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How do I connect Azure Data Factory to SQL Server?

Execute the following steps to connect Azure Data Factory to SQL Server. You only need knowledge of Azure Data Factory and your own business.

Microsoft SQL Server is a traditional database platform. SQL Server supports ANSI SQL. It is available both as a cloud database on Microsoft Azure as a traditional database running on-premise or hosted.

No technical knowledge is needed nor knowledge on the SQL Server APIs to connect SQL Server to Azure Data Factory. This step-by-step plan will tell you exactly which steps you need to go through on Invantive Cloud to create your own Azure data warehouse with data from SQL Server.

The steps to connect Azure Data Factory to SQL Server are:

  1. Register an Invantive Cloud account.
  2. Create a SQL Server database.
  3. Make the SQL Server database available through the Microsoft OData connector.
  4. Connect Azure Data Factory to SQL Server through the connector.
  5. Load data from SQL Server into Azure Data Factory data warehouse.

Invantive Cloud offers a SQL Server connector to download data from SQL Server into Azure Data Factory, but there are over 75 other connectors available also for SQL, Power BI, Power Query or Azure Data Factory.

Do you have a large environment? For effective downloads, you can of course also filter the data using the filter step or the transform button in Azure Data Factory.

When you are having questions, please check the forums for SQL Server. Every organisation is entitled to 1 hour of free training to help you get started. This free hour also applies to free plans.

Register Account on Invantive Cloud

Skip this step when you already have an account on Invantive Cloud. Otherwise execute the following steps one time to register an account on Invantive Cloud:

  1. Go to Invantive Cloud start page.

  2. Select the Log on-button.

  3. Select the Sign Up-button. Sign Up to Invantive Cloud.

  4. Enter your business email address. Enter business email address.

  5. Select the Next-button.

  6. Enter your personal data. Enter personal data.

  7. Select the Next-button.

  8. Enter your password and repeat the provided password.

  9. Select the Next-button. Enter two identical passwords.

  10. You will receive a six-digit verification code by email within 2 minutes.

  11. Enter the six-digit verification code. Six-digit verification code to validate email address.

  12. Select the Sign Up-button.

  13. Log on now. Sign Up.

  14. Make sure you have an authentication app installed on your phone. Select the Next-button. Prepare TOTP-configuration.

  15. Add the displayed QR code to the authentication app, enter the current verification code, and choose "Finish". Scan QR-code into TOTP-app and enter current code.

  16. Skip registration of the organization. Skip company registration.

  17. Complete your personal data and choose 'Save'. Complete personal data.

  18. Go to the dashboard. Navigate to dashboard.

  19. The Invantive Cloud dashboard will be shown.

You now have a login code on Invantive Cloud with which you can set up the connection with SQL Server and numerous other platforms. You will use the same Invantive login code and workflow for all other platforms.

Create SQL Server database

In this step, we set up a database with data from SQL Server. The database is "virtual" because it is not a traditional database, but is fed real-time from SQL Server. Invantive Cloud provides Azure Data Factory with a real-time link to SQL Server. The database will be used for all your SQL Server reporting with Azure Data Factory. So you only need to perform these steps once.

  1. Click the Add Database button. Add database.

  2. Select SQL Server from the list. Select SQL Server connector.

  3. Please fill out the form with login information for SQL Server.

  4. Select the OK-button.

Congratulations! You can now process data from SQL Server within the Invantive Cloud website. You can do this for example with the interactive SQL editor.

Grant connection from Azure Data Factory access to SQL Server

To retrieve the data from Azure Data Factory we create a link via Invantive Bridge Online. This creates a "bridge" between the cloud of Invantive and the standard OData connector that is available in every version of Azure Data Factory. You do not need to install anything locally: no connector, no ado.NET provider and no Azure Data Factory add-on neither.

Execute the following steps to safely use the data from SQL Server outside of Invantive Cloud:

  1. Next to the database you will find an orange text requesting you to allow access from your current location (IP address). Select the nearby orange button.

  2. You must completely disable IP address checking by entering an asterisk ("*") since Microsoft Azure Data Factory consists of hundreds of thousands of servers across the globe.

You are now ready to import the SQL Server data into Azure Data Factory.

Configure Azure Data Factory connector for SQL Server

You will now pull in Azure Data Factory data from SQL Server through the established link.

Please note again that Invantive Cloud under the hood handles all complexity such as setting up credentials such as a refresh token, acquiring an access token, optimizing and parallelizing access, accessing an API within the rate limits, scopes and security restrictions. There is absolutely no need for knowledge on complex technical topics such as OAuth access tokens or API. The Microsoft Azure Data Factory steps, activities and pipelines can be constructed using just the OData feed and basic authentication.

Execute the following steps:

  1. Start Microsoft Azure Data Factory and select 'Ingest'. Copy SQL Server data using Microsoft Azure Data Factory activity 'Ingest'

  2. Select 'Built-in copy task'. Built-in copy using SQL Server as source

  3. Select source type 'OData' and select 'New connection'. OData connection for SQL Server to Microsoft Azure Data Factory

  4. Enter in the window the Bridge Online URL of the Azure Data Factory database. This URL containing the data can be found in the Database-form of Invantive Cloud. Choose authentication type 'Basic authentication'. Enter the Invantive Cloud user name and password. OData URL for SQL Server with log on credentials

  5. The list of available Azure Data Factory tables appears. Select the desired tables and construct your pipeline in Microsoft Azure Data Factory. Select SQL Server tables and process them in Microsoft Azure Data Factory

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