Crystal Reports, Data Sources, Programming, Technology, UDL

UDL Files: How to Create and Configure Universal Data Link Files

UDL files can be incredibly useful for a variety of reasons (please see my earlier post for details). In this article I will explain the steps for creating and configuring a UDL file.

Creating a UDL file is quite straightforward. Here are the steps:

  1. First create a new text document in Windows Explorer and give a name to your new file, making sure you set the extension to .udl  (or you can open notepad and save it using .udl extension). Either way, make sure nothing is entered in the notepad document.
  2. Once you have created your new .udl file, the icon for your file should change from the icon for a text document to a special icon specific to .udl files
  3. Now double click your new .udl file in order to open it. Continue reading “UDL Files: How to Create and Configure Universal Data Link Files”
Crystal Reports, Data Sources, Technology, UDL

UDL Files: Centralizing your DataSource Connections – Overview

I have not had much use for UDL (Universal Data Link) files in the past, but recently I found out just how useful they can be. Today I encountered an issue with Crystal Reports 9 calling SQL Server with a blank password when the connection was set within Crystal Reports. After much research and testing I found that the only way to correct this was to force Crystal Reports to use a UDL file to obtain its connection information.

For anyone not sure exactly what a UDL file is, it is basically a file that one can create and use to centralize database connection information. So it functions along the lines of an ODBC data source, or a little like an old .ini file… or for the web, like a web.config file. The only difference being that like an ODBC datasource, Windows will present a forms like view of the connection information in the UDL file when it is opened.

Continue reading “UDL Files: Centralizing your DataSource Connections – Overview”