Connect to Smartsheet as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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Smartsheet ODBC Driver

The Smartsheet ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from Smartsheet, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Smartsheet Sheets, Contacts, Folders, Groups, Users, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



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

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

Connect to Smartsheet

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 Smartsheet Sys is created automatically).

Smartsheet uses the OAuth authentication standard. To authenticate using OAuth, you will need to register an app to obtain the OAuthClientId, OAuthClientSecret, and CallbackURL connection properties.

However, for testing purposes you can instead use the Personal Access Token you get when you create an application; set this to the OAuthAccessToken connection property.

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

Create an External Data Source for Smartsheet 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 Smartsheet data.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for Smartsheet

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

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

Create External Tables for Smartsheet

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE Sheet_Event_Plan_Budget(
  TaskName [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  Progress [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='Sheet_Event_Plan_Budget',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_smartsheet_source
);

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