Introduction to Relational Data Connectors

Introduction to Relational Data Connectors

SQL Data Connectors allow you to expose data and routines from an existing SQL database for use in a mobile or web app powered by Telerik Platform. The typical use case features an on-premises enterprise database but you are not limited to that.

After setting up a Data Connector you can consume SQL data using the standard Data operations.

You need to complete these steps to start consuming data from your SQL server:

  1. Install the Data Link Server for Linux or Windows.
  2. Set up a Data Connector using the portal. You can also use the Administration API to do this programmatically.
  3. Choose what database tables to expose and then create a content type for each of them using the portal. You can also use the Administration API to do this programmatically.

How It Works

The SQL Data Connectors use a connector software called the Data Link Server. Its job is to translate data requests coming from Telerik Platform to SQL. Usually the Data Link Server is installed near your database server allowing it fast and secure access to the data.

Because the Data Link Server relays data requests in real time, your app users consume data directly from your database server—you don't need to copy it to the cloud or run periodic synchronization.

Data Transit and Security

After you configure a Data Connector in a Telerik Platform app, you can quickly select what data the app will consume directly out of your DB. You need to create a content type or a cloud function for each respective DB table or stored procedure that you expose. They serve as web services interfaces which your app can use to access DB data without saving any of it in the cloud.

You can secure the connection between each pair of actors participating in the data transfer: the mobile device running your app, the Telerik Platform servers, the Data Link Server, and your DB server. Additional server-to-server authentication can be set up for added security between the Telerik Platform servers and the Data Link Server.

Data Connectors Data Transport and Security Workflow

Telerik Platform is acting as a proxy which facilitates the exchange of data between the client app and the database server. The steps constituting the data flow are as follows:

  1. The mobile app makes a web request to the Telerik Platform backend.
    You are advised to use the optional secure connection over TLS and require user authentication and authorization to access these resources.
  2. Telerik Platform acknowledges the request and makes a web request to the Data Link Server on your organization premises.
    Telerik Platform needs to access the Data Link Server on a public address. You also need to set up the organization firewall to accept connections from Telerik Platform on the port that the Data Link Server is running behind. It is strongly recommended to use the option to secure the connection over TLS and configure server-to-server authentication. At this point, you can also modify the request through your Telerik Platform app's Business Logic layer.
  3. The Data Link Server connects to the database server utilizing the database connection string and proprietary Progress DataDirect drivers.
  4. Telerik Platform relays the request result to the client app.
    You can also apply Business Logic to transform the in-transit data before returning it to the app. No fetched data is stored in the cloud.

Next Steps

See Also

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