Access Zendesk Data as a Remote Oracle Database

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Zendesk ODBC Driver

The Zendesk ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live Zendesk project management data, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Zendesk like you would a database - read, write, and update Tickets, Groups, Users, Schedules, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Use the Oracle ODBC Gateway and Heterogeneous Services technology to access Zendesk data from your Oracle system.

The Oracle Database Gateway for ODBC and Heterogeneous Services technology enable you to connect to ODBC data sources as remote Oracle databases. This article shows how to use the CData ODBC Driver for Zendesk to create a database link from Zendesk to Oracle and to query Zendesk data through the SQL*Plus tool. You can also create the database link and execute queries from SQL Developer.

Connect to Zendesk as an ODBC Data Source

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

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.

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.

Note: If you need to modify the DSN or create other Zendesk DSNs, you must use a system DSN and the bitness of the DSN must match your Oracle system. You can access and create 32-bit DSNs on a 64-bit system by opening the 32-bit ODBC Data Source Administrator from C:\Windows\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for Zendesk 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 Zendesk Source] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for Zendesk Description = My Description URL = https://subdomain.zendesk.com User = my@email.com Password = test123

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

Set Connection Properties for Compatibility with Oracle

The driver provides several connection properties that streamline accessing Zendesk data just as you would an Oracle database. Set the following properties when working with Zendesk data in SQL*Plus and SQL Developer. For compatibility with Oracle, you will need to set the following connection properties, in addition to authentication and other required connection properties.

  • MapToWVarchar=False

    Set this property to map string data types to SQL_VARCHAR instead of SQL_WVARCHAR. By default, the driver uses SQL_WVARCHAR to accommodate various international character sets. You can use this property to avoid the ORA-28528 Heterogeneous Services data type conversion error when the Unicode type is returned.

  • MaximumColumnSize=4000

    Set this property to restrict the maximum column size to 4000 characters.

  • IncludeDualTable=True

    Set this property to mock the Oracle DUAL table. SQL Developer uses this table to test the connection.

Linux Configuration

In Linux environments, Oracle uses UTF-8 to communicate with the unixODBC Driver manager, whereas the default driver encoding is UTF-16. To resolve this, open the file /opt/cdata/cdata-driver-for-zendesk/lib/cdata.odbc.zendesk.ini in a text editor and set the encoding.

cdata.odbc.zendesk.ini

[Driver] DriverManagerEncoding = UTF-8

Configure the ODBC Gateway, Oracle Net, and Oracle Database

Follow the procedure below to set up an ODBC gateway to Zendesk data that enables you to query live Zendesk data as an Oracle database.

  1. Create the file initmyzendeskdb.ora in the folder oracle-home-directory/hs/admin and add the following setting:

    initmyzendeskdb.ora

    HS_FDS_CONNECT_INFO = "CData Zendesk Sys"
  2. Add an entry to the listener.ora file. This file is located in oracle-home-directory/NETWORK/admin.

    If you are using the Database Gateway for ODBC, your listener.ora needs to have a SID_LIST_LISTENER entry that resembles the following:

    listener.ora

    SID_LIST_LISTENER = (SID_LIST = (SID_DESC = (SID_NAME = myzendeskdb) (ORACLE_HOME = your-oracle-home) (PROGRAM = dg4odbc) ) )

    If you are using Heterogeneous Services, your listener.ora needs to have a SID_LIST_LISTENER entry that resembles the following:

    listener.ora

    SID_LIST_LISTENER = (SID_LIST = (SID_DESC = (SID_NAME = myzendeskdb) (ORACLE_HOME = your-oracle-home) (PROGRAM = hsodbc) ) )
  3. Add the connect descriptor below in tnsnames.ora, located in oracle-home-directory/NETWORK/admin:

    tnsnames.ora

    myzendeskdb = (DESCRIPTION= (ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=tcp)(HOST=localhost)(PORT=1521)) (CONNECT_DATA=(SID=myzendeskdb)) (HS=OK) )
  4. Restart the listener.
  5. Test the configuration with the following command:

    tnsping myzendeskdb
  6. Open SQL*Plus and create the database link with the command below:

    CREATE DATABASE LINK myzendeskdb CONNECT TO "user" IDENTIFIED BY "password" USING 'myzendeskdb';

You can now execute queries in SQL*Plus like the one below (note the double quotation marks around the table name):

SELECT * from "Tickets"@myzendeskdb WHERE Industry = 'Floppy Disks';