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Analyze Bing Search Results in R

Use standard R functions and the development environment of your choice to analyze Bing Search results with the CData JDBC Driver for Bing Search.

Access Bing Search results with pure R script and standard SQL on any machine where R and Java can be installed. You can use the CData JDBC Driver for Bing Search and the RJDBC package to work with remote Bing Search results in R. By using the CData Driver, you are leveraging a driver written for industry-proven standards to access your data in the popular, open-source R language. This article shows how to use the driver to execute SQL queries to Bing Search and visualize Bing Search results by calling standard R functions.

Install R

You can match the driver's performance gains from multi-threading and managed code by running the multithreaded Microsoft R Open or by running open R linked with the BLAS/LAPACK libraries. This article uses Microsoft R Open 3.2.3, which is preconfigured to install packages from the Jan. 1, 2016 snapshot of the CRAN repository. This snapshot ensures reproducibility.

Load the RJDBC Package

To use the driver, download the RJDBC package. After installing the RJDBC package, the following line loads the package:

library(RJDBC)

Connect to Bing Search as a JDBC Data Source

You will need the following information to connect to Bing Search as a JDBC data source:

  • Driver Class: Set this to cdata.jdbc.bing.BingDriver
  • Classpath: Set this to the location of the driver JAR. By default this is the lib subfolder of the installation folder.

The DBI functions, such as dbConnect and dbSendQuery, provide a unified interface for writing data access code in R. Use the following line to initialize a DBI driver that can make JDBC requests to the CData JDBC Driver for Bing Search:

driver <- JDBC(driverClass = "cdata.jdbc.bing.BingDriver", classPath = "MyInstallationDir\lib\cdata.jdbc.bing.jar", identifier.quote = "'")

You can now use DBI functions to connect to Bing Search and execute SQL queries. Initialize the JDBC connection with the dbConnect function.

To connect to Bing, set the ApiKey connection property. To obtain the API key, sign into Microsoft Cognitive Services and register for the Bing Search APIs.

Two API keys are then generated; select either one.

When querying tables, the SearchTerms parameter must be supplied in the WHERE clause.

Built-in Connection String Designer

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

java -jar cdata.jdbc.bing.jar

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

Below is a sample dbConnect call, including a typical JDBC connection string:

conn <- dbConnect(driver,"jdbc:bing:APIKey=MyAPIKey;")

Schema Discovery

The driver models Bing Search APIs as relational tables, views, and stored procedures. Use the following line to retrieve the list of tables:

dbListTables(conn)

Execute SQL Queries

You can use the dbGetQuery function to execute any SQL query supported by the Bing Search API:

videosearch <- dbGetQuery(conn,"SELECT Title, ViewCount FROM VideoSearch WHERE SearchTerms = 'WayneTech'")

You can view the results in a data viewer window with the following command:

View(videosearch)

Plot Bing Search Results

You can now analyze Bing Search results with any of the data visualization packages available in the CRAN repository. You can create simple bar plots with the built-in bar plot function:

par(las=2,ps=10,mar=c(5,15,4,2)) barplot(videosearch$ViewCount, main="Bing Search VideoSearch", names.arg = videosearch$Title, horiz=TRUE)