Use the Connection tab to specify how to connect to ODBC data.

This Connection tab is provider-specific and displays only the connection properties that are required by the Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC.

Option Description

Use data source name

Select from the list, or type the ODBC data source name (DSN) you want to access. You can add more sources through the ODBC Data Source Administrator. Refresh the list by clicking Refresh.

Use connection string

Allows you to type or build an ODBC connection string instead of using an existing DSN.


Opens the Select Data Source dialog box. Once you select a data source, the connection string in that data source will appear in the Connection tab of the Data Link Properties dialog box.

If you select a File DSN, the resulting ODBC connection string is not based on a DSN. The ODBC connection string is persisted in the data link (.udl) file and does not rely on the selected file DSN.

If you select a machine data source name, the resulting ODBC connection string is based on a DSN. The ODBC connection string references the selected machine DSN. If a user on a different system attempts to access the data link (.udl) file, the user must also have the machine DSN installed.

User name

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


Type 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

Type in the name of the catalog (or database), or select from the drop-down list.

Test Connection

Click to attempt a connection to the specified data source. If the connection fails, ensure that the settings are correct. For example, spelling errors and case sensitivity can cause failed connections.


For more Data Link connection information, see the Data Link API Overview on MSDN.