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Connect to ServiceNow as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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

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

Connect to ServiceNow

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 ServiceNow Sys is created automatically).

ServiceNow uses the OAuth 2.0 authentication standard. To authenticate using OAuth, you will need to register an OAuth app with ServiceNow to obtain the OAuthClientId and OAuthClientSecret connection properties. In addition to the OAuth values, you will need to specify the Instance, Username, and Password connection properties.

See the "Getting Started" chapter in the help documentation for a guide on connecting to ServiceNow.

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

Create an External Data Source for ServiceNow 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.


Creating a Credential Database

Execute the following SQL command to create credentials for the external data source connected to ServiceNow data.

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

WITH IDENTITY = 'username', SECRET = 'password';

Create an External Data Source for ServiceNow

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

For ServiceNow, set SERVERNAME to 'localhost' or '' 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_servicenow_source
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData ServiceNow Sys',
  CREDENTIAL = servicenow_creds

Create External Tables for ServiceNow

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

  sys_id [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  priority [nvarchar](255) NULL,
) WITH ( 

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