ADODB Connection string for LocalDB and SQL Server Native Client

The limit on Access MDB file size is 2GB. To get around that I wanted to try out the lightweight LocalDB server, rather than SQLExpress.
SqlLocalDB.msi is 38MB
sqlncli.msi is 3MB for win32, 5MB for win64

It took a while to get the right connection string, so to save others the wasted time, here’s what I found:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh510202.aspx

SQL Server 2014 Express LocalDB
says under “Connecting to the Automatic Instance”:

The easiest way to use LocalDB is to connect to the automatic instance owned by the current user by using the connection string “Server=(localdb)\MSSQLLocalDB;Integrated Security=true”. To connect to a specific database by using the file name, connect using a connection string similar to “Server=(LocalDB)\MSSQLLocalDB; Integrated Security=true ;AttachDbFileName=D:\Data\MyDB1.mdf”.
Note
The first time a user on a computer tries to connect to LocalDB, the automatic instance must be both created and started. The extra time for the instance to be created can cause the connection attempt to fail with a timeout message. When this happens, wait a few seconds to let the creation process complete, and then connect again.

The string uses “Integrated Security=true;”, but as you can see below that failed for me.

You will see other results in google using
Server=(localdb)\v11.0;
or
Server=(localdb)\v12.0;
and you can check the version at a command prompt;
C:\> sqllocaldb v
Microsoft SQL Server 2014 (12.0.2000.8)

but MS have now gone to a version independent name
Server=(localdb)\MSSQLLocalDB;
This is not yet mentioned on

https://www.connectionstrings.com/sql-server/

As I am connecting from Excel using ADODB, my connection string will also need a Provider, which is not mentioned in the MSDN article above.

I use the SQL Server Native Client :

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms131321.aspx

you can download SQLNCLI11 directly from

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=239648&clcid=0×409

I initially used “Provider=SQLNCLI;…” but got an error 3706
Provider cannot be found. It may not be properly installed.
The windows script I posted earlier gives a list of what providers are already installed on your PC.
so I find I need to use the version number in this case:
“Provider=SQLNCLI11;…”
If you want to check if a specific ADO provider is installed, check it in registry at path HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\[Provider_Name] which gives you its CLSID.

Another potential source of confusion is the use of equivalent names in the connection string
eg Trusted_Connection=true is ODBC and Integrated Security=SSPI is OLEDB.

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3077412/what-is-the-difference-between-trusted-connection-and-integrated-security-in-a-c

gives a handy table showing that for example, these are the same:

    +----------------------+-------------------------+
    | Value                | Synonym                 |
    +----------------------+-------------------------+
    | extended properties  | attachdbfilename        |
    | timeout              | connect timeout         |
    | server               | data source             |
    | database             | initial catalog         |
    | trusted_connection   | integrated security     |
    +----------------------+-------------------------+

Error messages

Here I used the wrong version, 11 instead of 12:
"Provider=SQLNCLI11;Server=(localdb)\v11.0;Integrated Security=SSPI;"
-2147467259 SQL Server Network Interfaces: Cannot create an automatic instance.

This is correct; if you get a timeout error, simply retry:
"Provider=SQLNCLI11;Server=(localdb)\v12.0;Integrated Security=SSPI;"
-2147467259 Unable to complete login process due to delay in opening server connection
I got a timeout error on my PC after 20 seconds so now add "timeout=30;" to the string
I imagine that time might improve with Windows prefetch.

This is the version-independent string:
"Provider=SQLNCLI11;Server=(localdb)\MSSQLLocalDB;Integrated Security=SSPI;"

The MS article uses "Integrated Security=true;", but that failed for me:
"Provider=SQLNCLI11;Server=(localdb)\MSSQLLocalDB;Integrated Security=true;"
-2147217887 Multiple-step OLE DB operation generated errors. Check each OLE DB status value, if available. No work was done.

http://www.connectionstrings.com/sql-server-native-client-11-0-oledb-provider/

confirms that it should be "Trusted_Connection=yes;"

This is what I finally used:
"Provider=SQLNCLI11;Server=(localdb)\MSSQLLocalDB;Trusted_Connection=yes;timeout=30;"
I am posting this here to provide a google hit for that string, in the hope this helps someone.

Patrick

Posted in Excel/VBA | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

VBScript to list installed OLEDB Providers

I found that the script I got by googling for that title failed on the line:
CreateObject(“RegEdit.Server”)
Error: ActiveX component can’t create object: ‘RegEdit.Server’

So here’s my own VBScript :


'List of installed OLEDB providers on local computer
Option Explicit
Const HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT = &H80000000

Dim OutText, Key, strComputer, objRegistry, arrKeys
Dim strKeyPath, strValueName, strValue, uValue

strComputer = "."

Set objRegistry = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer & "\root\default:StdRegProv")

objRegistry.enumKey HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, "CLSID", arrKeys
Wscript.Echo "Number of Keys to be searched: " & 1+ UBound(arrKeys) & vbCrLf & "Click OK and wait a minute" ' 7645

OutText=""
for each key in arrKeys
strKeyPath = "CLSID\" & key
strValueName = "OLEDB_SERVICES"
if objRegistry.GetDWordValue (HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT,strKeyPath,strValueName,uValue)=0 then ' that value name exists
'get the (Default) value which is the name of the provider
objRegistry.GetStringValue HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT,strKeyPath,"",strValue
OutText=OutText & strValue & vbcrlf
' and the expanded description
objRegistry.GetStringValue HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT,strKeyPath & "\OLE DB Provider","",strValue
OutText=OutText & " " & strValue & vbcrlf
end if
next
Wscript.Echo OutText

'Windows Script Host
'---------------------------
'SQLOLEDB
' Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server
'
'Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0
' Microsoft Office 12.0 Access Database Engine OLE DB Provider
'
'Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.15.0
' Microsoft Office 15.0 Access Database Engine OLE DB Provider
'
'SQLNCLI10
' SQL Server Native Client 10.0
'

Posted in Productivity | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dumb email bounces

A spammer is sending mail to Polish addresses faking an address from one of the domains I administer.
Nothing unusual in that. What’s more annoying is all the recipient postmasters replying to the APPARENT from-address, ie my address, saying the mail is spam.
At least one of them is smart enough to acknowledge :

The message carried your return address, so it was either a genuine mail
from you, or a sender address was faked and your e-mail address abused
by third party, in which case we apologize for undesired notification.

What’s more, some will even provide a trace to the sender IP address, often in .cn, .kz, .ir, etc.
But if they know that why spam me with bounces? Really, guys, think a bit further.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Irish Computer Society evening talk on Spreadsheet Controls

My talk on “Spreadsheet Management and Controls” is next month at the ICS.
Monday 18:00 – 19:30 9th Jun

This session outlines current concerns about risks from the uncontrolled use of spreadsheet-based information systems.
The session will cover how to assess risk in the context of spreadsheet criticality, and a process of high level and detailed reviews. Good practices are presented for error detection, correction, and prevention.

ICS further info and booking

Free to ICS members, 25 euro otherwise.

Posted in Excel/VBA, Risk, Software Quality, Software Testing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Art of the Cell

I liked this post on the Excel-L list today.

On 07/05/2014 10:21, Laurent Wright wrote:
Reminds me of a question, many years ago, that I got asked.
In Layman’s terms, what is the difference between Access and Excel?
My reply was Access is Meccano and Excel is Lego
With Meccano you are stuck into building rigid and 'structured Models', 
with Lego, you can pretty much build what you like.

On 07/05/2014 10:34, John Nurick wrote:

The other relevant difference is that once you've built Meccano it stays built until someone comes along with the skill to use a screwdriver and spanner and, hopefully, the insight to put it back together better. But a Lego model can be spoilt by any passing toddler or puppy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Eusprig 2014 Delft – For Excel Builders and Inspectors

Thursday 3 July 2014, Delft, the Netherlands. And it’s FREE thanks to our sponsors!

This is for the two sides of the house – those who use spreadsheets to solve their problems, and those who are concerned about the risks introduced by the use of spreadsheets.

Unlike the serious keynotes of previous years, this year begins with, of all things, Excel and Music. It should start the day for us in good humour!

Both the Eusprig day and the SEMS workshop on the 2nd feature Ray Panko on spreadsheet error detection and auditing.

There is also a short demo session on the Thursday where everyone who wants to can present a little demo of their software.

And if that’s not enough, check out the Amsterdam Excel Summit on May 14th.
http://topexcelclass.com/blog/?page_id=26

Delft July 2014 – Spreadsheet Quality Days

http://spreadsheetlab.org/2014/03/31/program-eusprig-2014-announced/

Thursday July 3rd
Time Room A: Plenary and Risk track Room B: Building track
9:00 Opening
9:30 SheetMusic – Thomas Levine
10:00 Financial optimization and long term control of complex real estate projects – Jaap Labrie(sponsored)
10:30 Coffee break
11:00 Spreadsheet development for FP&A : Evolution of a 360 degree approach – Paula Jennings Zero Effort Excel Models – Henk Vlootman
11:30 Exploring the limits of Excel – Eloy Caballero Tony De Jonker – Scenario Tools in Excel
12:00 Mapping of the financial modeling ecosystem in large scale infrastructure projects – Haydn Palliser, Rickard Warnelid Bjoern Stiel – SpreadGit
12:30 Lunch
13:30 The FAST standard – Emily Cowan 13:30 Using XML for data storage and –validation in Excel apps: a plea – Frans Bus
14:00 Spreadsheet Model error experiences – Jack Avon Spreadsheet vs ERP – where does the balance lie? – John Kidd
14:30 Demo track 
15:00 Coffee break
15:30 Spreadsheet Inspection (Auditing): Why, How, and How Much? – Ray Panko
16:00 What’s new in Excel 2013 – Steve Kraynak, Leif Brenne
16:45 Closing and drinks

The academics get a special day of their own, July 2nd:
http://spreadsheetlab.org/2013/12/19/first-workshop-on-software-engineering-methods-in-spreadsheets/

http://spreadsheetlab.org/2014/04/10/sems-accepted-papers-published/
SEMS 14:

•Birgit Hofer, Dietmar Jannach, Thomas Schmitz, Kostyantyn Shchekotykhin and Franz Wotawa. Tool-supported fault localization in spreadsheets: Limitations of current research practice
•Dietmar Jannach, Thomas Schmitz and Kostyantyn Shchekotykhin. Toward Interactive Spreadsheet Debugging
•Raymond Panko. Improving Methods in Spreadsheet Error Research
•Richard Paige, Dimitris Kolovos and Nicholas Matragkas. Spreadsheets are models too
•Birgit Hofer and Franz Wotawa. On the Usage of Dependency-based Models for Spreadsheet Debugging
•Daniel Kulesz. A Spreadsheet Cell-Type Model for Testing
•Pablo Palma. SBBRENG: Spreadsheet Based Business Rule Engine
•Peter Sestoft. End-user development via sheet-defined functions
•Sohon Roy and Felienne Hermans. Dependence Tracing Techniques for Spreadsheets: An Investigation
•Jácome Cunha, Joao Fernandes, Jorge Mendes, Rui Pereira and João Saraiva. MDSheet – Model-Driven Spreadsheets
•Thomas Levine. Automatically assessing the relevance, quality, and usability of spreadsheets
•Thomas Levine. Sheetmusic: Making music from spreadsheets
•Raymond Panko. Are We Overconfident in Our Understanding of Overconfidence?
•Joeri van Veen and Felienne Hermans. Anonymizing Spreadsheet Data and Metadata with AnonymousXL
•Bas Jansen and Felienne Hermans. Using a Visual Language to Create Better Spreadsheets

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Dumb autoresponders

I went on holidays before Christmas and set up an email autoresponder to say I was out of the office.
So I left and next day decided to use the free wifi to check the email. Not something one should normally do on holidays, but I was curious. I found about a thousand repeated emails from noreply@eu-supply.com which had sent out an email at 02:49 and received an autoresponse to which it replied “this email address is not monitored” and to which it received an autoresponse … etc.
After 1400 of these I got my ISP to turn off the autoresponder for me (thanks, Blacknight support people).
I would have thought this would be a well known issue that any email system would handle.
I would have set up the autoresponder to not reply to any messages with “noreply” in the sender, but that could not be done.
eu-supply.com said they would consider a future feature to detect email loops.
Has any else had that problem and how did you resolve it?
According to wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_loop

Prevention
The mail system should retain headers of incoming email while performing any type of auto-forwarding operation.
Auto Responder: Do not send more than ‘x’ replies to the same sender.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment