ODBC - DSN (data source name)

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When an ODBC based application connects to a database, it connects to a logical name, the Data Source Name (DSN), which identifies the datasource to which it wants to connect.

Some external repository of configuration information holds the various DSN values that are available, together with the necessary configuration and control information needed by the ODBC driver to establish a connection and manage usage of the data source.

The DSN (data source name) is a data structure that contains the information about a specific data source (database, …), typically used by an ODBC driver to be able to connect to it.

The DSN contains information about the data source such as:

  • the name,
  • the directory,
  • and the driver.

On Windows, the DSN also specifies the ODBC driver to be used to access the database.





To configure a DSN:


A DSN has the following characteristics:

  • Its maximum length is 32 characters.
  • It is composed of ASCII characters except for the following: [ ] { } , ; ? * = ! @ \
  • It cannot contain spaces.

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