Connect to HPCC Systems as an External Data Source using PolyBase

Ready to get started?

Download for a free trial:

Download Now

Learn more:


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

Access HPCC Systems like you would a database - query data through a standard ODBC Driver interface.

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

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

Connect to HPCC Systems

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 HPCC Systems Sys is created automatically).

To connect, set the following connection properties: Set URL to the machine name or IP address of the server and the port the server is running on, for example, https://server:port. The User and Password are required to authenticate to the HPCC Systems cluster specified in the URL. Note that LDAP authentication is not currently supported by our ODBC driver.

Set Version to the WsSQL Web server version. Note that if you have not already done so, you will need to install the WsSQL service on the HPCC Systems server. The WsSQL Web service is used to interact with the underlying HPCC Systems platform.

Set Cluster to the target cluster.

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

Create an External Data Source for HPCC Systems 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.


Creating a Credential Database

Execute the following SQL command to create credentials for the external data source connected to HPCC Systems data.

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

WITH IDENTITY = 'username', SECRET = 'password';

Create an External Data Source for HPCC Systems

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

For HPCC Systems, set SERVERNAME to 'localhost' or '' and leave PORT empty. PUSHDOWN is set to ON by default, meaning the ODBC Driver can leverage server-side processing for complex queries.

  CREDENTIAL = hpcc_creds

Create External Tables for HPCC Systems

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE hpcc::test::orders(
  CustomerName [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  Price [nvarchar](255) NULL,
) WITH ( 

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