that run on-premises, hosted by IBM, or in the cloud. The on-premises version runs on System z mainframes, System i minicomputers, and Linux, Unix, and Windows workstations.

What is Metabase?

Metabase provides a visual query builder that lets users generate simple charts and dashboards, and supports SQL for gathering data for more complex business intelligence visualizations. It runs as a JAR file, and its developers make it available in a Docker container and on Heroku and AWS. Metabase is free of cost and open source, licensed under the AGPL.

Getting data out of Db2

The most common way to get data out of any relational database is to write SELECT queries. You can specifying filters and ordering, and limit results. You can also use the EXPORT command to export the data from a whole table.

Loading data into Metabase

Metabase works with data in databases; you can't use it as a front end for a SaaS application without replicating the data to a data warehouse first. Out of the box Metabase supports 15 database sources, and you can download 10 additional third-party database drivers, or write your own. Once you specify the source, you must specify a host name and port, database name, and username and password to get access to the data.

Using data in Metabase

Metabase supports three kinds of queries: simple, custom, and SQL. Users create simple queries entirely through a visual drag-and-drop interface. Custom queries use a notebook-style editor that lets users select, filter, summarize, and otherwise customize the presentation of the data. The SQL editor lets users type or paste in SQL queries.

Keeping Db2 data up to date

So you've written a script to export data from Db2 and load it into your data warehouse. That should satisfy all your data needs for Db2 – right? Not yet. How do you load new or updated data? It's not a good idea to replicate all of your data each time you have updated records. That process would be painfully slow; if latency is important to you, it's not a viable option.

Instead, you can identify some key fields that your script can use to bookmark its progression through the data, and pick up where it left off as it looks for updated data. Auto-incrementing fields such as updated_at or created_at work best for this. When you've built in this functionality, you can set up your script as a cron job or continuous loop to get new data as it appears in Db2.

From Db2 to your data warehouse: An easier solution

As mentioned earlier, the best practice for analyzing Db2 data in Metabase is to store that data inside a data warehousing platform alongside data from your other databases and third-party sources. You can find instructions for doing these extractions for leading warehouses on our sister sites Db2 to Redshift, Db2 to BigQuery, Db2 to Azure Synapse Analytics, Db2 to PostgreSQL, Db2 to Panoply, and Db2 to Snowflake.

Easier yet, however, is using a solution that does all that work for you. Products like Stitch were built to move data automatically, making it easy to integrate Db2 with Metabase. With just a few clicks, Stitch starts extracting your Db2 data, structuring it in a way that's optimized for analysis, and inserting that data into a data warehouse that can be easily accessed and analyzed by Metabase.