ETL Zendesk in Oracle Data Integrator

Ready to get started?

Download for a free trial:

Download Now

Learn more:

Zendesk JDBC Driver

Rapidly create and deploy powerful Java applications that integrate with Zendesk including Tickets, Groups, Users, Schedules, and more!



This article shows how to transfer Zendesk data into a data warehouse using Oracle Data Integrator.

Leverage existing skills by using the JDBC standard to read and write to Zendesk: Through drop-in integration into ETL tools like Oracle Data Integrator (ODI), the CData JDBC Driver for Zendesk connects real-time Zendesk data to your data warehouse, business intelligence, and Big Data technologies.

JDBC connectivity enables you to work with Zendesk just as you would any other database in ODI. As with an RDBMS, you can use the driver to connect directly to the Zendesk APIs in real time instead of working with flat files.

This article walks through a JDBC-based ETL -- Zendesk to Oracle. After reverse engineering a data model of Zendesk entities, you will create a mapping and select a data loading strategy -- since the driver supports SQL-92, this last step can easily be accomplished by selecting the built-in SQL to SQL Loading Knowledge Module.

Install the Driver

To install the driver, copy the driver JAR and .lic file, located in the installation folder, into the ODI userlib directory:

On Unix: ~/.odi/oracledi/userlib On Windows: %APPDATA%\Roaming\odi\oracledi\userlib

Restart ODI to complete the installation.

Reverse Engineer a Model

Reverse engineering the model retrieves metadata about the driver's relational view of Zendesk data. After reverse engineering, you can query real-time Zendesk data and create mappings based on Zendesk tables.

  1. In ODI, connect to your repository and click New -> Model and Topology Objects.
  2. On the Model screen of the resulting dialog, enter the following information:
    • Name: Enter Zendesk.
    • Technology: Select Generic SQL (for ODI Version 12.2+, select Microsoft SQL Server).
    • Logical Schema: Enter Zendesk.
    • Context: Select Global.
  3. On the Data Server screen of the resulting dialog, enter the following information:
    • Name: Enter Zendesk.
    • Driver List: Select Oracle JDBC Driver.
    • Driver: Enter cdata.jdbc.zendesk.ZendeskDriver
    • URL: Enter the JDBC URL containing the connection string.

      Connecting to Zendesk

      To connect, set the URL and provide authentication. The URL is your Zendesk Support URL: https://{subdomain}.zendesk.com.

      Authenticating to Zendesk

      You can authenticate using the Basic or OAuth methods.

      Using Basic Authentication

      To use Basic authentication, specify your email address and password or your email address and an API token. Set User to your email address and follow the steps below to provide the Password or ApiToken.

      • Enable password access in the Zendesk Support admin interface at Admin > Channels > API.
      • Manage API tokens in the Zendesk Support Admin interface at Admin > Channels > API. More than one token can be active at the same time. Deleting a token deactivates it permanently.

      Using OAuth Authentication

      See the Getting Started guide in the CData driver documentation for an authentication guide.

      Built-in Connection String Designer

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

      java -jar cdata.jdbc.zendesk.jar

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

      Below is a typical connection string:

      jdbc:zendesk:URL=https://subdomain.zendesk.com;User=my@email.com;Password=test123;InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH
  4. On the Physical Schema screen, enter the following information:
    • Schema (Schema): Enter Zendesk.
    • Schema (Work Schema): Enter Zendesk.
  5. In the opened model click Reverse Engineer to retrieve the metadata for Zendesk tables.

Edit and Save Zendesk Data

After reverse engineering you can now work with Zendesk data in ODI. To edit and save Zendesk data, expand the Models accordion in the Designer navigator, right-click a table, and click Data. Click Refresh to pick up any changes to the data. Click Save Changes when you are finished making changes.

Create an ETL Project

Follow the steps below to create an ETL from Zendesk. You will load Tickets entities into the sample data warehouse included in the ODI Getting Started VM.

  1. Open SQL Developer and connect to your Oracle database. Right-click the node for your database in the Connections pane and click new SQL Worksheet.

    Alternatively you can use SQLPlus. From a command prompt enter the following:

    sqlplus / as sysdba
  2. Enter the following query to create a new target table in the sample data warehouse, which is in the ODI_DEMO schema. The following query defines a few columns that match the Tickets table in Zendesk: CREATE TABLE ODI_DEMO.TRG_TICKETS (SUBJECT NUMBER(20,0),Id VARCHAR2(255));
  3. In ODI expand the Models accordion in the Designer navigator and double-click the Sales Administration node in the ODI_DEMO folder. The model is opened in the Model Editor.
  4. Click Reverse Engineer. The TRG_TICKETS table is added to the model.
  5. Right-click the Mappings node in your project and click New Mapping. Enter a name for the mapping and clear the Create Empty Dataset option. The Mapping Editor is displayed.
  6. Drag the TRG_TICKETS table from the Sales Administration model onto the mapping.
  7. Drag the Tickets table from the Zendesk model onto the mapping.
  8. Click the source connector point and drag to the target connector point. The Attribute Matching dialog is displayed. For this example, use the default options. The target expressions are then displayed in the properties for the target columns.
  9. Open the Physical tab of the Mapping Editor and click TICKETS_AP in TARGET_GROUP.
  10. In the TICKETS_AP properties, select LKM SQL to SQL (Built-In) on the Loading Knowledge Module tab.

You can then run the mapping to load Zendesk data into Oracle.