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Connect to Azure Table Data as a SQL Server Linked Server



Use CData Connect Cloud to create a linked server for live Azure Table data.

SQL Server Linked Servers enable the SQL Server Database Engine to read data from remote data sources and execute commands against the remote database servers outside of the instance of SQL Server. Typically, linked servers are configured to enable the execution of a T-SQL statement that includes tables in another instance of SQL Server, or another database product such as Oracle. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, linked servers provides instant access to Azure Table data from your SQL Server database. This article demonstrates how to connect to Azure Table using Connect Cloud and query Azure Table data in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).

CData Connect Cloud provides a pure SQL Server interface for Azure Table, allowing you to query data from Azure Table without replicating the data to a natively supported database. Using optimized data processing out of the box, CData Connect Cloud pushes all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc.) directly to Azure Table, leveraging server-side processing to return the requested Azure Table data quickly.

Configure Azure Table Connectivity for SQL Server

Connectivity to Azure Table from SQL Linked Servers is made possible through CData Connect Cloud. To work with Azure Table data from SQL Linked Servers, we start by creating and configuring a Azure Table connection.

  1. Log into Connect Cloud, click Connections and click Add Connection
  2. Select "Azure Table" from the Add Connection panel
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Azure Table.

    Specify your AccessKey and your Account to connect. Set the Account property to the Storage Account Name and set AccessKey to one of the Access Keys. Either the Primary or Secondary Access Keys can be used. To obtain these values, navigate to the Storage Accounts blade in the Azure portal. You can obtain the access key by selecting your account and clicking Access Keys in the Settings section.

  4. Click Create & Test
  5. Navigate to the Permissions tab in the Add Azure Table Connection page and update the User-based permissions.

Add a Personal Access Token

If you are connecting from a service, application, platform, or framework that does not support OAuth authentication, you can create a Personal Access Token (PAT) to use for authentication. Best practices would dictate that you create a separate PAT for each service, to maintain granularity of access.

  1. Click on your username at the top right of the Connect Cloud app and click User Profile.
  2. On the User Profile page, scroll down to the Personal Access Tokens section and click Create PAT.
  3. Give your PAT a name and click Create.
  4. The personal access token is only visible at creation, so be sure to copy it and store it securely for future use.

Connect to Azure Table from SQL Server using Connect Cloud

To establish a connection from SQL Server Linked Server to the CData Connect Cloud Virtual SQL Server API, follow these steps.

  1. Open Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.
  2. In the Object Explorer pane, open Server Objects, right-click Linked Servers, and select New Linked Server.
  3. The New Linked Server dialogue opens. On the General page, enter the following information:
    • Enter a name for the server in the Linked server field.
    • Select the radio button Other data source and select SQL Server Native Client 11.0 as the provider.
    • In the Data source field, enter tds.cdata.com,14333
    • In the Catalog field, enter enter the Connection Name of the CData Connect Cloud data source you want to connect to (for example, AzureTables1).
  4. Select the Security page. At the bottom, select the radio button labeled Be made using this security context and enter the following information:
    • Remote login - enter your CData Connect Cloud username. This is displayed in the top-right corner of the CData Connect Cloud interface. For example, [email protected].
    • With password - enter the PAT you generated on the Settings page.
  5. Click OK to create the server.
  6. Your linked server can now be used to access the data in the data source you specified. If you need to access data from more sources, create another linked server for each one.

Execute Queries

You can now execute queries to the Azure Table linked server from any tool that can connect to SQL Server. An example SQL query would be: SELECT * FROM [CDATA CONNECT CLOUD].[AzureTables1].[AzureTables].[NorthwindProducts] We have successfully created a linked server that allows us to query Azure Table data.

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