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ETL AvaTax in Oracle Data Integrator

This article shows how to transfer AvaTax data into a data warehouse using Oracle Data Integrator.

Leverage existing skills by using the JDBC standard to read and write to AvaTax: Through drop-in integration into ETL tools like Oracle Data Integrator (ODI), the CData JDBC Driver for AvaTax connects real-time AvaTax data to your data warehouse, business intelligence, and Big Data technologies.

JDBC connectivity enables you to work with AvaTax just as you would any other database in ODI. As with an RDBMS, you can use the driver to connect directly to the AvaTax APIs in real time instead of working with flat files.

This article walks through a JDBC-based ETL -- AvaTax to Oracle. After reverse engineering a data model of AvaTax entities, you will create a mapping and select a data loading strategy -- since the driver supports SQL-92, this last step can easily be accomplished by selecting the built-in SQL to SQL Loading Knowledge Module.

Install the Driver

To install the driver, copy the driver JAR and .lic file, located in the installation folder, into the ODI userlib directory:

On Unix: ~/.odi/oracledi/userlib On Windows: %APPDATA%\Roaming\odi\oracledi\userlib

Restart ODI to complete the installation.

Reverse Engineer a Model

Reverse engineering the model retrieves metadata about the driver's relational view of AvaTax data. After reverse engineering, you can query real-time AvaTax data and create mappings based on AvaTax tables.

  1. In ODI, connect to your repository and click New -> Model and Topology Objects.
  2. On the Model screen of the resulting dialog, enter the following information:
    • Name: Enter AvalaraAvatax.
    • Technology: Select Generic SQL (for ODI Version 12.2+, select Microsoft SQL Server).
    • Logical Schema: Enter AvalaraAvatax.
    • Context: Select Global.
  3. On the Data Server screen of the resulting dialog, enter the following information:
    • Name: Enter AvalaraAvatax.
    • Driver List: Select Oracle JDBC Driver.
    • Driver: Enter cdata.jdbc.avalaraavatax.AvalaraAvataxDriver
    • URL: Enter the JDBC URL containing the connection string.

      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 adminstrator and navigating to Settings -> Reset License Key.

      Built-in Connection String Designer

      For assistance in constructing the JDBC URL, use the connection string designer built into the AvaTax JDBC Driver. Either double-click the JAR file or execute the jar file from the command-line.

      java -jar cdata.jdbc.avalaraavatax.jar

      Fill in the connection properties and copy the connection string to the clipboard.

      Below is a typical connection string:

      jdbc:avalaraavatax:User=MyUser;Password=MyPassword;
  4. On the Physical Schema screen, enter the following information:
    • Schema (Schema): Enter AvalaraAvatax.
    • Schema (Work Schema): Enter AvalaraAvatax.
  5. In the opened model click Reverse Engineer to retrieve the metadata for AvaTax tables.

Edit and Save AvaTax Data

After reverse engineering you can now work with AvaTax data in ODI. To edit and save AvaTax data, expand the Models accordion in the Designer navigator, right-click a table, and click Data. Click Refresh to pick up any changes to the data. Click Save Changes when you are finished making changes.

Create an ETL Project

Follow the steps below to create an ETL from AvaTax. You will load Transactions entities into the sample data warehouse included in the ODI Getting Started VM.

  1. Open SQL Developer and connect to your Oracle database. Right-click the node for your database in the Connections pane and click new SQL Worksheet.

    Alternatively you can use SQLPlus. From a command prompt enter the following:

    sqlplus / as sysdba
  2. Enter the following query to create a new target table in the sample data warehouse, which is in the ODI_DEMO schema. The following query defines a few columns that match the Transactions table in AvaTax: CREATE TABLE ODI_DEMO.TRG_TRANSACTIONS (TOTALTAX NUMBER(20,0),Id VARCHAR2(255));
  3. In ODI expand the Models accordion in the Designer navigator and double-click the Sales Administration node in the ODI_DEMO folder. The model is opened in the Model Editor.
  4. Click Reverse Engineer. The TRG_TRANSACTIONS table is added to the model.
  5. Right-click the Mappings node in your project and click New Mapping. Enter a name for the mapping and clear the Create Empty Dataset option. The Mapping Editor is displayed.
  6. Drag the TRG_TRANSACTIONS table from the Sales Administration model onto the mapping.
  7. Drag the Transactions table from the AvaTax model onto the mapping.
  8. Click the source connector point and drag to the target connector point. The Attribute Matching dialog is displayed. For this example, use the default options. The target expressions are then displayed in the properties for the target columns.
  9. Open the Physical tab of the Mapping Editor and click TRANSACTIONS_AP in TARGET_GROUP.
  10. In the TRANSACTIONS_AP properties, select LKM SQL to SQL (Built-In) on the Loading Knowledge Module tab.

You can then run the mapping to load AvaTax data into Oracle.