How to setup a Microsoft SQL Server ODBC Data Source

An ODBC Data Source consists of a descriptive name that you provide and a SQL Server database that it represents. Applications that can utilize ODBC Data Sources will allow you to identify the source of data using the name that you assign. Event 1 applications access the SQL Server databases via ODBC without the need to define a Data Source. This topic is therefore provided for the purpose of utilizing ODBC functionality outside of Event 1 applications. One application of this would be for testing the operation of the ODBC driver to confirm whether it is functioning as expected on a given workstation.


  1. Click Start and then Run, or while holding down the Windows key on the keyboard, press R. This will bring up the Run box.
  2. In the Open box, type one of these two paths depending on whether your operating environment is 32-bit or 64-bit and then click OK:
    • 32-bit: C:\Windows\System32\odbcad32.exe
    • 64-bit: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe
    NOTE - You may receive a User Account Control prompt at this point. If so, enter the login credentials for a user with administrator permissions on the local machine.
  3. On the User DSN tab, click Add
  4. In the Create New Data Source window, scroll down the list of drivers, select SQL Server and click Finish. The Create New Data Source to SQL Server window will appear.
  5. In the Name box, enter a unique name. Example: MySQLData
  6. In the Description box, enter a description for your data source.
  7. In the Server box, click the drop-down and select the SQL Server where your database is stored.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Select the appropriate authentication (login) options to access your SQL Server and click Next.
  10. Check the Change the default database box and then, in the drop-list below, click the drop-down button and select your SQL Server database.
  11. Click Next and then Finish.
  12. In the ODBC Microsoft SQL Server Setup window, click Test Data Source. Confirm that test results indicate "TESTS COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY!".
  13. Click OK to close the test results and then OK again to save the new data source.

Your data source is now ready for use under your Windows user account on the computer where these steps were performed.