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Connect to QuickBooks as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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

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

Connect to QuickBooks

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 QuickBooks Sys is created automatically).

When you are connecting to a local QuickBooks instance, you do not need to set any connection properties.

Requests are made to QuickBooks through the Remote Connector. The Remote Connector runs on the same machine as QuickBooks and accepts connections through a lightweight, embedded Web server. The server supports SSL/TLS, enabling users to connect securely from remote machines.

The first time you connect, you will need to authorize the Remote Connector with QuickBooks. See the "Getting Started" chapter of the help documentation for a guide.

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

Create an External Data Source for QuickBooks 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.

CREATE MASTER KEY ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD = 'password';

Creating a Credential Database

Execute the following SQL command to create credentials for the external data source connected to QuickBooks data.

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

CREATE DATABASE SCOPED CREDENTIAL quickbooks_creds
WITH IDENTITY = 'username', SECRET = 'password';

Create an External Data Source for QuickBooks

Execute the following SQL command to create an external data source for QuickBooks with PolyBase, using the DSN and credentials configured earlier.

For QuickBooks, set SERVERNAME to 'localhost' or '127.0.0.1' and leave PORT empty. PUSHDOWN is set to ON by default, meaning the ODBC Driver can leverage server-side processing for complex queries.

CREATE EXTERNAL DATA SOURCE cdata_quickbooks_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData QuickBooks Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = quickbooks_creds
);

Create External Tables for QuickBooks

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE Customers(
  Name [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  CustomerBalance [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='Customers',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_quickbooks_source
);

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