Superset: Reports in Third-Party Apps

Problem Statement  

Our client, a leading enterprise in the software industry, faced a critical need to provide robust reporting capabilities for their large database. The challenge was to develop a solution that not only offered powerful data visualizations but could also be seamlessly embedded into any third-party application. This case study outlines the successful implementation of an integrated reporting system using Superset, an open-source business intelligence tool.

Client Requirements:

  • Embeddable Reporting: The client required a reporting solution that could be seamlessly integrated into various third-party applications, irrespective of the underlying technology stack.
  • High Performance: The reporting system is needed to handle large datasets efficiently, ensuring fast and responsive user experiences.
  • Independent Database: To avoid impacting the performance of the client’s application database, a separate reporting database (slave database) was essential.
  • Diverse Visualizations: The reporting tool had to support a wide array of visualization options, from simple charts to complex dashboards, catering to diverse user needs.
  • Single Sign-On (SSO): Security was a top priority, and the client mandated the incorporation of Single Sign-On for secure and streamlined authentication.
  • Role Based Access: The client required reporting dashboard should be role based accessible including data filters.

Solution Overview

The chosen solution involved the implementation of Apache Superset, an open-source business intelligence platform. The following key features were integrated to meet the client’s requirements:

  • Superset Integration: Superset was chosen for its flexibility, extensibility, and active community support. Its open-source nature aligned well with the client’s preference for customizable solutions.
  • Slave Database for Performance: To ensure high performance and eliminate the risk of impacting the main application database, a dedicated slave database was set up to store the reporting data. This not only enhanced performance but also provided a separation of concerns.
  • Independence from Application Database: Superset was configured to connect to the slave database, ensuring independence from the application database. This separation allowed for optimized reporting without affecting the day-to-day operations of the client’s core application.
  • Diverse Visualization Options: Superset’s extensive library of visualization options was leveraged to cater to various reporting needs. From simple pie charts to complex geospatial visualizations, the tool provided a rich set of options for users to create compelling reports.
  • Single Sign-On Authentication: Security was enhanced through the implementation of Single Sign-On, allowing users to authenticate seamlessly across the reporting tool and the integrated third-party applications. This streamlined access control and ensured data privacy.

Tech Stack leveraged

1. Apache Superset

  • Open-source business intelligence platform.
  • Known for its extensibility and flexibility.
  • Active community support for ongoing development and customization.

2. Slave Database: Database Management System (DBMS)

  • PostgreSQL chosen for reliability and performance.
  • Dedicated slave database for storing reporting data separately.

3. Single Sign-On (SSO): Authentication Protocol

  • Implemented using LDAP for seamless and secure user authentication.

4. Integration with Third-Party Applications: APIs and SDKs

  • Utilized RESTful APIs and JavaScript SDKs for easy communication.
  • Enabled seamless integration with various third-party application architectures.

5. Containerization: Container Orchestration

  • Docker used for containerization.

6. Monitoring and Logging: Monitoring Tools

  • Prometheus and Grafana for real-time monitoring.
  • ELK Stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) for centralized logging.

7. Security Measures: SSL/TLS Encryption

  • Let’s Encrypt used for secure data transmission.

8. Firewall and Access Control

  • Security Groups implemented for unauthorized access prevention.

Benefits Delivered

  • Seamless Integration: The Superset-based reporting system seamlessly integrated into multiple third-party applications, irrespective of the technology stack. This allowed clients to leverage robust reporting capabilities without disrupting their existing workflows.
  • High-Performance Reporting: The use of a dedicated slave database significantly improved the performance of reporting operations, ensuring that users experienced fast and responsive interactions with the reporting tool.
  • Independent Database Operation: The separation of reporting and application databases ensured that the client’s core application continued to operate at optimal efficiency, free from the resource-intensive reporting queries.
  • Rich Visualization Options: Superset’s diverse set of visualization options empowered users to create insightful reports, dashboards, and visualizations that catered to a wide range of business requirements.
  • Secure Single Sign-On: Single Sign-On implementation enhanced security, providing a seamless and secure authentication process for users accessing the reporting tool from within third-party applications.