Connect to Azure Data Catalog as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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Azure Data Catalog ODBC Driver

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

Access Azure Data Catalog data like you would a database - read, write, and update Azure Data Catalog Schemas, Tables, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Use the CData ODBC Driver for Azure Data Catalog and PolyBase to create an external data source in SQL Server 2019 with access to live Azure Data Catalog 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 Azure Data Catalog, you get access to your Azure Data Catalog data directly alongside your SQL Server data. This article walks through creating an external data source and external tables to grant access to live Azure Data Catalog data using T-SQL queries.

The CData ODBC drivers offer unmatched performance for interacting with live Azure Data Catalog data using PolyBase due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from SQL Server to Azure Data Catalog, the driver pushes down supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Azure Data Catalog 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 Azure Data Catalog data, using a single query to pull data from distributed sources.

Connect to Azure Data Catalog

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 Azure Data Catalog Sys is created automatically).

You can optionally set the following to read the different catalog data returned from Azure Data Catalog.

    CatalogName: Set this to the CatalogName associated with your Azure Data Catalog. To get your Catalog name, navigate to your Azure Portal home page > Data Catalog > Catalog Name

Connect Using OAuth Authentication

You must use OAuth to authenticate with Azure Data Catalog. OAuth requires the authenticating user to interact with Azure Data Catalog using the browser. For more information, refer to the OAuth section in the help documentation.

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

Create an External Data Source for Azure Data Catalog 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.

CREATE MASTER KEY ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD = 'password';

Creating a Credential Database

Execute the following SQL command to create credentials for the external data source connected to Azure Data Catalog data.

NOTE: Since Azure Data Catalog does not require a User or Password to authenticate, you may use whatever values you wish for IDENTITY and SECRET.

CREATE DATABASE SCOPED CREDENTIAL azuredatacatalog_creds
WITH IDENTITY = 'username', SECRET = 'password';

Create an External Data Source for Azure Data Catalog

Execute the following SQL command to create an external data source for Azure Data Catalog with PolyBase, using the DSN and credentials configured earlier.

For Azure Data Catalog, set SERVERNAME to 'localhost' or '127.0.0.1' and 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_azuredatacatalog_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData Azure Data Catalog Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = azuredatacatalog_creds
);

Create External Tables for Azure Data Catalog

After creating the external data source, use CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE statements to link to Azure Data Catalog data from your SQL Server instance. The table column definitions must match those exposed by the CData ODBC Driver for Azure Data Catalog. 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 Azure Data Catalog Tables would look similar to the following:

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE Tables(
  DslAddressDatabase [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  Type [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='Tables',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_azuredatacatalog_source
);

Having created external tables for Azure Data Catalog 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 Azure Data Catalog, freeing up local resources and computing power. Download a free, 30-day trial of the ODBC Driver for Azure Data Catalog and start working with live Azure Data Catalog data alongside your SQL Server data today.