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Connect to Dynamics CRM as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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

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

Connect to Dynamics CRM

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 Dynamics CRM Sys is created automatically).

The connection string options meet the authentication and connection requirements of different Dynamics CRM instances. To connect to your instance, set the User and Password properties, under the Authentication section, to valid Dynamics CRM user credentials and set the Url to a valid Dynamics CRM server organization root. Additionally, set the CRMVersion property to 'CRM2011+' or 'CRMOnline'. IFD configurations are supported as well; set InternetFacingDeployment to true.

Additionally, you can provide the security token service (STS) or AD FS endpoint in the STSURL property. This value can be retrieved with the GetSTSUrl stored procedure. Office 365 users can connect to the default STS URL by simply setting CRMVersion.

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

Create an External Data Source for Dynamics CRM 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.

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 Dynamics CRM data.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for Dynamics CRM

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

For Dynamics CRM, 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_dynamicscrm_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData Dynamics CRM Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = dynamicscrm_creds
);

Create External Tables for Dynamics CRM

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE Account(
  FirstName [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  NumberOfEmployees [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='Account',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_dynamicscrm_source
);

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