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Connect to DataRobot as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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

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

Connect to DataRobot

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 DataRobot Sys is created automatically).

To connect to DataRobot, the following connection properties are required: User, Password, and PredictionInstance. DataRobotKey may also be required depending on your type of DataRobot predictions instance. If using the Predictions API, DataFile is required. The CSV DataFile should include a header row as the first row of the datafile. APIKey is not required, but can be supplied. If not supplied, the driver will handle obtaining an APIKey.

User, DataRobotKey, and APIKey are the credentials for the DataRobot account.

ProjectID, DataFile, and ModelId are the parameters for the project, dataset, and model type.

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

Create an External Data Source for DataRobot 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 DataRobot data.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for DataRobot

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

For DataRobot, set SERVERNAME to 'localhost' or '' 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_datarobot_source
  CREDENTIAL = datarobot_creds

Create External Tables for DataRobot

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

  Id [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  Prediction1Value [nvarchar](255) NULL,
) WITH ( 

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