Connect to Exact Online as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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Exact Online ODBC Driver

The Exact Online ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live Exact Online data, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Exact Online like you would a database - read, write, and update Accounts, Divisions, Opportunities, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



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

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

Connect to Exact Online

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 Exact Online Sys is created automatically).

Exact Online uses the OAuth authentication standard. You can use the embedded OAuth credentials or you can register an OAuth app with Exact to obtain your own. In addition to the OAuth values, provide the Region. If Division is not set, the default Division is determined.

See the "Getting Started" chapter of the help documentation for more information.

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

Create an External Data Source for Exact Online 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 Exact Online data.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for Exact Online

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

For Exact Online, 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_exactonline_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData Exact Online Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = exactonline_creds
);

Create External Tables for Exact Online

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE Accounts(
  Name [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  CreditLinePurchase [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='Accounts',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_exactonline_source
);

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