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Connect to Google Sheets as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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

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

Connect to Google Sheets

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 Google Sheets Sys is created automatically).

You can connect to a spreadsheet by providing authentication to Google and then setting the Spreadsheet connection property to the name or feed link of the spreadsheet. If you want to view a list of information about the spreadsheets in your Google Drive, execute a query to the Spreadsheets view after you authenticate.

ClientLogin (username/password authentication) has been officially deprecated since April 20, 2012 and is now no longer available. Instead, use the OAuth 2.0 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.

See the Getting Started chapter in the help documentation to connect to Google Sheets from different types of accounts: Google accounts, Google Apps accounts, and accounts using two-step verification.

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

Create an External Data Source for Google Sheets 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 Google Sheets data.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for Google Sheets

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

For Google Sheets, 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_googlesheets_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData Google Sheets Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = googlesheets_creds
);

Create External Tables for Google Sheets

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE Orders(
  Shipcountry [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  OrderPrice [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='Orders',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_googlesheets_source
);

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