Configuring a Data Source
Concept Procedure Quick Reference

Microsoft Windows uses UDL (Universal Data Link) files to point to specific data sources. The UDL file lists the location of the data, the type of database, the version of the database, and the appropriate database driver.

For each data source that you use with AutoCAD Map 3D, you must have a UDL file in the AutoCAD Map 3D data source directory. Once the UDL file exists in the data source directory, you can attach the data source to any drawing.

For most data sources, AutoCAD Map 3D creates the UDL file automatically when you attach a database. However, for some database types, you must create the UDL file manually.

When you edit or create a UDL file, you use the Microsoft Windows Data Link Properties dialog box. For more information on using this dialog box, refer to your Microsoft Windows documentation.


To read external data files, AutoCAD Map 3D uses drivers that translate the data to a standard format. The first time you use a data source with AutoCAD Map 3D, AutoCAD Map 3D determines the appropriate driver for the data source. It stores this information in the UDL file.

AutoCAD Map 3D supports these drivers:

These drivers are installed with AutoCAD Map 3D.

Because the ODBC provider works with many different database types, it requires additional information about each specific database type. It gets this information from a Data Source Name (DSN) that registers information about the database type. You need only one DSN for each database type.

For the following ODBC-compliant databases, AutoCAD Map 3D creates a DSN for you when you attach the database:

By default, AutoCAD Map 3D connects to Microsoft Access using the Jet provider, which does not require a DSN. If you want to connect to Microsoft Access using the ODBC driver, you must create a DSN.

For information on creating a DSN, refer to your Microsoft Windows documentation.

Displaying Configuration Dialog Boxes

When you attach a data source that does not already have a UDL file, AutoCAD Map 3D creates the UDL file and determines the settings for Windows data source configuration.

If the Expert variable is set to 3 or more, AutoCAD Map 3D determines the settings, and displays the data source configuration dialog boxes so you can review or modify the settings.

Note If you are using the ODBC provider, before you manually create the data link file, you must have a DSN (Data Source Name) for the database software. Windows may have created this file when you installed your database software.
See Also