Restful API as data source?

  • 10 August 2017
  • 11 replies

Userlevel 2


is it possible to define a Restful API as a Looker model data connection/data source?

11 replies

Userlevel 2

Hi Ian,

Interesting question! Looker isn’t really setup to do something like that, however it’s not exactly correct to say it’s impossible, depending on your circumstances. If you want to get into the weeds a little bit, your best bet would be to discuss it with your Customer Success Manager as it will require depth of knowledge in your specific case.



Userlevel 2

this is also definitely something that our team would find tremendously helpful.

I am looking for similar solution, where I can connect to looker dataset ? Do we any solution for this now ?

Userlevel 4

You will need to import data from your Restful API into a SQL-based database. Similar like to connecting to a NoSQL database (thread here) you’ll need to do some ETL to load it into one of the supported databases.

I would not be interested in doing ETL but what if I want to use the data to be extracted as TDE ?

To make it simple I want to use the data from the data set created in the looker 🙂

Userlevel 4

Hi Svarun, I’m not sure I’m following you - it might be easier to hop on chat and talk with our support team to figure out exactly what you need or reach out via

Sure I will do that. Just to make it little more clear.

We have build dataset for looker thats how the visualisation of looker works. I need to build API which would connect these DATA SET and extract them to CSV or any file format. Let me know if this makes sense ?

Hi @ihayes,

Looker does not support plugging-in Restful APIs directly. Like @brecht said - you will need to ETL your data into one of the supported databases, like Amazon Redshift, for instance.

I work at Alooma, one of Looker’s many partners. We offer a fully-managed data-pipeline as a service, allowing you to quickly connect any data source to your data warehouse for BI and visualizations via Looker.

One of our many native integrations is with external RESTful services. After a quick configuration page, your data will be pulled via REST, then be automatically mapped and loaded to your DW. From there using it in Looker is as easy as clicking on the table in the UI! If you’re interested, we offer a free trial - you can use it to check our REST to Looker integration.

Good luck!

Hi guys, I see the latest answer is dated 3years ago. Have anything changed since that time? Can I use my custom API as a datasource in 2021? 

Userlevel 1

We have a similar requirement, any latest updates if this is supported?

We too are interested in using a custom API endpoint as a data source.  We have an existing customer facing dashboard that receives it’s data from our API because the source data in Postgres is too large and complex for on demand queries in a performant dashboard interface.