Connect to Facebook Ads as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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Facebook Ads ODBC Driver

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

Access Facebook Ads data like you would a database - read, write, and update Facebook Ads Comments, Groups, Pages, Insights, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



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

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

Connect to Facebook Ads

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 Facebook Ads Sys is created automatically).

Most tables require user authentication as well as application authentication. Facebook uses the OAuth authentication standard. To authenticate to Facebook, you can use the embedded OAuthClientId, OAuthClientSecret, and CallbackURL or you can obtain your own by registering an app with Facebook.

See the Getting Started chapter of the help documentation for a guide to using OAuth.

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

Create an External Data Source for Facebook Ads 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 Facebook Ads data.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for Facebook Ads

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

For Facebook Ads, 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_facebookads_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData Facebook Ads Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = facebookads_creds
);

Create External Tables for Facebook Ads

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE AdAccounts(
  AccountId [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  Name [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='AdAccounts',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_facebookads_source
);

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