Use the Connection tab to specify how to connect to your data using an OLE DB provider.

The Connection tab of the Data Link Properties dialog box is provider-specific and displays only the connection properties required by the selected OLE DB provider. Connection properties allow you to specify where your data is located and how to connect to the data. For more information, refer to the documentation for each specific OLE DB provider.

The following table describes most connection options.

Option Description

Data Source

Type the name of the data source you want to access—typically a server name.


Type 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

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

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 the catalog that you want to access upon connection.

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.