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Process & Analyze JSON Services in Azure Databricks

Host the CData JDBC Driver for JSON in Azure and use Databricks to perform data engineering and data science on live JSON services.

Databricks is a cloud-based service that provides data processing capabilities through Apache Spark. When paired with the CData JDBC Driver, customers can use Databricks to perform data engineering and data science on live JSON services. This article walks through hosting the CData JDBC Driver in Azure, as well as connecting to and processing live JSON services in Databricks.

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

Install the CData JDBC Driver in Azure

To work with live JSON services in Databricks, install the driver on your Azure cluster.

  1. Navigate to your Databricks administration screen and select the target cluster.
  2. On the Libraries tab, click "Install New."
  3. Select "Upload" as the Library Source and "Jar" as the Library Type.
  4. Upload the JDBC JAR file (cdata.jdbc.json.jar) from the installation location (typically C:\Program Files\CData\CData JDBC Driver for JSON\lib).

Connect to Salesforce from Databricks

With the JAR file installed, we are ready to work with live JSON services in Databricks. Start by creating a new notebook in your workspace. Name the notebook, select Python as the language (though Scala is available as well), and choose the cluster where you installed the JDBC driver. When the notebook launches, we can configure the connection, query JSON, and create a basic report.

Configure the Connection to JSON

Connect to JSON by referencing the class for the JDBC Driver and constructing a connection string to use in the JDBC URL.

driver = "cdata.jdbc.json.JSONDriver"
url = "jdbc:json:URI=C:\people.json;DataModel=Relational;"

Built-in Connection String Designer

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

java -jar cdata.jdbc.json.jar

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

See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models JSON APIs as bidirectional database tables and JSON files as read-only views (local files, files stored on popular cloud services, and FTP servers). The major authentication schemes are supported, including HTTP Basic, Digest, NTLM, OAuth, and FTP. See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation for authentication guides.

After setting the URI and providing any authentication values, set DataModel to more closely match the data representation to the structure of your data.

The DataModel property is the controlling property over how your data is represented into tables and toggles the following basic configurations.

  • Document (default): Model a top-level, document view of your JSON data. The data provider returns nested elements as aggregates of data.
  • FlattenedDocuments: Implicitly join nested documents and their parents into a single table.
  • Relational: Return individual, related tables from hierarchical data. The tables contain a primary key and a foreign key that links to the parent document.

See the Modeling JSON Data chapter for more information on configuring the relational representation. You will also find the sample data used in the following examples. The data includes entries for people, the cars they own, and various maintenance services performed on those cars.

Load JSON Services

Once the connection is configured, you can load JSON services as a dataframe using the CData JDBC Driver and the connection information.

remote_table = spark.read.format ( "jdbc" ) \
	.option ( "driver" , driver) \
	.option ( "url" , url) \
	.option ( "dbtable" , "people") \
	.load ()

Display JSON Services

Check the loaded JSON services by calling the display function.

display (remote_table.select ("[ personal.name.first ]"))

Analyze JSON Services in Azure Databricks

If you want to process data with Databricks SparkSQL, register the loaded data as a Temp View.

remote_table.createOrReplaceTempView ( "SAMPLE_VIEW" )

The SparkSQL below retrieves the JSON services for analysis.

% sql

SELECT [people].[personal.age] AS age, [people].[personal.gender] AS gender, [people].[personal.name.first] AS first_name, [people].[personal.name.last] AS last_name, [vehicles].[model], FROM [people] JOIN [vehicles] ON [people].[_id] = [vehicles].[people_id]

The data from JSON is only available in the target notebook. If you want to use it with other users, save it as a table.

remote_table.write.format ( "parquet" ) .saveAsTable ( "SAMPLE_TABLE" )

Download a free, 30-day trial of the CData JDBC Driver for JSON and start working with your live JSON services in Apache NiFi. Reach out to our Support Team if you have any questions.