Ready to get started?

Learn more about the CData ODBC Driver for Microsoft CDS or download a free trial:

Download Now

Rapidly Develop Microsoft CDS-Driven Apps with Active Query Builder

Leverage the Active Query Builder SQL interface builder and the ease of .NET data access to create data-driven WinForms and ASP.NET apps.

Write standard .NET to expose Microsoft CDS data through an SQL interface: Active Query Builder helps developers write SQL interfaces; the CData ODBC Driver for Microsoft CDS enables standards-based access to Microsoft CDS. This integration uses the Microsoft ADO.NET Provider for ODBC as a bridge between the ODBC Driver and the Active Query Builder objects to build a visual SQL composer.

Connect to Microsoft CDS 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.

You can connect without setting any connection properties for your user credentials. Below are the minimum connection properties required to connect.

  • InitiateOAuth: Set this to GETANDREFRESH. You can use InitiateOAuth to avoid repeating the OAuth exchange and manually setting the OAuthAccessToken.
  • OrganizationUrl: Set this to the organization URL you are connecting to, such as https://myorganization.crm.dynamics.com.
  • Tenant (optional): Set this if you wish to authenticate to a different tenant than your default. This is required to work with an organization not on your default Tenant.

When you connect the Common Data Service OAuth endpoint opens in your default browser. Log in and grant permissions. The OAuth process completes automatically.

Use SQL to Interact with Microsoft CDS

Follow the steps below to create a WinForms visual query builder.

  1. In a new Windows Forms project, drag the QueryBuilder from the Toolbox onto the form.
  2. Add a reference to ActiveQueryBuilder.ODBCMetadataProvider.
  3. Add an OdbcConnection and set the connection string to the DSN that you created in the first section. OdbcConnection connection = new OdbcConnection(); connection.ConnectionString = "DSN=CDS"
  4. Initialize ODBCMetadataProvider and GeneralSyntaxProvider instances and set the Connection property of the ODBCMetadataProvider object to the OdbcConnection. GenericSyntaxProvider syntaxProvider = new GenericSyntaxProvider(); ODBCMetadataProvider metadataProvider = new ODBCMetadataProvider(); metadataProvider.Connection = connection;
  5. Set the corresponding MetadataProvider and SyntaxProvider properties of the QueryBuilder object. queryBuilder1.MetadataProvider = metadataProvider; queryBuilder1.SyntaxProvider = syntaxProvider;
  6. Call the InitiatelizeDatabaseSchemaTree method of the QueryBuilder class to retrieve Microsoft CDS metadata and generate a tree view of Microsoft CDS tables. queryBuilder1.InitializeDatabaseSchemaTree();
  7. After creating the QueryBuilder, connect it to a TextBox or, as we use, the ActiveQueryBuilder SQLTextEditor: Drag and drop an SQLTextEditor onto the designer.

  8. Add the following code to the Validating event for the SQLTextEditor: private void sqlTextEditor1_Validating(object sender, CancelEventArgs e) { try { // Update the query builder with manually edited query text: queryBuilder1.SQL = sqlTextEditor1.Text; } catch (SQLParsingException ex) { e.Cancel = true; // Set caret to error position sqlTextEditor1.SelectionStart = ex.ErrorPos.pos; // Report error MessageBox.Show(ex.Message, "Parsing error"); } }
  9. Add the following to the SQLUpdated event: private void queryBuilder1_SQLUpdated(object sender, EventArgs e) { sqlTextEditor1.Text = queryBuilder1.FormattedSQL; }
  10. You can now build queries visually: Double-click a table in the Columns Pane Area and an entity/relationship diagram is displayed in the Query Building Area. Columns that you select in the diagram are added to the query.