Connect to Raisers Edge NXT as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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Raisers Edge NXT ODBC Driver

The Raisers Edge NXT ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from Raisers Edge NXT, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Raisers Edge NXT data like you would a database, including Raisers Edge NXT Events, Gifts, Opportunities, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



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

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

Connect to Raisers Edge NXT

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 Raisers Edge NXT Sys is created automatically).

Before establishing a connection, supply the SubscriptionKey, found in the Blackbaud Raiser's Edge NXT Profile.

Authenticating to Raiser's Edge NXT

Blackbaud Raiser's Edge NXT uses the OAuth authentication standard. You can connect to without setting any connection properties using the embedded OAuth credentials.

Alternatively, you can authenticate by creating a custom app to obtain the OAuthClientId, OAuthClientSecret, and CallbackURL connection properties.

See the Help documentation for an authentication guide.

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

Create an External Data Source for Raisers Edge NXT 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 Raisers Edge NXT data.

NOTE: Since Raisers Edge NXT does not require a User or Password to authenticate, you may use whatever values you wish for IDENTITY and SECRET.

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

Create an External Data Source for Raisers Edge NXT

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

For Raisers Edge NXT, 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_raiseredgenxt_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData Raisers Edge NXT Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = raiseredgenxt_creds
);

Create External Tables for Raisers Edge NXT

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE Constituents(
  Id [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  AddressLines [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='Constituents',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_raiseredgenxt_source
);

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