Ready to get started?

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

Download Now

Rapidly Develop REST-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 REST data through an SQL interface: Active Query Builder helps developers write SQL interfaces; the CData ODBC Driver for REST enables standards-based access to REST. 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 REST 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 REST APIs as bidirectional database tables and XML/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 Format to "XML" or "JSON" and 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 REST 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 REST 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.

Use SQL to Interact with REST

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=REST"
  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 REST metadata and generate a tree view of REST 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.