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Apache Spark Icon Apache Spark ODBC Driver

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

The Driver maps SQL to Spark SQL, enabling direct standard SQL-92 access to Apache Spark.

Use the CData ODBC Driver for Spark in MicroStrategy Desktop

Connect to Spark data in MicroStrategy Desktop using the CData ODBC Driver for Spark.

MicroStrategy is an analytics and mobility platform that enables data-driven innovation. When paired with the CData ODBC Driver for Spark, you gain database-like access to live Spark data from MicroStrategy, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. In this article, we walk through adding Spark as a data source in MicroStrategy Desktop and creating a simple visualization of Spark data.

The CData ODBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live Spark data in MicroStrategy due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from MicroStrategy to Spark, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Spark and utilizes the embedded SQL Engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. With built-in dynamic metadata querying, you can visualize and analyze Spark data using native MicroStrategy data types.

Connect to Spark as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to Spark follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments.

Set the Server, Database, User, and Password connection properties to connect to SparkSQL.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.


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.


If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for Spark in a Linux environment, the driver installation predefines a system DSN. You can modify the DSN by editing the system data sources file (/etc/odbc.ini) and defining the required connection properties.


[CData SparkSQL Sys] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for Spark Description = My Description Server =

For specific information on using these configuration files, please refer to the help documentation (installed and found online).

Connect to and Visualize Spark Data using MicroStrategy Desktop

In addition to connecting Spark in MicroStrategy enterprise products, you can connect to Spark in MicroStrategy Desktop. Follow the steps below to add Spark data as a dataset and create visualizations and reports of Spark data.

  1. Open MicroStrategy Desktop and create a new dossier.
  2. In the datasets panel, click New Data, select Databases, and select Type a Query as the Import Option.
  3. Add a new data source and choose DSN data sources.
  4. Choose the DSN you previously configured (likely CData SparkSQL Sys) and select Generic DBMS in the Version menu.
  5. Set the User and Password properties for the DSN (or use placeholder values) and name the data source.
  6. Select the new database instance to view the tables. You may need to manually click the search icon in the Available Tables section to see the tables.
  7. Create a SQL query for the Spark data (see below) and click Execute SQL to test the query. SELECT * FROM Customers NOTE: Since we create a live connection, we can execute a SELECT * query and utilize the filtering and aggregation features native to the MicroStrategy products.
  8. Click Finish and choose to connect live.
  9. Choose a visualization, choose fields to display (data types are discovered automatically through dynamic metadata discovery) and apply any filters to create a new visualization of Spark data. Where possible, the complex queries generated by the filters and aggregations will be pushed down to Spark, while any unsupported operations (which can include SQL functions and JOIN operations) will be managed client-side by the CData SQL Engine embedded in the driver.
  10. Once you are finished configuring the dossier, click File -> Save.

Using the CData ODBC Driver for Spark in MicroStrategy Desktop, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on Spark data. Read our other articles on connecting to Spark in MicroStrategy and connecting to Spark in MicroStrategy Web for more examples.