The Progress DataDirect team of data connectivity professionals at DreamForce 12 engaged with hundreds of organizations on direct SQL access via ODBC and JDBC to Salesforce across several venues:
SOQL is a highly capable query language for data access on the Salesforce plaform, but sometimes you just need SQL. We commonly heard requests for the following SQL-92 features available via ODBC and JDBC:
We also heard from developers that they commonly run into governor limits within APEX code. These limits would not apply to SQL access since ODBC and JDBC drivers run outside of the APEX runtime.
Our real-time ODBC and JDBC architecture translates SQL into SOQL, and effectively pushes down operations supported by SOQL to the Salesforce API; and the driver handles the rest. For example, since SOQL does not support GROUP BY operations that return more than 2000 rows, the driver processes the GROUP BY operation internally WITHOUT the requirement for a staging database.
Salesforce Developers in the devzone sessions and theaters appreciated and recognized how much work went into our SQL-92 ODBC and JDBC drivers; and we heard this several times. They are correct - DataDirect R&D put several years of work into enabling real-time standards based ODBC/JDBC access to Salesforce. The drivers connect to Salesforce.com, Database.com and force.com and are built on the flagship Connect platform that includes connectivity for Hadoop Hive, IBM DB2, Greenplum, Informix, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, Salesforce.com, Sybase, Sybase IQ, Teradata, and dozens more on the roadmap!
Organizations adopting Salesforce observed that the drivers implement the latest versions of 3 Salesforce APIs in a single driver, and we release service packs as new API versions are published. For R&D directors and consultants, this provides a significant ROI since their teams can leverage existing SQL skills without having to learn the latest APIs.
Our sessions and demos were eye openers for organizations not using direct SQL-92 access via ODBC and JDBC to Salesforce. There seem to be a lot of one off connectors/adapters out there. Standard's based SQL access solved this challenge for us already; and shops can instantly connect to Salesforce from existing applications. The use case list shared in the session below was heavily photographed. As a disclaimer, we are vendor neutral, and this is not an endorsement of any particular product.
Sumit Sarkar is a Chief Data Evangelist at Progress, with over 10 years experience working in the data connectivity field. The world's leading consultant on open data standards connectivity with cloud data, Sumit's interests include performance tuning of the data access layer for which he has developed a patent pending technology for its analysis; business intelligence and data warehousing for SaaS platforms; and data connectivity for aPaaS environments, with a focus on standards such as ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET and ODATA. He is an IBM Certified Consultant for IBM Cognos Business Intelligence and TDWI member. He has presented sessions on data connectivity at various conferences including Dreamforce, Oracle OpenWorld, Strata Hadoop, MongoDB World and SAP Analytics and Business Objects Conference, among many others.
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