Set up a connector to archive SQL data

Use the SQL DataParser from 17a-4 LLC to import and archive data from a SQL database to user mailboxes in your Microsoft 365 organization. The DataParser includes a SQL connector that's configured to capture items from a third-party data source and import those items to Microsoft 365. The SQL DataParser connector converts SQL data to an email message format and then imports those items to user mailboxes in Microsoft 365.

After SQL data is stored in user mailboxes, you can apply Microsoft 365 compliance features such as Litigation Hold, eDiscovery, retention policies and retention labels, and communication compliance. Using a SQL connector to import and archive data in Microsoft 365 can help your organization stay compliant with government and regulatory policies.

Overview of archiving SQL data

The following overview explains the process of using a data connector to archive SQL data in Microsoft 365.

Archiving workflow for SQL data from 17a-4.

  1. Your organization works with 17a-4 to set up and configure the SQL DataParser.

  2. On a regular basis, SQL items are collected by the DataParser. The DataParser also converts the content of a message to an email message format.

  3. The SQL DataParser connector that you create in the Microsoft 365 compliance center connects to DataParser and transfers the messages to a secure Azure Storage location in the Microsoft cloud.

  4. A subfolder in the Inbox folder named SQL DataParser is created in the user mailboxes, and the SQL items are imported to that folder. The connector determines which mailbox to import items to by using the value of the Email property. Every SQL item contains this property, which is populated with the email address of every participant.

Before you set up a connector

  • Create a DataParser account for Microsoft connectors. To do this, contact 17a-4 LLC. You need to sign into this account when you create the connector in Step 1.

  • The user who creates the SQL DataParser connector in Step 1 (and completes it in Step 3) must be assigned to the Mailbox Import Export role in Exchange Online. This role is required to add connectors on the Data connectors page in the Microsoft 365 compliance center. By default, this role is not assigned to a role group in Exchange Online. You can add the Mailbox Import Export role to the Organization Management role group in Exchange Online. Or you can create a role group, assign the Mailbox Import Export role, and then add the appropriate users as members. For more information, see the Create role groups or Modify role groups sections in the article "Manage role groups in Exchange Online".

  • This data connector is available in GCC environments in the Microsoft 365 US Government cloud. Third-party applications and services might involve storing, transmitting, and processing your organization's customer data on third-party systems that are outside of the Microsoft 365 infrastructure and therefore are not covered by the Microsoft 365 compliance and data protection commitments. Microsoft makes no representation that use of this product to connect to third-party applications implies that those third-party applications are FEDRAMP compliant.

Step 1: Set up a SQL DataParser connector

The first step is to access to the Data connectors page in the Microsoft 365 compliance center and create a 17a-4 connector for SQL data.

  1. Go to and then click Data connectors > SQL DataParser.

  2. On the SQL DataParser product description page, click Add connector.

  3. On the Terms of service page, click Accept.

  4. Enter a unique name that identifies the connector and then click Next.

  5. Sign in to your 17a-4 account and complete the steps in the SQL DataParser connection wizard.

Step 2: Configure the SQL DataParser connector

Work with 17a-4 Support to configure the SQL DataParser connector.

Step 3: Map users

The SQL DataParser connector will automatically map users to their Microsoft 365 email addresses before importing data to Microsoft 365.

Step 4: Monitor the SQL DataParser connector

After you create a SQL DataParser connector, you can view the connector status in the Microsoft 365 compliance center.

  1. Go to and click Data connectors in the left nav.

  2. Click the Connectors tab and then select the SQL DataParser connector that you created to display the flyout page, which contains the properties and information about the connector.

  3. Under Connector status with source, click the Download log link to open (or save) the status log for the connector. This log contains data that has been imported to the Microsoft cloud.

Known issues

At this time, we don't support importing attachments or items that are larger than 10 MB. Support for larger items will be available at a later date.