Last week I attended Splunk’s annual user conference in Las Vegas. One of the sessions covered their new custom ODBC driver which is now in Beta.  The presenters of this session were Sharad Kylasam and Andy Wu – both of whom were ex-Microsoft and had been at Splunk for about a year.  Sharad and Andy were respectively the product manager and developer of the Splunk ODBC driver.  The demoed the ODBC driver by showing connectivity from Microsoft Excel and Tableau back to Splunk.  The benefits of the ODBC driver were listed as:

  1. Enables use of tools that business users are already familiar with
  2. Leverage the enhanced visualization capabilities that tools like Tableau provide
  3. Provide an alternate way (in addition to Splunk Enterprise 6) to extend machine data insights to business

The driver is in private Beta so you need to contact devinfo@splunk.com for access.  Sharad did a good job demonstrating Excel and Tableau connecting to data in Splunk. Andy walked through how the driver worked and how it gets SQL input and how it then uses SPL to issue queries back to Splunk.

One thing that was not covered is that this driver (like many others) is built using the SimbaEngine ODBC SDK.  SimbaEngine is a software development kit that is the basis for most of the ODBC drivers used by the major BigData companies including Cloudera, DataStax, Google, HortonWorks, Intel, and MapR.  Since most developers don’t want to worry about the details of the ODBC specification or worry about how to build a custom ODBC driver that works with all the BI tools like Excel, Business Objects, Cognos, Crystal, MicroStrategy, QlikView, and Tableau, they just leverage the SimbaEngine ODBC SDK to build an ODBC 3.52 and Unicode capable driver in a quick and efficient manner.  If you are interested in building your own custom ODBC driver to your own data source, you can get more information on SimbaEngine ODBC SDK here: http://www.simba.com/products/simba-engine-sdk.