Connect to CockroachDB as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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CockroachDB ODBC Driver

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

Access CockroachDB data like you would a database - read, write, and update CockroachDB NewSQLDB, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.

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

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

Connect to CockroachDB

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 CockroachDB Sys is created automatically).

Set the following to connect to CockroachDB.

  • Server: The host name or IP address of the server.
  • Port: The port number of the CockroachDB server. If not specified, the default port is 26257.
  • Database: The name of the Cockroach database. If not specified, you connect to the user's default database.
  • User: The Cockroach DB user account used to authenticate.
  • Password: The password used to authenticate the user.

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

Create an External Data Source for CockroachDB 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.


Creating a Credential Database

Execute the following SQL command to create credentials for the external data source connected to CockroachDB data.

NOTE: IDENTITY and SECRET correspond with the User and Password properties for CockroachDB.

WITH IDENTITY = 'username', SECRET = 'password';

Create an External Data Source for CockroachDB

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

NOTE: SERVERNAME and PORT corresponds to the Server and Port connection properties for CockroachDB. PUSHDOWN is set to ON by default, meaning the ODBC Driver can leverage server-side processing for complex queries.

CREATE EXTERNAL DATA SOURCE cdata_cockroachdb_source
  CREDENTIAL = cockroachdb_creds

Create External Tables for CockroachDB

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

  ShipName [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ShipCity [nvarchar](255) NULL,
) WITH ( 

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