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Connect to Salesforce as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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

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

Connect to Salesforce

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 Salesforce Sys is created automatically).

There are several authentication methods available for connecting to Salesforce: Login, OAuth, and SSO. The Login method requires you to have the username, password, and security token of the user.

If you do not have access to the username and password or do not wish to require them, you can use OAuth authentication.

SSO (single sign-on) can be used by setting the SSOProperties, SSOLoginUrl, and TokenUrl connection properties, which allow you to authenticate to an identity provider. See the "Getting Started" chapter in the help documentation for more information.

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

Create an External Data Source for Salesforce 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 Salesforce data.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for Salesforce

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

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

Create External Tables for Salesforce

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE Account(
  Industry [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  AnnualRevenue [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='Account',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_salesforce_source
);

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