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Connect to Bing Search as an External Data Source using PolyBase

Use the CData ODBC Driver for Bing Search and PolyBase to create an external data source in SQL Server 2019 with access to live Bing Search results.

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 Bing Search, you get access to your Bing Search results directly alongside your SQL Server data. This article walks through creating an external data source and external tables to grant access to live Bing Search results using T-SQL queries.

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

Connect to Bing Search

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 Bing Search Sys is created automatically).

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.

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

Create an External Data Source for Bing Search Results

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 Bing Search results.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for Bing Search

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

For Bing Search, 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_bing_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData Bing Search Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = bing_creds
);

Create External Tables for Bing Search

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE VideoSearch(
  Title [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ViewCount [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='VideoSearch',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_bing_source
);

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