Use the CData ODBC Driver for SQL Server in SAS for Real-Time Reporting and Analytics

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SQL Server ODBC Driver

Connect to Microsoft SQL Server-compatible databases from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

The ODBC Driver offers Direct Mode access to SQL Server through standard Java Database Connectivity, providing extensive compatibility with current and legacy MS SQL versions. Supports secure SQL connectivity and authentication via SSL, Kerberos, Integrated Security, etc.



Connect to real-time SQL Server data in SAS for reporting, analytics, and visualizations using the CData ODBC Driver for SQL Server.

SAS is a software suite developed for advanced analytics, multivariate analysis, business intelligence, data management, and predictive analytics. When you pair SAS with the CData ODBC Driver for SQL Server, you gain database-like access to live SQL Server data from SAS, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. This articles walks through creating a library for SQL Server in SAS and creating a simple report based on real-time SQL Server data.

The CData ODBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live SQL Server data in SAS due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from SAS to SQL Server, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to SQL Server 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 easily visualize and analyze SQL Server data in SAS.

Connect to SQL Server as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to SQL Server follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments (the ODBC Driver for SQL Server must be installed on the machine hosting the SAS System).

Connecting to Microsoft SQL Server

Connect to Microsoft SQL Server using the following properties:

  • Server: The name of the server running SQL Server.
  • User: The username provided for authentication with SQL Server.
  • Password: The password associated with the authenticating user.
  • Database: The name of the SQL Server database.

Connecting to Azure SQL Server and Azure Data Warehouse

You can authenticate to Azure SQL Server or Azure Data Warehouse by setting the following connection properties:

  • Server: The server running Azure. You can find this by logging into the Azure portal and navigating to "SQL databases" (or "SQL data warehouses") -> "Select your database" -> "Overview" -> "Server name."
  • User: The name of the user authenticating to Azure.
  • Password: The password associated with the authenticating user.
  • Database: The name of the database, as seen in the Azure portal on the SQL databases (or SQL warehouses) page.

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.

Windows

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.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for SQL Server 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.

/etc/odbc.ini

[CData SQL Sys] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for SQL Server Description = My Description User = myUser Password = myPassword Database = NorthWind Server = myServer Port = 1433

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

Create a SQL Server Library in SAS

Connect to SQL Server in SAS by adding a library based on the CData ODBC Driver for SQL Server.

  1. Open SAS and expand Libraries in the Explorer pane.
  2. In the Active Libraries window, right-click and select New.
  3. Name your library (odbclib), select ODBC as the Engine, and click to Enable at startup (if you want the library to persist between sessions).
  4. Set Data Source to the DSN you previously configured and click OK.

Create a View from a SQL Server Query

SAS natively supports querying data either using a low-code, point-and-click Query tool or programmatically with PROC SQL and a custom SQL query. When you create a View in SAS, the defining query is executed each time the view is queried. This means that you always query live SQL Server data for reports, charts, and analytics.

Using the Query Tool

  1. In SAS, click Tools -> Query
  2. Select the table sources and the table(s) you wish to pull data from. Then, click OK.
  3. Select columns and right-click to add filtering, ordering, grouping, etc.
  4. Create a local view to contain the query results by right-clicking the SQL Query Tool window, selecting Show Query, and clicking Create View. Name the View and click OK.

Using PROC SQL

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC SQL to query the data and create a local view.
    NOTE: This procedure creates a view in the Work library. You can optionally specify a library in the create view statement.
    proc sql;
      create view orders_view as
      select 
        shipname, 
        freight 
      from 
        odbclib.orders 
      where 
        ShipCountry = 'USA';
    quit;
    
  3. Click Run -> Submit to execute the query and create a local view.

Report On or Visualize SQL Server Data in SAS

With a local view created, you can report, visualize, or otherwise analyze SQL Server data using the powerful SAS features. Print a simple report using PROC PRINT and create a basic graph based on the data using PROC GCHART.

Print an HTML Report

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC PRINT to print an HTML report for the SQL Server Orders data.
    proc print data=orders;
      title "SQL Server Orders Data";
    run;
    

Print a Chart

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC GCHART to create a chart for the Orders data.
    proc gchart data=orders;
      pie shipname / sumvar=freight
          value=arrow
          percent=arrow
          noheading
          percent=inside plabel=(height=12pt)
          slice=inside value=none
          name='OrdersChart';
    run;