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Posted 12 Feb 2004

Using DataLinks to get or edit a connection string

, 9 Mar 2004
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Accessing DataLinks from a .NET program to get or edit a connection string.

Sample Image - DataLinks.gif


A similar article was written on this subject but this article deals with accessing DataLinks from a .NET program to get or edit a connection string. Your project must reference DataLinks and ADODB, then execute the PromptNew or PromptEdit methods.

Step by step procedure

  1. Reference ADODB in your project. This is required to read the COM object passed back from DataLinks. This file is located here: c:\Program Files\Microsoft.NET\Primary Interop Assemblies\adodb.dll
  2. Reference DataLinks in your project. DataLinks used to be MSDASC.dll, but has changed to OLEDB32.DLL (see KB). This file is located here: C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Ole DB\OLEDB32.DLL
  3. Create a text box and a button on a Windows Form. In the button's click event, use this code:
private void ButtonGetConnectionString_Click(object sender, 
  System.EventArgs e)
        Reference DataLinks
        NOTE: Reference 
              C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Ole DB\OLEDB32.DLL
              (Was MSDASC.dll) 
      MSDASC.DataLinks dataLinks = new MSDASC.DataLinksClass();
      //note that a reference to: 
      //  c:\Program Files\Microsoft.NET\Primary Interop Assemblies\adodb.dll
      //is also required to read the ADODB._Connection result
      ADODB._Connection connection;                         
      //are we editing an existing connect string or getting a new one?
            // get a new connection string
               //Prompt user for new connect string
               connection = (ADODB._Connection)dataLinks.PromptNew();
               //read result
            catch(Exception ex)     
            // edit connection string
            connection=new ADODB.ConnectionClass();
            //set local COM compatible data type
            object oConnection=connection;
                  //prompt user to edit the given connect string
                  if((bool)dataLinks.PromptEdit(ref oConnection))
            catch(Exception ex)


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Comments and Discussions

Question64 / 32 bit drivers? Pin
richardbrigzy21-Sep-12 15:02
memberrichardbrigzy21-Sep-12 15:02 
AnswerRe: 64 / 32 bit drivers? Pin
jonpetitta18-Aug-14 9:08
memberjonpetitta18-Aug-14 9:08 
GeneralProblem with the waitcursor Pin
PrimozPayton25-Aug-08 2:44
memberPrimozPayton25-Aug-08 2:44 
GeneralSqlClient Issue with Provider Property Pin
Brady Kelly28-Jul-07 23:07
memberBrady Kelly28-Jul-07 23:07 
GeneralNo need for interop Pin
Sergey Prokhorenko24-Jun-07 23:38
memberSergey Prokhorenko24-Jun-07 23:38 
GeneralRe: No need for interop Pin
Sergey Prokhorenko24-Jun-07 23:42
memberSergey Prokhorenko24-Jun-07 23:42 
GeneralRe: No need for interop Pin
Brady Kelly28-Jul-07 22:58
memberBrady Kelly28-Jul-07 22:58 
GeneralRe: No need for interop Pin
Member 871442120-Nov-13 4:10
memberMember 871442120-Nov-13 4:10 
GeneralSpeed Pin
akorolev103-Oct-04 0:24
memberakorolev103-Oct-04 0:24 
GeneralGreat! Give me exact what I am looking for Pin
zhoulhh1-Jul-04 7:39
memberzhoulhh1-Jul-04 7:39 
GeneralPromptEdit(ref connectionString) Pin
UnderEducated10-Mar-04 10:33
memberUnderEducated10-Mar-04 10:33 
GeneralRe: PromptEdit(ref connectionString) Pin
DanMayer10-Mar-04 10:55
memberDanMayer10-Mar-04 10:55 
GeneralRe: PromptEdit(ref connectionString) Pin
UnderEducated10-Mar-04 12:03
memberUnderEducated10-Mar-04 12:03 
GeneralRe: PromptEdit(ref connectionString) [modified] Pin
mlgray3-Jul-06 23:06
membermlgray3-Jul-06 23:06 
Here is a partial solution to the password issue. With PromptEdit (because it takes a reference to an ADODB.Connection instance) you can setup the Connection object that you pass to PromptEdit so that you can get the password. The Connection class has a Properties member that is a collection of key/value pairs (although the values can be, and often are, null). Many of the properties included in the collection are familiar ("Initial Catalog", "Data Source", "Password", etc.). And one of those properties is "Persist Security Info". You can get and modify this property with the folloing bit of code:

ADODB.Connection connection = new ADODB.Connection();
ADODB.Property persistProperty = connection.Properties["Persist Security Info"];
persistProperty.Value = true;

This causes some non-intuitive behavior:
1) The "Provider" tab will not appear in the dialog box.
2) The ConnectionString property of the Connection instance will still not include the password (unless the user checks the "Allow saving password" check box).
3) (This is the important bit.) The "Password" property will contain the password that the user enters, regardless of what the user does with the "Allow saving password" check box.
4) Coming out, the "Persist Security Info" will refelect the state of the "Allow saving password" check box.
5) Setting the "Persist Security Info" does not set the default state of the "Allow saving password" check box, but setting other properties (such as "Initial Catalog") does set default values in the dialog box.

I have not been able to find a away around the "Provider" tab disappearing. Since I am only interested in SQL databases (for the moment), I just set the "Provider" property on the Connection object before calling PromptEdit as follows:

connection.Provider = "SQLOLEDB.1";

For some reason any access of the "Properties" method of the Connection instance that you pass to PromptEdit prior to calling PromptEdit will cause the "Provider" tab to disappear. This is true even if you just get the count for the properties collection.

In any case, the password can be retrieved with this line of code:

string password = connection.Properties["Password"].Value.ToString();

Remember that the ConnectionString property may or may not include the password, so you will likely not be able to just use the connection string without some processing.

-- modified at 5:06 Tuesday 4th July, 2006
GeneralRe: PromptEdit(ref connectionString) Pin
yetty200026-Oct-07 6:10
memberyetty200026-Oct-07 6:10 
GeneralRe: Very Slow... Pin
VHsu13-Feb-04 19:41
memberVHsu13-Feb-04 19:41 
GeneralRe: Very Slow... Pin
DanMayer14-Feb-04 6:45
memberDanMayer14-Feb-04 6:45 
GeneralRe: Very Slow... Pin
mgarins19-Feb-04 4:20
sussmgarins19-Feb-04 4:20 
GeneralRe: Very Slow... Pin
Ricardo Casquete17-Feb-06 23:55
memberRicardo Casquete17-Feb-06 23:55 

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