Process & Analyze Box Data in Databricks (AWS)

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Box JDBC Driver

Rapidly create and deploy powerful Java applications that integrate with Box cloud storage data including Files, Folders, Tasks, Groups, and more!



Host the CData JDBC Driver for Box in AWS and use Databricks to perform data engineering and data science on live Box data.

Databricks is a cloud-based service that provides data processing capabilities through Apache Spark. When paired with the CData JDBC Driver, customers can use Databricks to perform data engineering and data science on live Box data. This article walks through hosting the CData JDBC Driver in AWS, as well as connecting to and processing live Box data in Databricks.

With built-in optimized data processing, the CData JDBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live Box data. When you issue complex SQL queries to Box, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Box and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations client-side (often SQL functions and JOIN operations). Its built-in dynamic metadata querying allows you to work with and analyze Box data using native data types.

Install the CData JDBC Driver in Databricks

To work with live Box data in Databricks, install the driver on your Databricks cluster.

  1. Navigate to your Databricks administration screen and select the target cluster.
  2. On the Libraries tab, click "Install New."
  3. Select "Upload" as the Library Source and "Jar" as the Library Type.
  4. Upload the JDBC JAR file (cdata.jdbc.box.jar) from the installation location (typically C:\Program Files\CData\CData JDBC Driver for Box\lib).

Access Box Data in your Notebook: Python

With the JAR file installed, we are ready to work with live Box data in Databricks. Start by creating a new notebook in your workspace. Name the notebook, select Python as the language (though Scala is available as well), and choose the cluster where you installed the JDBC driver. When the notebook launches, we can configure the connection, query Box, and create a basic report.

Configure the Connection to Box

Connect to Box by referencing the JDBC Driver class and constructing a connection string to use in the JDBC URL.

Step 1: Connection Information

driver = "cdata.jdbc.box.BoxDriver"
url = "jdbc:box:OAuthClientId=MyOAuthClientId;OAuthClientSecret=MyOAuthClientSecret;CallbackURL=http://localhost:33333;InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH"

Built-in Connection String Designer

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

java -jar cdata.jdbc.box.jar

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

Box uses the OAuth standard to authenticate. To authenticate to Box, you will need to obtain the OAuthClientId, OAuthClientSecret, and CallbackURL by registering an app. See the "Getting Started" chapter of the help documentation for a guide to using OAuth.

Load Box Data

Once you configure the connection, you can load Box data as a dataframe using the CData JDBC Driver and the connection information.

Step 2: Reading the data

remote_table = spark.read.format ( "jdbc" ) \
	.option ( "driver" , driver) \
	.option ( "url" , url) \
	.option ( "dbtable" , "Files") \
	.load ()

Display Box Data

Check the loaded Box data by calling the display function.

Step 3: Checking the result

display (remote_table.select ("Name"))

Analyze Box Data in Databricks

If you want to process data with Databricks SparkSQL, register the loaded data as a Temp View.

Step 4: Create a view or table

remote_table.createOrReplaceTempView ( "SAMPLE_VIEW" )

With the Temp View created, you can use SparkSQL to retrieve the Box data for reporting, visualization, and analysis.

% sql

SELECT Name, Size FROM SAMPLE_VIEW ORDER BY Size DESC LIMIT 5

The data from Box is only available in the target notebook. If you want to use it with other users, save it as a table.

remote_table.write.format ( "parquet" ) .saveAsTable ( "SAMPLE_TABLE" )

Download a free, 30-day trial of the CData JDBC Driver for Box and start working with your live Box data in Databricks. Reach out to our Support Team if you have any questions.