How to Instantly Connect to Public Datasets

Published by Cristian Scutaru on

This shows how to manually and instantly connect to some free public live MariaDB databases exposed on the net. We made a curated list with almost one hundred public datasets, that you may test and then trigger the import of metadata in any Data Xtractor application.

Table of Contents

The Relational Dataset Repository

A bunch of guys from the Czech Republic came up with the brilliant initiative to publicly expose over a hundred databases from well-known or test datasets. We’ll use the ClassicModels sample to show how you can connect to such public repositories from Data Xtractor or any other product of ours:

Manually Connect to a Public Dataset

All their datasets are stored in live MariaDB databases, all hosted on the database server, that you can access with the public guest/relational username/password. From Data Xtractor you may go to Connect > Open-Source Databases > MariaDB and fill in the required connection fields.

Click on the Database field and see a list with all their live databases. The classicmodels database here is live indeed, with 8 tables and no views:

Easily Connect to a Public Dataset

We just came up with a much easier way to browse most of these datasets and instantly connect. The File > Open Public Datasets command will show the list below. Select one dataset and click Test, to check the connection and get some additional information about the database.

Some public datasets have several versions of databases. The previous list does not contain all those data stores, but you may use the traditional way to connect to any of them, as described before.

The list contains today only datasets exposed from that single site, but in the future we may add other public live databases.

Explore a Public Dataset

Once you click OK, the metadata is imported and a connection node is created. Let’s get a quick look at what you can do now with this dataset from Data Xtractor. Add the demo models and have a look at let’s say the Tables/Views Structural Model:

Expand the Tables node and double-click on customers. You may also drill-down on data, on the imported foreign-key based relationships. For instance, this is how you may see right away all orders of a specific customer:

Or you may create interactively a query, without typing any SQL, with data visualizations and other perks. The query below shows the top 10 countries with most total orders. Click on Results to extract the data, or on SQL to see the generated SQL code:


I was looking for a long time for free live test databases. They were hard to find, because there is always a cost for the storage and the compute cycles. MariaDB is a free open-source DBMS, and we’re just lucky we found such a precious repository.

Categories: Case Study

Cristian Scutaru

I designed and implemented the Data Xtractor suite, with Model Xtractor, Query Xtractor, and Visual Xtractor as separate modules. I am a software architect and developer with over 30 years professional experience. I’ve been working with relational databases for almost three decades and I was constantly unhappy with the relative limitation of those tools used to connect directly to a platform, and instantly extract and display data in flexible ways.