Top 4 transformative moments on real-time SQL data access to Salesforce from #DF12

Top 4 transformative moments on real-time SQL data access to Salesforce from #DF12

Posted on September 26, 2012 0 Comments

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:

(Thanks to HopeworksGIS for attending and tweeting this image)
We were thrilled, but not surprised, at the high level of interest in direct real-time SQL access to data, and I will summarize the top 4 transformative moments based on feedback from Salesforce shops:


"SOQL versus SQL"

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:

  • Joins across arbitrary columns without defined relationships
  • Group by and aggregate functions that return more than 2000 rows
  • Subqueries
  • CASE statements
  • Support for join syntax (i.e. outer, inner, left, right)
  • DISTINCT clause

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.

"No staging database required"

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.

"You guys did A LOT of work!"

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, and and are built on the flagship Connect platform that includes connectivity for Hadoop Hive, IBM DB2, Greenplum, Informix, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL,, 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.

"Not just for one application!"

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.

Data Integration with Salesforce
  • Informatica PowerCenter
  • SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)
  • Oracle Data Integrator, Oracle Warehouse Builder
  • Pentaho Data Integrator
  • DataStage
Business Intelligence
  • IBM Cognos
  • Oracle Business Intelligence
  • SAP Business Objects
  • SAS
  • Tableau
  • Qliktech
  • Spotfire
  • SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
Database Federation to Salesforce
  • Oracle Database Gateway
  • SQL Server Linked Server
  • Sybase ECDA
Ad Hoc Queries against Salesforce
  • Toad for Data Analysts
  • Microsoft Access and Excel
  • DB Visualizer
  • WinSQL
  • Aqua Data Studio
Developing Web Applications
  • Hibernate
  • Oracle ADF

Have your own transformative moment today:


Sumit Sakar

Sumit Sarkar

Technology researcher, thought leader and speaker working to enable enterprises to rapidly adopt new technologies that are adaptive, connected and cognitive. Sumit has been working in the data access infrastructure field for over 10 years servicing web/mobile developers, data engineers and data scientists. His primary areas of focus include cross platform app development, serverless architectures, and hybrid enterprise data management that supports open standards such as ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET, GraphQL, OData/REST. He has presented dozens of technology sessions at conferences such as Dreamforce, Oracle OpenWorld, Strata Hadoop World, API World, Microstrategy World, MongoDB World, etc.


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