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A PostgreSQL Interface for Twitter Data

Use the Remoting features of the Twitter JDBC Driver to create a PostgreSQL entry-point for data access.

There are a vast number of PostgreSQL clients available on the Internet. From standard Drivers to BI and Analytics tools, PostgreSQL is a popular interface for data access. Using our JDBC Drivers, you can now create PostgreSQL entry-points that you can connect to from any standard client.

To access Twitter data as a PostgreSQL database, use the CData JDBC Driver for Twitter and a JDBC foreign data wrapper (FDW). In this article, we compile the FDW, install it, and query Twitter data from PostgreSQL Server.

Connect to Twitter Data as a JDBC Data Source

To connect to Twitter as a JDBC data source, you will need the following:

  • Driver JAR path: The JAR is located in the lib subfolder of the installation directory.
  • Driver class: cdata.jdbc.twitter.TwitterDriver

  • JDBC URL: The URL must start with "jdbc:twitter:" and can include any of the connection properties in name-value pairs separated with semicolons.

    All tables require authentication. You can connect using your User and Password or OAuth. To authenticate using OAuth, you can use the embedded OAuthClientId, OAuthClientSecret, and CallbackURL or you can register an app to obtain your own.

    If you intend to communicate with Twitter only as the currently authenticated user, then you can obtain the OAuthAccessToken and OAuthAccessTokenSecret directly by registering an app.

    See the Getting Started chapter in the help documentation for a guide to using OAuth.

    Built-in Connection String Designer

    For assistance in constructing the JDBC URL, use the connection string designer built into the Twitter JDBC Driver. Either double-click the JAR file or execute the jar file from the command-line.

    java -jar cdata.jdbc.twitter.jar

    Fill in the connection properties and copy the connection string to the clipboard.

    A typical JDBC URL is below:

    jdbc:twitter:InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH

Build the JDBC Foreign Data Wrapper

The Foreign Data Wrapper can be installed as an extension to PostgreSQL, without recompiling PostgreSQL. The jdbc2_fdw extension is used as an example.

  1. Add a symlink from the shared object for your version of the JRE to /usr/lib/libjvm.so. For example: ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/jre/lib/amd64/server/libjvm.so /usr/lib/libjvm.so
  2. Start the build: make install USE_PGXS=1

Query Twitter Data as a PostgreSQL Database

After you have installed the extension, follow the steps below to start executing queries to Twitter data:

  1. Log into your database.
  2. Load the extension for the database: CREATE EXTENSION jdbc2_fdw;
  3. Create a server object for Twitter: CREATE SERVER Twitter FOREIGN DATA WRAPPER jdbc2_fdw OPTIONS ( drivername 'cdata.jdbc.twitter.TwitterDriver', url 'jdbc:twitter:InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH', querytimeout '15', jarfile '/home/MyUser/CData/CData\ JDBC\ Driver\ for\ Salesforce MyDriverEdition/lib/cdata.jdbc.twitter.jar');
  4. Create a user mapping for the username and password of a user known to the MySQL daemon. CREATE USER MAPPING for postgres SERVER Twitter OPTIONS ( username 'admin', password 'test');
  5. Create a foreign table in your local database: postgres=# CREATE FOREIGN TABLE tweets ( tweets_id text, tweets_From_User_Name text, tweets_Retweet_Count numeric) SERVER Twitter OPTIONS ( table_name 'tweets');
You can now execute read/write commands to Twitter: postgres=# SELECT * FROM tweets;