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Connect to Freshdesk as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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

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

Connect to Freshdesk

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 Freshdesk Sys is created automatically).

FreshDesk makes use of basic authentication. To connect to data, set the following connection properties:

  • Domain: Set this to the domain associated with your FreshDesk account. For example, in your URL: https://my_domain.freshdesk.com.
  • APIKey: Set this to the API key associated with your FreshDesk account. To retrieve your API key, Log into your support Portal -> Click on profile picture in the top right corner -> profile settings page. The API key will be available below the change password section to the right.

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

Create an External Data Source for Freshdesk 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 Freshdesk data.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for Freshdesk

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

For Freshdesk, 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_freshdesk_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData Freshdesk Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = freshdesk_creds
);

Create External Tables for Freshdesk

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE Tickets(
  Id [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  Name [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='Tickets',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_freshdesk_source
);

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