SQL Server JSON Connector

In this article you will learn, how to integrate JSON data to SQL Server without coding in few clicks (Live / Bi-directional connection to JSON). JSON Connector can be used to extract and output JSON data stored in local JSON files, JSON data coming from REST API web service calls (Web URL) or direct JSON String (variables or DB columns). JSON Connector also supports JSONPath to filter data from nested array/sub-documents. This Connector is optimized to work with very large files.

Using JSON API Connector you will be able to connect, read and write data from within SQL Server. Let's take a look at the steps below to see how exactly to accomplish that.

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Video Tutorial - Integrate JSON data in SQL Server

This video covers following and more so watch carefully. After watching this video follow the steps described in this article.

  • How to download / install required driver for JSON integration in SQL Server
  • How to configure connection for JSON
  • Features about JSON Driver (Authentication / Query Language / Examples / Driver UI)
  • Using JSON Connection in SQL Server

Create Data Source in ZappySys Data Gateway based on ZappySys JSON Driver

  1. Download and install ZappySys ODBC PowerPack.

  2. Search for gateway in start menu and Open ZappySys Data Gateway:
    Open ZappySys Data Gateway

  3. Go to Users Tab to add our first Gateway user. Click Add; we will give it a name tdsuser and enter password you like to give. Check Admin option and click OK to save. We will use these details later when we create linked server:
    ZappySys Data Gateway - Add User

  4. Now we are ready to add a data source. Click Add, give data source a name (Copy this name somewhere, we will need it later) and then select Native - ZappySys JSON Driver. Finally, click OK.

    ZappySys Data Gateway - Add JSON Data Source

  5. Select Url or File and paste the following Url for this example.
    NOTE: Here for demo, I'm using odata API, but you need to refer your own API documentation and based on that you need to use your own API URL and need to configure connection based on API Authentication type

  6. Now enter JSONPath expression in Array Filter textbox to extract only specific part of JSON file as below ($.value[*] will get content of value attribute from JSON document. Value attribute is array of JSON documents so we have to use [*] to indicate we want all records of that array)
    NOTE: Here, I'm using my desired filter, but you need to select your desired filter based on your requirement.
    Click on Test Connection button to view whether the Test Connection is SUCCESSFUL or Not.

    $.value[*]
    ZappySys ODBC Driver - Configure JSON Driver
  7. Once you configured a data source, you can preview data. Hit Preview tab, and use similar settings to preview data:
    ZappySys ODBC Driver - Preview JSON Driver

  8. Click OK to finish creating the data source

Read data in SQL Server from the ZappySys Data Gateway data source

  1. To read the data in SQL Server the first thing you have to do is create a Linked Server. Go to SQL Server Management Studio and configure it in a similar way: SSMS SQL Server Configure Linked Server

  2. Then click on Security option and configure username we created in ZappySys Data Gateway in one of the previous steps: SSMS SQL Server Configure Linked Server User Name

  3. Finally, open a new query and execute a query we saved in one of the previous steps:

    SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY([MY_LINKED_SERVER_NAME], 'SELECT * FROM Products');

    SSMS SQL Server Query Data Results

Firewall settings

So far we have assumed that Gateway is running on the same machine as SQL Server. However there will be a case when ZappySys ODBC PowerPack is installed on a different machine than SQL Server. In such case you may have to perform additional Firewall configurations. On most computers firewall settings wont allow outside traffic to ZappySys Data Gateway. In such case perform following steps to allow other machines to connect to Gateway.

Method-1 (Preferred)

If you are using newer version of ZappySys Data Gateway then adding firewall rule is just a single click.

  1. Search for gateway in start menu and open ZappySys Data Gateway.
  2. Go to Firewall Tab and click Add Firewall Rule button like below. This will create Firewall rule to all Inbound Traffic on Port 5000 (Unless you changed it). Allow Inbound Traffic - Add Firewall Rule for ZappySys Data Gateway

Method-2 Here is another way to add / edit Inbound Traffic rule in windows firewall. Use below method if you choose to customize your rule (for advanced users).
  1. Search for Windows Firewall Advanced Security in start menu.
  2. Under Inbound Rules > Right click and click [New Rule] >> Click Next
  3. Select Port on Rule Type >> Click Next
  4. Click on TCP and enter port number under specified local port as 5000 (use different one if you changed Default port) >> Click Next
  5. Select Profile (i.e. Private, Public) >> Click Next
  6. Enter Rule name [i.e. ZappySys Data Gateway – Allow Inbound ] >> Click Next
  7. Click OK to save the rule
SQL Server Firewall Allow Inbound Data Gateway

OPENQUERY vs EXEC (handling larger SQL text)

So far we have seen examples of using OPENQUERY. It allows us to send pass-through query at remote server. The biggest limitation of OPENQUERY is it doesn't allow you to use variables inside SQL so often we have to use unpleasant looking dynamic SQL (Lots of tick, tick …. and escape hell). Well there is good news. With SQL 2005 and later you can use EXEC(your_sql) AT your_linked_server syntax . Disadvantage of EXEC AT is you cannot do SELECT INTO like OPENQUERY. Also you cannot perform JOIN like below in EXEC AT


SELECT a.* FROM OPENQUERY(ls_json,'select * from $') a
    JOIN OPENQUERY(ls_json,'select * from $') b ON a.id=b.id;

However you can always do INSERT INTO MyTable EXEC(…) AT LINKEDSRV. So table must exists when you do that way. Here is how to use it. To use EXEC AT you must turn on RPC OUT option. Notice how we used variable in SQL to make it dynamic. This is much cleaner than previous approach we saw.

USE [master]
GO

EXEC master.dbo.sp_addlinkedserver @server = N'ls_Json', @srvproduct=N'', @provider=N'SQLNCLI', @datasrc=N'localhost,5000', @provstr=N'Network Library=DBMSSOCN;', @catalog=N'JsonApi';
EXEC master.dbo.sp_addlinkedsrvlogin @rmtsrvname=N'ls_Json',@useself=N'False',@locallogin=NULL,@rmtuser=N'tdsuser',@rmtpassword='########';
GO

EXEC sp_serveroption 'ls_Json', 'rpc out', true;
go

declare @tbl varchar(100)='$';
EXEC('select * from ' + @tbl ) AT ls_Json;

Here is the difference between OPENQUERY vs EXEC approaches: OPENQUERY vs EXEC

Create Custom Store Procedure in ZappySys Driver

You can create procedures to encapsulate custom logic and then only pass handful parameters rather than long SQL to execute your API call.

Steps to create Custom Store Procedure in ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders anywhere inside Procedure Body. Read more about placeholders here

  1. Go to Custom Objects Tab and Click on Add button and Select Add Procedure:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Store Procedure

  2. Enter the desired Procedure name and click on OK:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Store Procedure Name

  3. Select the created Store Procedure and write the your desired store procedure and Save it and it will create the custom store procedure in the ZappySys Driver:
    Here is an example stored procedure for ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders anywhere inside Procedure Body. Read more about placeholders here

    CREATE PROCEDURE [usp_get_orders]
        @fromdate = '<<yyyy-MM-dd,FUN_TODAY>>'
     AS
        SELECT * FROM Orders where OrderDate >= '<@fromdate>';
    

    ZappySys Driver - Create Custom Store Procedure

  4. That's it now go to Preview Tab and Execute your Store Procedure using Exec Command. In this example it will extract the orders from the date 1996-01-01:

    Exec usp_get_orders '1996-01-01';

    ZappySys Driver - Execute Custom Store Procedure

Create Custom Virtual Table in ZappySys Driver

ZappySys API Drivers support flexible Query language so you can override Default Properties you configured on Data Source such as URL, Body. This way you don't have to create multiple Data Sources if you like to read data from multiple EndPoints. However not every application support supplying custom SQL to driver so you can only select Table from list returned from driver.

Many applications like MS Access, Informatica Designer wont give you option to specify custom SQL when you import Objects. In such case Virtual Table is very useful. You can create many Virtual Tables on the same Data Source (e.g. If you have 50 URLs with slight variations you can create virtual tables with just URL as Parameter setting.

  1. Go to Custom Objects Tab and Click on Add button and Select Add Table:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Table

  2. Enter the desired Table name and click on OK:
    ZappySys Driver - Add Table Name

  3. And it will open the New Query Window Click on Cancel to close that window and go to Custom Objects Tab.

  4. Select the created table, Select Text Type AS SQL and write the your desired SQL Query and Save it and it will create the custom table in the ZappySys Driver:
    Here is an example SQL query for ZappySys Driver. You can insert Placeholders also. Read more about placeholders here

    SELECT
      "ShipCountry",
      "OrderID",
      "CustomerID",
      "EmployeeID",
      "OrderDate",
      "RequiredDate",
      "ShippedDate",
      "ShipVia",
      "Freight",
      "ShipName",
      "ShipAddress",
      "ShipCity",
      "ShipRegion",
      "ShipPostalCode"
    FROM "Orders"
    Where "ShipCountry"='USA'

    ZappySys Driver - Create Custom Table

  5. That's it now go to Preview Tab and Execute your custom virtual table query. In this example it will extract the orders for the USA Shipping Country only:

    SELECT * FROM "vt__usa_orders_only"

    ZappySys Driver - Execute Custom Virtual Table Query

Conclusion

In this article we discussed how to connect to JSON in SQL Server and integrate data without any coding. Click here to Download JSON Connector for SQL Server and try yourself see how easy it is. If you still have any question(s) then ask here or simply click on live chat icon below and ask our expert (see bottom-right corner of this page).

Documentation 


Other App Integration scenarios for JSON

Other API Connectors for SQL Server


Documentation 

  • How to connect JSON in SQL Server?

  • How to get JSON data in SQL Server?

  • How to read JSON data in SQL Server?

  • How to load JSON data in SQL Server?

  • How to import JSON data in SQL Server?

  • How to pull JSON data in SQL Server?

  • How to push data to JSON in SQL Server?

  • How to write data to JSON in SQL Server?

  • How to POST data to JSON in SQL Server?

  • Call JSON API in SQL Server

  • Consume JSON API in SQL Server

  • JSON SQL Server Automate

  • JSON SQL Server Integration

  • Integration JSON in SQL Server

  • Consume real-time JSON data in SQL Server

  • Consume realtime JSON API data in SQL Server

  • JSON ODBC Driver | ODBC Driver for JSON | ODBC JSON Driver | SSIS JSON Source | SSIS JSON Destination

  • Connect JSON in SQL Server

  • Load JSON in SQL Server

  • Load JSON data in SQL Server

  • Read JSON data in SQL Server

  • JSON API Call in SQL Server