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Connect to Amazon DynamoDB as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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

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

Connect to Amazon DynamoDB

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 Amazon DynamoDB Sys is created automatically).

The connection to Amazon DynamoDB is made using your AccessKey, SecretKey, and optionally your Domain and Region. Your AccessKey and SecretKey can be obtained on the security credentials page for your Amazon Web Services account. Your Region will be displayed in the upper left-hand corner when you are logged into DynamoDB.

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

Create an External Data Source for Amazon DynamoDB 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 Amazon DynamoDB data.

NOTE: Since Amazon DynamoDB does not require a User or Password to authenticate, you may use whatever values you wish for IDENTITY and SECRET.

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

Create an External Data Source for Amazon DynamoDB

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

For Amazon DynamoDB, 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_amazondynamodb_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData Amazon DynamoDB Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = amazondynamodb_creds
);

Create External Tables for Amazon DynamoDB

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE Lead(
  Industry [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  Revenue [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='Lead',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_amazondynamodb_source
);

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