Data Link Properties

The Data Link Properties dialog box is the standard Windows system interface for configuring connection strings to data sources. This dialog box contains all of the properties that the selected OLE DB provider supports. This dialog contains four tabs: Provider, Connection, Advanced, and All. The settings available on the latter three tabs depend upon the Provider selected. More details about the available tabs are as follows.

Provider Tab

Use the Provider tab of the Data Link Properties dialog box to select the appropriate OLE DB provider for the type of data you want to access. Not all applications make it possible for you to specify a provider or modify the current selection; this tab is displayed only if your application makes it possible for you to edit the choice of OLE DB provider.

Connection Tab

Use the Connection tab of the Data Link Properties dialog specify where your data is located and how to connect to it using an OLE DB provider. The connection information can be represented using a common string format. This tab opens by default when the Data Link  Properties dialog.

Note:  The fields displayed on this tab depend upon the OLE DB Provider selected. For example, if you select the OLE DB Provider for Oracle, the Connection tab displays fields for the server name and login. If you select the OLE DB Provider for SQL Server, then the server name, type of authentication, and database must be furnished.

The following table describes the most common connection options.

Option

Description

Data Source

Enter the name of the data source you want to access, typically a server name.

Location

Enter the location of the data source you want to access, typically a database name.

Use Windows NT integrated security

Click to use an authentication service to identify yourself.

To use this feature, your OLE DB provider must support an authentication service. The OLE DB Provider for SQL Server is an example. You also must have permissions in the data source to use the authentication service.

Use a specific user name and password

Select to use a supplied user name and password to authenticate your logon information to the data source

User name

Enter the User ID to use for authentication when you log on to the data source.

Password

Enter the password to use for authentication when you log on to the data source.

Blank password

Enables the specified provider to return a blank password in the connection string.

Allow saving password

Allows the password to be saved with the connection string. Whether the password is included in the connection string depends on the functionality of the calling application.

If saved, the password is returned and saved unmasked and unencrypted.

Enter the initial catalog to use

Enter the catalog that you want to access upon connection.

Test Connection

Click this button to attempt a connection to the specified data source. If no connection is made, review the settings.

NOTE: Spelling errors or case sensitivity can block connections.  

 

Advanced Tab

Use the Advanced tab of the Data Link Properties dialog to view and set other initialization properties. The Advanced tab is provider-specific and displays only the initialization properties required by the selected OLE DB provider.

All Tab

Use the All tab of the Data Link Properties dialog box is used to view and edit all OLE DB initialization properties available for your OLE DB provider. Properties can vary depending on the OLE DB provider you are using. For more information about the initialization properties, refer to the documentation provided with each specific OLE DB provider.

 

OLE DB connection instructions

The process of setting up a connection to an external database via OLE DB using Data Link Properties dialog is explained in detail below. It contains step by step instructions for the more common database types. AutoMate supports the use of any database system, provided the machine running AutoMate has installed a valid OLE DB or ODBC driver that allows access to that database.

The Data Link Properties dialog contains 4 sections (tabs) as explained above. In most situations, the first two tabs (Provider and Connection) contain all the information needed for proper connection. Although there appears to be a number of steps, the bulk of the work involves setting up an initial ODBC connection to the database, which is a necessary procedure in order to execute SQL statements on database engines provided by various database vendors.

Requirements

Some requirements must be met in order to ensure proper database configuration. They are listed below:

  1. A properly configured and running compatible database system installation.

  2. Any necessary information required to connect to the database, such as a valid username and password.

  3. Proper installation of the compatible database system ODBC Drivers for Windows.

Configuration

  1. From the Data Link Properties dialog, select the Provider tab as shown below. The list contains all OLE DB providers detected on your system. A provider is actually nothing more than a driver (in old terminology) with the exception of the ODBC provider because it bundles the functionality for all possible ODBC drivers. From the name of the provider it is usually clear which databases can be accessed through them. Select the appropriate provider from this list.

  1. Click Next. The Connection tab is displayed. The contents of the Connection section depends on which provider is chosen. What follows is a description of the contents of the Connection section required for the most common providers.  

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers

Use Data Source:

Select your Data Source Name (DSN) from the list. Use the Refresh button to rebuid the list.

Use Connection String:

Advice: use a DSN. It's easier. If you must you can create a connection string here or type it in.

Allow saving password:

It is suggested to always tick this although I have only found it required for Oracle databases.

Test Connection:

Always test the connection before you continue.

 

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server

Server Name:

Select or type your server name. This is the PC name or IP address on which the database runs.

Use Windows NT Security:

Requires you to be setup as a user on the server.

Use specific Username and password:

Authentication is left to the database itself.

Select database:

Select a database to use. Leave blank to get the default database.

Test Connection:

Always test the connection before you continue.

 

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for Oracle

Server Name:

Use the database alias as setup in your tnsnames.ora setup. Use the same database as you would use in SQL*Plus

Allow saving password:

Important! Set this when connecting to Oracle databases.

Test Connection:

Always test the connection before you continue.

 

Microsoft Jet OLE DB Provider (MS Access Database)

Database Name:

Type or browse to the location of your database file (*.mdb)

User Name:

If not specified the user id for an access database is Admin and has no password.

Test Connection:

Always test the connection before you continue.

 

See Also

External Database Logging Configuration

Logging Options

Automate Event Log

Viewing the AutoMate Events Log