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Avalara AvaTax Icon Avalara ODBC Driver

The AvaTax ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from AvaTax, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access AvaTax data like you would a database - read, write, and update AvaTax Accounts, Customers, TaxCodes, Transactions, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.

How to connect PolyBase to Avalara AvaTax

Use CData drivers and PolyBase to create an external data source in SQL Server 2019 with access to live Avalara AvaTax data.

PolyBase for SQL Server allows you to query external data by using the same Transact-SQL syntax used to query a database table. When paired with the CData ODBC Driver for Avalara, you get access to your Avalara AvaTax data directly alongside your SQL Server data. This article describes creating an external data source and external tables to grant access to live Avalara AvaTax data using T-SQL queries.

NOTE: PolyBase is only available on SQL Server 19 and above, and only for Standard SQL Server.

The CData ODBC drivers offer unmatched performance for interacting with live Avalara AvaTax data using PolyBase due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from SQL Server to Avalara AvaTax, the driver pushes down supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Avalara AvaTax and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. And with PolyBase, you can also join SQL Server data with Avalara AvaTax data, using a single query to pull data from distributed sources.

Connect to Avalara AvaTax

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs. To create an external data source in SQL Server using PolyBase, configure a System DSN (CData Avalara AvaTax Sys is created automatically).

The primary method for performing basic authentication is to provide your login credentials, as follows:

  • User: Set this to your username.
  • Password: Set this to your password.

Optionally, if you are making use of a sandbox environment, set the following:

  • UseSandbox: Set this to true if you are authenticating with a sandbox account.

Authenticating Using Account Number and License Key

Alternatively, you can authenticate using your account number and license key. Connect to data using the following:

  • AccountId: Set this to your Account Id. The Account Id is listed in the upper right hand corner of the admin console.
  • LicenseKey: Set this to your Avalara Avatax license key. You can generate a license key by logging into Avalara Avatax as an account administrator and navigating to Settings -> Reset License Key.

Click "Test Connection" to ensure that the DSN is connected to Avalara AvaTax properly. Navigate to the Tables tab to review the table definitions for Avalara AvaTax.

Create an External Data Source for Avalara AvaTax Data

After configuring the connection, you need to create a master encryption key and a credential database for the external data source.

Creating a Master Encryption Key

Execute the following SQL command to create a new master key, 'ENCRYPTION,' to encrypt the credentials for the external data source.


Creating a Credential Database

Execute the following SQL command to create credentials for the external data source connected to Avalara AvaTax data.

NOTE: IDENTITY and SECRET correspond with the User and Password properties for Avalara AvaTax.

WITH IDENTITY = 'avalaraavatax_username', SECRET = 'avalaraavatax_password';

Create an External Data Source for Avalara AvaTax

Execute a CREATE EXTERNAL DATA SOURCE SQL command to create an external data source for Avalara AvaTax with PolyBase:

  • Set the LOCATION parameter , using the DSN and credentials configured earlier.

For Avalara AvaTax, set SERVERNAME to the URL or address for your server (e.g. 'localhost' or '' for local servers; the remote URL for remote servers). Leave PORT empty. PUSHDOWN is set to ON by default, meaning the ODBC Driver can leverage server-side processing for complex queries.

CREATE EXTERNAL DATA SOURCE cdata_avalaraavatax_source
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData Avalara AvaTax Sys',
  CREDENTIAL = avalaraavatax_creds

Create External Tables for Avalara AvaTax

After creating the external data source, use CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE statements to link to Avalara AvaTax data from your SQL Server instance. The table column definitions must match those exposed by the CData ODBC Driver for Avalara. You can refer to the Tables tab of the DSN Configuration Wizard to see the table definition.

Sample CREATE TABLE Statement

The statement to create an external table based on a Avalara AvaTax Transactions would look similar to the following:

  Id [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  TotalTax [nvarchar](255) NULL,
) WITH ( 

Having created external tables for Avalara AvaTax in your SQL Server instance, you are now able to query local and remote data simultaneously. Thanks to built-in query processing in the CData ODBC Driver, you know that as much query processing as possible is being pushed to Avalara AvaTax, freeing up local resources and computing power. Download a free, 30-day trial of the ODBC Driver for Avalara AvaTax and start working with live Avalara AvaTax data alongside your SQL Server data today.