Browse Definitions :
Definition

data source name (DSN)

What is a data source name (DSN)?

A data source name (DSN) is a data structure containing information about a specific database to which an Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) driver needs to connect. (Note: DSN also stands for Deep Space Network.)

The DSN, which resides either in the registry or as a separate text file, contains information such as the database name, directory and driver. Depending on the type of DSN, it can also contain information like the ID and password of the user.

A developer creates a separate DSN for each database and specifies its DSN within a program to connect to a particular database. In contrast, DSN-less connections require that all the necessary information be defined within the program.

flowchart of open database connectivity (ODBC)
A data source name contains data about a specific database to which an Open Database Connectivity driver needs to connect.

What are the different types of data source names (DSNs)?

There are three types of data source names:

  1. File DSN. This is stored in the filesystem using one DSN for each file. Users who have installed the same ODBC drivers can share these files.
  2. System DSN. This DSN is accessible by all system processes and users and is stored in a centralized location.
  3. User DSN. This is stored in a user-specific location and is accessible only by the user who created the DSN. Sometimes called machine DSN, it is built on the device where the program is located and stored in collective configuration files or system resources.

The user DNS and system DSN are specific to a particular computer and store DSN data in the registry.

A user DSN allows database access for a single user on a single computer, and a system DSN for any user of a particular computer. A file DSN contains the relevant information within a text file with a .DSN file extension. Users of different computers with the same drivers installed can share this file.

What is the data source name in Oracle?

In an Oracle database, an ODBC DSN stores the data required to connect to a database hosted on a remote database server. A DSN system enables access to multiple users, not just the user who created it.

What is the data source name file in QuickBooks?

In the enterprise accounting software QuickBooks, DSN is a text file that contains information required for the QuickBooks program to access QuickBooks company files.

See also: Java Database Connectivity driver, data management, database management system, relational database management system, object-oriented database management system, managing databases in a hybrid cloud, open source vs. proprietary database management

This was last updated in December 2022

Continue Reading About data source name (DSN)

Networking
  • SD-WAN security

    SD-WAN security refers to the practices, protocols and technologies protecting data and resources transmitted across ...

  • net neutrality

    Net neutrality is the concept of an open, equal internet for everyone, regardless of content consumed or the device, application ...

  • network scanning

    Network scanning is a procedure for identifying active devices on a network by employing a feature or features in the network ...

Security
  • cloud penetration testing

    Cloud penetration testing is a tactic an organization uses to assess its cloud security effectiveness by attempting to evade its ...

  • cloud workload protection platform (CWPP)

    A cloud workload protection platform (CWPP) is a security tool designed to protect workloads that run on premises, in the cloud ...

  • out-of-band authentication

    Out-of-band authentication is a type of two-factor authentication (2FA) that requires a secondary verification method through a ...

CIO
  • strategic management

    Strategic management is the ongoing planning, monitoring, analysis and assessment of all necessities an organization needs to ...

  • IT budget

    IT budget is the amount of money spent on an organization's information technology systems and services. It includes compensation...

  • project scope

    Project scope is the part of project planning that involves determining and documenting a list of specific project goals, ...

HRSoftware
  • ADP Mobile Solutions

    ADP Mobile Solutions is a self-service mobile app that enables employees to access work records such as pay, schedules, timecards...

  • director of employee engagement

    Director of employee engagement is one of the job titles for a human resources (HR) manager who is responsible for an ...

  • digital HR

    Digital HR is the digital transformation of HR services and processes through the use of social, mobile, analytics and cloud (...

Customer Experience
  • chatbot

    A chatbot is a software or computer program that simulates human conversation or "chatter" through text or voice interactions.

  • martech (marketing technology)

    Martech (marketing technology) refers to the integration of software tools, platforms, and applications designed to streamline ...

  • transactional marketing

    Transactional marketing is a business strategy that focuses on single, point-of-sale transactions.

Close