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Connect to SAP SuccessFactors as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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

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

Connect to SAP SuccessFactors

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 SAP SuccessFactors Sys is created automatically).

You can authenticate to SAP Success Factors using Basic authentication or OAuth with SAML assertion.

Basic Authentication

You must provide values for the following properties to successfully authenticate to SAP Success Factors. Note that the provider will reuse the session opened by SAP Success Factors using cookies. Which means that your credentials will be used only on the first request to open the session. After that, cookies returned from SAP Success Factors will be used for authentication.

  • Url: set this to the URL of the server hosting Success Factors. Some of the servers are listed in the SAP support documentation (external link).
  • User: set this to the username of your account.
  • Password: set this to the password of your account.
  • CompanyId: set this to the unique identifier of your company.

OAuth Authentication

You must provide values for the following properties, which will be used to get the access token.

  • Url: set this to the URL of the server hosting Success Factors. Some of the servers are listed in the SAP support documentation (external link).
  • User: set this to the username of your account.
  • CompanyId: set this to the unique identifier of your company.
  • OAuthClientId: set this to the API Key that was generated in API Center.
  • OAuthClientSecret: the X.509 private key used to sign SAML assertion. The private key can be found in the certificate you downloaded in Registering your OAuth Client Application.
  • InitiateOAuth: set this to GETANDREFRESH.

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

Create an External Data Source for SAP SuccessFactors 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 SAP SuccessFactors data.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for SAP SuccessFactors

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

For SAP SuccessFactors, 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_sapsuccessfactors_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData SAP SuccessFactors Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = sapsuccessfactors_creds
);

Create External Tables for SAP SuccessFactors

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE ExtAddressInfo(
  address1 [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  zipCode [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='ExtAddressInfo',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_sapsuccessfactors_source
);

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