Connect to GraphQL as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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GraphQL ODBC Driver

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

Access GraphQL data like you would a database through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



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

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

Connect to GraphQL

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 GraphQL Sys is created automatically).

You must specify the URL of the GraphQL service. The driver supports two types of authentication:

  • Basic: Set AuthScheme to Basic. You must specify the User and Password of the GraphQL service.
  • OAuth 1.0 & 2.0: Take a look at the OAuth section in the Help documentation for detailed instructions.

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

Create an External Data Source for GraphQL 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 GraphQL data.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for GraphQL

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

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

Create External Tables for GraphQL

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE Users(
  Name [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  Email [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='Users',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_graphql_source
);

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