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How to work with IBM Informix Data in Apache Spark using SQL

Access and process IBM Informix Data in Apache Spark using the CData JDBC Driver.

Apache Spark is a fast and general engine for large-scale data processing. When paired with the CData JDBC Driver for IBM Informix, Spark can work with live IBM Informix data. This article describes how to connect to and query IBM Informix data from a Spark shell.

The CData JDBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live IBM Informix data due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries to IBM Informix, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to IBM Informix and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. With built-in dynamic metadata querying, you can work with and analyze IBM Informix data using native data types.

Install the CData JDBC Driver for IBM Informix

Download the CData JDBC Driver for IBM Informix installer, unzip the package, and run the JAR file to install the driver.

Start a Spark Shell and Connect to IBM Informix Data

  1. Open a terminal and start the Spark shell with the CData JDBC Driver for IBM Informix JAR file as the jars parameter: $ spark-shell --jars /CData/CData JDBC Driver for IBM Informix/lib/cdata.jdbc.informix.jar
  2. With the shell running, you can connect to IBM Informix with a JDBC URL and use the SQL Context load() function to read a table.

    Set the following properties to connect to IBM Informix

    • Server: Set this to the name of the server running IBM Informix.
    • Port: Set this to the port the IBM Informix server is listening on.
    • Database: Set this to the name of the IBM Informix database.
    • User: Set this to the username of a user allowed to access the database.
    • Password: Set this to the password of a user allowed to access the database.

    Built-in Connection String Designer

    For assistance in constructing the JDBC URL, use the connection string designer built into the IBM Informix JDBC Driver. Either double-click the JAR file or execute the jar file from the command-line.

    java -jar cdata.jdbc.informix.jar

    Fill in the connection properties and copy the connection string to the clipboard.

    Configure the connection to IBM Informix, using the connection string generated above.

    scala> val informix_df ="jdbc").option("url", "jdbc:informix:Server=;Port=50000;User=admin;Password=admin;Database=test;").option("dbtable","Books").option("driver","cdata.jdbc.informix.InformixDriver").load()
  3. Once you connect and the data is loaded you will see the table schema displayed.
  4. Register the IBM Informix data as a temporary table:

    scala> informix_df.registerTable("books")
  5. Perform custom SQL queries against the Data using commands like the one below:

    scala> informix_df.sqlContext.sql("SELECT Id, Price FROM Books WHERE Category = US").collect.foreach(println)

    You will see the results displayed in the console, similar to the following:

Using the CData JDBC Driver for IBM Informix in Apache Spark, you are able to perform fast and complex analytics on IBM Informix data, combining the power and utility of Spark with your data. Download a free, 30 day trial of any of the 200+ CData JDBC Drivers and get started today.