Make OLE DB connections portable

Last Published: April 25, 2020


RDBMS tables can be loaded into ArcMap via OLE DB connections. In some situations, it may be necessary to redirect ArcMap to connect to a different database using the same OLE DB connection. ArcMap stores OLE DB connection information in the Map project file. For this reason, even if it is reconfigured to connect to a different server, ArcMap will still attempt to connect to the original server when reopening the map project.


Instructions provided describe how to set up OLE DB connections so ArcMap will automatically recognize when they have been reconfigured to connect to different servers.

  1. It is very important to create the OLE DB connection using the Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers. In order to do this, first configure a DSN, or Data Source Name, in the ODBC Data Sources applet in the Control Panel.

    The steps for creating a DSN vary depending upon the database type and version of the ODBC driver. For some databases, such as Oracle, it is also necessary to install the DBMS client software before it is possible to configure the DSN.

  2. Create an OLE DB connection in ArcCatalog. Choose the Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers under the Provider tab of the Data Link Properties window.
  3. Under the Advance tab of the Data Link Properties window, choose your DSN under the "use data source name" pulldown list.
  4. Once maps which use this connection have been saved, redirect the connection to another server by reconfiguring the DSN to connect to that server.

Article ID:000005920

  • ArcMap 8 x

Receive notifications and find solutions for new or common issues

Get summarized answers and video solutions from our new AI chatbot.

Download the Esri Support App

Discover more on this topic

Get help from ArcGIS experts

Contact technical support

Download the Esri Support App

Go to download options