Connect to SAS xpt as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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SASxpt ODBC Driver

The SASxpt ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from SAS xpt (XPORT) file data, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access SAS xpt (XPORT) files like you would a database - read, write, and update through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



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

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

Connect to SAS xpt

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 SAS xpt Sys is created automatically).

Connecting to Local SASXpt Files

You can connect to local SASXpt file by setting the URI to a folder containing SASXpt files.

Connecting to S3 data source

You can connect to Amazon S3 source to read SASXpt files. Set the following properties to connect:

  • URI: Set this to the folder within your bucket that you would like to connect to.
  • AWSAccessKey: Set this to your AWS account access key.
  • AWSSecretKey: Set this to your AWS account secret key.
  • TemporaryLocalFolder: Set this to the path, or URI, to the folder that is used to temporarily download SASXpt file(s).

Connecting to Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2

You can connect to ADLS Gen2 to read SASXpt files. Set the following properties to connect:

  • URI: Set this to the name of the file system and the name of the folder which contacts your SASXpt files.
  • AzureAccount: Set this to the name of the Azure Data Lake storage account.
  • AzureAccessKey: Set this to our Azure DataLakeStore Gen 2 storage account access key.
  • TemporaryLocalFolder: Set this to the path, or URI, to the folder that is used to temporarily download SASXpt file(s).

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

Create an External Data Source for SAS xpt 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 SAS xpt data.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for SAS xpt

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

For SAS xpt, 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_sasxpt_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData SAS xpt Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = sasxpt_creds
);

Create External Tables for SAS xpt

After creating the external data source, use CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE statements to link to SAS xpt data from your SQL Server instance. The table column definitions must match those exposed by the CData ODBC Driver for SAS xpt. 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 SAS xpt SampleTable_1 would look similar to the following:

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE SampleTable_1(
  Id [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  Column1 [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='SampleTable_1',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_sasxpt_source
);

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