Configure External Databases
 
 
 

Before you can access external databases from AutoCAD®, you must configure them using the Microsoft® external ODBC and OLE DB programs.

NoteThe 64-bit release of AutoCAD does not support the use of Microsoft Jet 4.0 OLE DB Provider (for MDB connectivity) and Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers (for XLS connectivity). For more information, see Substituting the use of SQL Server instead of OLE DB with DbConnect.

Once you have configured your databases, you can access their data from AutoCAD, even if you don't have the database system that created the data installed on your system. AutoCAD can access data from the following applications:

NoteWith MDAC versions 2.1 and higher, you can't edit dBase files unless you have a Borland DataBase Engine (BDE) installed on your computer.

Once you have successfully configured a database to use with AutoCAD, a configuration file with the extension UDL is created. This configuration file contains the information AutoCAD needs to access the configured database. By default, UDL files are stored in the Data Links folder of AutoCAD. You can specify a different location for UDL files from the Options dialog box.

The following topics demonstrate how to set up a data source using ODBC, and how to configure data sources so that you can use them with AutoCAD. For detailed information about ODBC and OLE DB, refer to the following online Microsoft resources:

Bypass ODBC Using an OLE DB Direct Driver

Several database management systems supported by AutoCAD have direct drivers available for OLE DB. If you use these direct drivers, you don't need to set up configuration files from within both ODBC and OLE DB; you only need a single OLE DB configuration file.

Direct database drivers are available for the following database systems:

Use ODBC to Create a Configuration File

ODBC is an intermediary program that makes data from one application available to other applications.

Configure a Data Source with OLE DB

You can use OLE DB to establish a UDL configuration file that points to an external database table.

Substituting SQL Server for OLE DB

If you are using the 64-bit release of AutoCAD and DbConnect with a connection that accesses a Microsoft Access database or a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet using one of the two following methods, you need to change your connections to use Microsoft SQL Server. Microsoft does not supporting a 64-bit version of these technologies.

Microsoft SQL Server comes in three different editions. If you are accessing data from an MDB or XLS file today, you might find that using Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition is adequate for your needs. Microsoft also offers Standard and Enterprise editions of SQL Server. For additional information about SQL Server, visit Microsoft’s website at http://www.microsoft.com/sql.

NoteYou can purchase inexpensive third-party utilities to help automate the conversion of data stored in a MDB to a MDF file that can be used with SQL Server. Many of these utilities also allow you to export data from a MDF to a MDB file.
To specify a new location for UDL files
To set up a direct Microsoft Access configuration using OLE DB
To set up a direct Oracle configuration using OLE DB
To set up a direct SQL Server configuration using OLE DB
To set up a Microsoft Access data source using ODBC
To set up a dBase data source using ODBC
To set up a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to use with AutoCAD
NoteMicrosoft Excel is not a true database management system. In order to access Excel data from within AutoCAD, you must first specify at least one named range of Excel cells to function as a database table. Each named range of cells that you specify within a spreadsheet is treated as an individual table by AutoCAD.
To set up a Microsoft Excel data source using ODBC
To set up an Oracle data source using ODBC
To set up a Paradox data source using ODBC
To set up a Microsoft Visual FoxPro data source using ODBC
To set up an SQL Server data source using ODBC

To configure a data source using OLE DB

You can use OLE DB to establish a UDL configuration file that points to an external database table.

  1. Use Microsoft ODBC to set up a data source (see Use ODBC to Create a Configuration File).
  2. Click dbConnect menu Data SourcesConfigure.At the command prompt, enter DBCONNECT
  3. In the Data Link Properties dialog box, the Provider tab, select Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers. Choose Next.
  4. Enter the name of the data source you want to configure in Use Data Source Name.
  5. Click Test Connection to verify that your configuration is working properly.

    If the connection fails, verify that the settings are correct. For example, spelling errors and case sensitivity may be the cause of a failed connection.

  6. In the Microsoft Data Link dialog box, click OK.
  7. Click OK.
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