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Connect to Sybase as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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

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

Connect to Sybase

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 Sybase Sys is created automatically).

To authenticate with Sybase, set User and Password. Additionally, set IntegratedSecurity; to true to use Windows authentication otherwise, Sybase authentication is used. Set the Server and Database properties. To secure connections with TLS/SSL, set Encrypt to true.

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

Create an External Data Source for Sybase 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 Sybase data.

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

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

Create an External Data Source for Sybase

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

PUSHDOWN is set to ON by default, meaning the ODBC Driver can leverage server-side processing for complex queries.

CREATE EXTERNAL DATA SOURCE cdata_sybase_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData Sybase Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = sybase_creds
);

Create External Tables for Sybase

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

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE Products(
  Id [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ProductName [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='Products',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_sybase_source
);

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