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Connect to JSON Services from PowerBuilder

This article demonstrates how to use the CData ODBC Driver for JSON to connect to JSON services and execute queries in PowerBuilder.

The CData ODBC Driver for JSON can be used from any platform or development technology that supports ODBC, including PowerBuilder. This article shows how to connect to JSON services and execute queries from the Database Painter and controls such as the DataWindow.

Connect to JSON as an ODBC Data Source

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.

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.

Create a Profile for the ODBC Driver for JSON

Follow the steps below to use the Database Painter tool to create a database profile based on an ODBC DSN (data source name) for JSON. In the Database Painter, you can use wizards and the UI to work with JSON services.

  1. In PowerBuilder, click Tools -> Database Painter.
  2. In the Objects window in the Database Painter, right-click the ODBC node and click New Profile.
  3. On the Connection tab, enter a name for the profile and select the JSON DSN in the Data Source menu.
  4. To view and modify a table, right-click a table and then click Edit Data -> Grid.

Using JSON Services with PowerBuilder Controls

You can use standard PowerBuilder objects to connect to ODBC data sources and execute queries. The following example shows how to retrieve JSON services into a DataWindow. You can add the following code to the open method:

SQLCA.DBMS = "ODBC" SQLCA.DBParm = "ConnectString='DSN=CData JSON Source'" CONNECT USING SQLCA; dw_people.SetTransObject(SQLCA); dw_people.Retrieve();