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Technical Article   FAQ:  Where is the 'Add OLE DB Connection' command in ArcGIS Desktop 10.1?

Article ID: 39961
Software:  ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced 10.1 ArcGIS for Desktop Standard 10.1 ArcGIS for Desktop Basic 10.1
Platforms:  Windows XP, Server 2003, Vista, Server 2008, Windows 7


Where is the 'Add OLE DB Connection' command in ArcGIS Desktop 10.1?


Connections to tables in supported databases can be made through Database Connections in ArcGIS 10.1. (See the ArcGIS 10.1 RDBMS system requirements link in Related Information for supported databases.)

To connect to other tabular, non-spatial data sources, use the 'Add OLE DB Connection' command. At version 10.1, this command is no longer displayed under Database Connections in the Catalog tree view in ArcCatalog or in the ArcMap Catalog window.

The 'Add OLE DB Connection' command can be added to an ArcCatalog toolbar using the following procedure:

1. Start ArcCatalog.

2. On the Customize menu, click Customize Mode and click the Commands tab.

3. In the Categories list, select ArcCatalog, and the Add OLE DB Connection command appears in the Commands list. -show me-


4. Drag this command onto a toolbar, such as the Standard toolbar in ArcCatalog. The tool icon is a cylinder representing a database.

5. Close the Customize dialog box to activate the command. Clicking the tool icon displays the Data Link Properties dialog box as it did in earlier versions of ArcGIS.

6. The icon can be changed from a cylinder to another image, if desired.

a) In ArcCatalog, open the Customize Mode dialog box (just leave the dialog open without doing anything in it).
b) On the toolbar containing the tool, right-click the tool icon, and click Change Button Image.
c) Select a different icon. -show me-


Related Information

Created: 2/29/2012
Last Modified: 1/29/2014

Article Rating: (2)
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By dupree - 09/16/2013 8:15 AM

Great article! It helped a lot!

Why has ESRI 'deprectated' Access databases? Why do you have to go through this convoluted process to get them into ArcMap anymore? Some of us don't have SQL Server, Oracle, etc, and maintain data in Access. Why is it so easy to get Excel spreadsheets (which are not databases) into ArcMap and so hard to get Access tables in there anymore? Thank you SO much for this article. It has helped me alot. I echo the previous post about getting disgusted w/ ESRI.


By kcasto - 10/19/2012 8:17 AM

Great article! It helped a lot!

This article helped alot, yes, but the ole db connection didnt need to be changed from 10.0 in the first place. Why in the he** would ESRI take it away is beyond me, but this is one of many reasons GIS users are getting disgusted with ESRI...