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Access Gmail Data as a Remote Oracle Database

Use the Oracle ODBC Gateway and Heterogeneous Services technology to access Gmail data from your Oracle system.

The Oracle Database Gateway for ODBC and Heterogeneous Services technology enable you to connect to ODBC data sources as remote Oracle databases. This article shows how to use the CData ODBC Driver for Gmail to create a database link from Gmail to Oracle and to query Gmail data through the SQL*Plus tool. You can also create the database link and execute queries from SQL Developer.

Connect to Gmail as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to Gmail follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments.

There are two ways to authenticate to Gmail. Before selecting one, first ensure that you have enabled IMAP access in your Gmail account settings. See the "Connecting to Gmail" section under "Getting Started" in the installed documentation for a guide.

The User and Password properties, under the Authentication section, can be set to valid Gmail user credentials.

Alternatively, instead of providing the Password, you can use the OAuth authentication standard. To access Google APIs on behalf on individual users, you can use the embedded credentials or you can register your own OAuth app.

OAuth also enables you to use a service account to connect on behalf of users in a Google Apps domain. To authenticate with a service account, you will need to register an application to obtain the OAuth JWT values.

In addition to the OAuth values, you will need to provide the User. See the "Getting Started" chapter in the help documentation for a guide to using OAuth.

Windows

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.

Note: If you need to modify the DSN or create other Gmail DSNs, you must use a system DSN and the bitness of the DSN must match your Oracle system. You can access and create 32-bit DSNs on a 64-bit system by opening the 32-bit ODBC Data Source Administrator from C:\Windows\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for Gmail in a Linux environment, the driver installation predefines a system DSN. You can modify the DSN by editing the system data sources file (/etc/odbc.ini) and defining the required connection properties.

/etc/odbc.ini

[CData Gmail Source] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for Gmail Description = My Description User = username Password = password

For specific information on using these configuration files, please refer to the help documentation (installed and found online).

Set Connection Properties for Compatibility with Oracle

The driver provides several connection properties that streamline accessing Gmail data just as you would an Oracle database. Set the following properties when working with Gmail data in SQL*Plus and SQL Developer. For compatibility with Oracle, you will need to set the following connection properties, in addition to authentication and other required connection properties.

  • MapToWVarchar=False

    Set this property to map string data types to SQL_VARCHAR instead of SQL_WVARCHAR. By default, the driver uses SQL_WVARCHAR to accommodate various international character sets. You can use this property to avoid the ORA-28528 Heterogeneous Services data type conversion error when the Unicode type is returned.

  • MaximumColumnSize=4000

    Set this property to restrict the maximum column size to 4000 characters.

  • IncludeDualTable=True

    Set this property to mock the Oracle DUAL table. SQL Developer uses this table to test the connection.

Linux Configuration

In Linux environments, Oracle uses UTF-8 to communicate with the unixODBC Driver manager, whereas the default driver encoding is UTF-16. To resolve this, open the file /opt/cdata/cdata-driver-for-gmail/lib/cdata.odbc.gmail.ini in a text editor and set the encoding.

cdata.odbc.gmail.ini

[Driver] DriverManagerEncoding = UTF-8

Configure the ODBC Gateway, Oracle Net, and Oracle Database

Follow the procedure below to set up an ODBC gateway to Gmail data that enables you to query live Gmail data as an Oracle database.

  1. Create the file initmygmaildb.ora in the folder oracle-home-directory/hs/admin and add the following setting:

    initmygmaildb.ora

    HS_FDS_CONNECT_INFO = "CData Gmail Sys"
  2. Add an entry to the listener.ora file. This file is located in oracle-home-directory/NETWORK/admin.

    If you are using the Database Gateway for ODBC, your listener.ora needs to have a SID_LIST_LISTENER entry that resembles the following:

    listener.ora

    SID_LIST_LISTENER = (SID_LIST = (SID_DESC = (SID_NAME = mygmaildb) (ORACLE_HOME = your-oracle-home) (PROGRAM = dg4odbc) ) )

    If you are using Heterogeneous Services, your listener.ora needs to have a SID_LIST_LISTENER entry that resembles the following:

    listener.ora

    SID_LIST_LISTENER = (SID_LIST = (SID_DESC = (SID_NAME = mygmaildb) (ORACLE_HOME = your-oracle-home) (PROGRAM = hsodbc) ) )
  3. Add the connect descriptor below in tnsnames.ora, located in oracle-home-directory/NETWORK/admin:

    tnsnames.ora

    mygmaildb = (DESCRIPTION= (ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=tcp)(HOST=localhost)(PORT=1521)) (CONNECT_DATA=(SID=mygmaildb)) (HS=OK) )
  4. Restart the listener.
  5. Test the configuration with the following command:

    tnsping mygmaildb
  6. Open SQL*Plus and create the database link with the command below:

    CREATE DATABASE LINK mygmaildb CONNECT TO "user" IDENTIFIED BY "password" USING 'mygmaildb';

You can now execute queries in SQL*Plus like the one below (note the double quotation marks around the table name):

SELECT * from "Inbox"@mygmaildb WHERE From = 'test@test.com';