Connect to Email as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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Email ODBC Driver

The Email ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live Internet E-mail, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Email data like you would a database - read, write, and send E-mails through a standard ODBC Driver interface.

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

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

Connect to Email

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 Email Sys is created automatically).

The User and Password properties, under the Authentication section, must be set to valid credentials. The Server must be specified to retrieve emails and the SMTPServer must be specified to send emails.

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

Create an External Data Source for Email 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 Email data.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for Email

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

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

  CREDENTIAL = email_creds

Create External Tables for Email

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

  Mailbox [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  RecentMessagesCount [nvarchar](255) NULL,
) WITH ( 

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