Process & Analyze Dropbox Data in Azure Databricks

Ready to get started?

Download for a free trial:

Download Now

Learn more:

Dropbox JDBC Driver

Rapidly create and deploy powerful Java applications that integrate with Dropbox cloud storage data including Files, Folders, Users, and more!



Host the CData JDBC Driver for Dropbox in Azure and use Databricks to perform data engineering and data science on live Dropbox 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 Dropbox data. This article walks through hosting the CData JDBC Driver in Azure, as well as connecting to and processing live Dropbox data in Databricks.

With built-in optimized data processing, the CData JDBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live Dropbox data. When you issue complex SQL queries to Dropbox, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Dropbox 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 Dropbox data using native data types.

Install the CData JDBC Driver in Azure

To work with live Dropbox data in Databricks, install the driver on your Azure 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.dropbox.jar) from the installation location (typically C:\Program Files\CData\CData JDBC Driver for Dropbox\lib).

Connect to Dropbox from Databricks

With the JAR file installed, we are ready to work with live Dropbox 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 Dropbox, and create a basic report.

Configure the Connection to Dropbox

Connect to Dropbox by referencing the class for the JDBC Driver and constructing a connection string to use in the JDBC URL. Additionally, you will need to set the RTK property in the JDBC URL (unless you are using a Beta driver). You can view the licensing file included in the installation for information on how to set this property.

driver = "cdata.jdbc.dropbox.DropboxDriver"
url = "jdbc:dropbox:RTK=5246...;InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH"

Built-in Connection String Designer

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

java -jar cdata.jdbc.dropbox.jar

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

Dropbox uses the OAuth authentication standard. To authenticate using OAuth, you can use the embedded credentials or register an app with Dropbox.

See the Getting Started guide in the CData driver documentation for more information.

Load Dropbox Data

Once the connection is configured, you can load Dropbox data as a dataframe using the CData JDBC Driver and the connection information.

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

Display Dropbox Data

Check the loaded Dropbox data by calling the display function.

display (remote_table.select ("Id"))

Analyze Dropbox Data in Azure Databricks

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

remote_table.createOrReplaceTempView ( "SAMPLE_VIEW" )

The SparkSQL below retrieves the Dropbox data for analysis.

% sql

SELECT Id, Name FROM Files

The data from Dropbox 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 Dropbox and start working with your live Dropbox data in Apache NiFi. Reach out to our Support Team if you have any questions.