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Connect to BigCommerce as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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

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

Connect to BigCommerce

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 BigCommerce Sys is created automatically).

BigCommerce authentication is based on the standard OAuth flow. To authenticate, you must initially create an app via the Big Commerce developer platform where you can obtain an OAuthClientId, OAuthClientSecret, and CallbackURL. These three parameters will be set as connection properties to your driver.

Additionally, in order to connect to your BigCommerce Store, you will need your StoreId. To find your Store Id please follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your BigCommerce account.
  2. From the Home Page, select Advanced Settings > API Accounts.
  3. Click Create API Account.
  4. A text box named API Path will appear on your screen.
  5. Inside you can see a URL of the following structure: https://api.bigcommerce.com/stores/{Store Id}/v3.
  6. As demonstrated above, your Store Id will be between the 'stores/' and '/v3' path paramters.
  7. Once you have retrieved your Store Id you can either click Cancel or proceed in creating an API Account in case you do not have one already.

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

Create an External Data Source for BigCommerce 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 BigCommerce data.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for BigCommerce

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

For BigCommerce, 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_bigcommerce_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData BigCommerce Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = bigcommerce_creds
);

Create External Tables for BigCommerce

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE Customers(
  FirstName [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  LastName [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='Customers',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_bigcommerce_source
);

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