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Connect to RSS as an External Data Source using PolyBase

Use the CData ODBC Driver for RSS and PolyBase to create an external data source in SQL Server 2019 with access to live RSS feeds.

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 RSS, you get access to your RSS feeds directly alongside your SQL Server data. This article walks through creating an external data source and external tables to grant access to live RSS feeds using T-SQL queries.

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

Connect to RSS

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 RSS Sys is created automatically).

You can connect to RSS and Atom feeds, as well as feeds with custom extensions. To connect to a feed, set the URL property. You can also access secure feeds. A variety of authentication mechanisms are supported. See the help documentation for details.

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

Create an External Data Source for RSS Feeds

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 RSS feeds.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for RSS

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

For RSS, 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_rss_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData RSS Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = rss_creds
);

Create External Tables for RSS

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE Latest News(
  Author [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  Pubdate [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='Latest News',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_rss_source
);

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