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Creating Data Link (UDL) Files in Delphi

The connection string required to connect to a database server may be created during design time or run time. There are circumstances under which you may want to store the connection string entirely outside the application, however. In those instances, Microsoft Data Link files are useful, as this article will explain.

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By: Danish Ahmed
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 8
August 06, 2007
  1. · Creating Data Link (UDL) Files in Delphi
  2. · Section 1: Adding a new ODBC Data Source
  3. · Section 2: Connecting with SQL Server Drivers
  4. · Section 3: Creating Data Link files programmatically
  5. · Section 4: More undocumented routines in ADODB

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Creating Data Link (UDL) Files in Delphi - Section 4: More undocumented routines in ADODB
(Page 5 of 5 )

But that is not all, there a few more undocumented functions in the ADODB.pas unit which can help you avoid lengthy workarounds.

Procedure GetProviderNames(Names: Tstrings);

The GetProviderNames method can be used to fetch a list of all providers available.


Procedure GetDataLinkFiles (Names: Tstrings);

This function can be used to retrieve a list of filenames present in the DataLink folder (in my case the Data Link folder is in C:Program FilesCommon FilesSystemOle DB folder).


Function PromptDataSource(ParentHandle: THandle; InitialString: WideString): WideString;

This function can be used to bring up the DataLink property dialog box and let the user provide the Data Source name. The PromptDataSource function returns the selected Data Source name as WideString.

ConxnStr := PromptDataSource(Form1.Handle, ADOConnection1.ConnectionString);

Function PromptDataLinkFile(ParentHandle: THandle; InitialFile: WideString): WideString;

This function returns the file name and its path as a string. It can be employed to let the user select the datalink to be used for connection.


Play around a little with these undocumented routines contained in the ADODB.pas unit file and you will find out how easy it is to create and manage ADO connections in your Delphi application without hard-coding the connection string or writing long and complicated codes.

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