Connect to MariaDB as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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

Access MariaDB databases from virtually anywhere through a standard ODBC Driver interface.

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

NOTE: PolyBase is only available on SQL Server 19 and above, and only for Standard SQL Server.

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

Connect to MariaDB

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 MariaDB Sys is created automatically).

The Server and Port properties must be set to a MariaDB server. If IntegratedSecurity is set to false, then User and Password must be set to valid user credentials. Optionally, Database can be set to connect to a specific database. If not set, the tables from all databases are reported.

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

Create an External Data Source for MariaDB 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 MariaDB data.

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

WITH IDENTITY = 'mariadb_username', SECRET = 'mariadb_password';

Create an External Data Source for MariaDB

Execute a CREATE EXTERNAL DATA SOURCE SQL command to create an external data source for MariaDB with PolyBase:

  • Set the LOCATION parameter , using the DSN and credentials configured earlier.

NOTE: SERVERNAME and PORT corresponds to the Server and Port connection properties for MariaDB. PUSHDOWN is set to ON by default, meaning the ODBC Driver can leverage server-side processing for complex queries.

CREATE EXTERNAL DATA SOURCE cdata_mariadb_source
  CREDENTIAL = mariadb_creds

Create External Tables for MariaDB

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

  ShipName [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ShipCity [nvarchar](255) NULL,
) WITH ( 

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