DSN-less Connections

This article discusses two methods by which a DSN-less connection can be 
made to SQLServer.  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/892490

One uses the CreateTableDef the other uses DAO.RegisterDatabase. Any 
suggestions as to which would be the preferred approach? Any opinions about 
either? I'm inclined to stay awy from the first since it captures user name 
and pwd. 


0
David
3/5/2010 10:20:16 AM
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David C. Holley wrote:
> This article discusses two methods by which a DSN-less connection can be 
> made to SQLServer.  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/892490
> 
> One uses the CreateTableDef the other uses DAO.RegisterDatabase. Any 
> suggestions as to which would be the preferred approach? Any opinions about 
> either? I'm inclined to stay awy from the first since it captures user name 
> and pwd. 
> 
> 

No different from RegisterDatabase, actually. RegisterDatabase expects a 
DSN, which stores the username and passwords in the registry hive 
plaintext. Also, I wouldn't really call RegisterDatabase method a 
DSN-less connection because it actually creates a new DSN.

If you are concerned about protecting the password, IMHO, the best 
policy is to not store the password at all- have the user type in the 
password just in the time to execute an ad hoc query. All other objects 
(e.g. tabledefs and querydefs)'s Connect property should then contain 
only three things: Driver, Server and Database. Access caches the 
connection you create and is smart enough to re-use the cached 
connection where those three attributes matches.

However, there is a security hole: If the application is allowed to 
closing without also quitting Access, it's possible to subsequently open 
another .mdb/.accdb while the Access is still open and still have the 
full access to the server that original application linked to. For this 
reasons, you should ensure that when the last open form closes, this 
forces Access to quit and thus close the connection.

AFAIK, this cached connection is not accessible programmically.

HTH.
0
Banana
3/5/2010 2:02:18 PM
hi,

On 05.03.2010 15:02, Banana wrote:
> If you are concerned about protecting the password, IMHO, the best policy is to not store the password at all- have the user type in the password just in the time to execute an ad hoc query.
As he's using SQL Server he should really think about using Windows 
integrated authentication on the SQL Server. So no user/password is 
required.

> AFAIK, this cached connection is not accessible programmically.
This is correct.

Due this fact, you cannot implement a 'Change User Logon' function 
without closing Access.


mfG
--> stefan <--
0
Stefan
3/5/2010 2:36:09 PM
Additionally, passthrough queries seem to retain the logon/password if not 
using integrated authentication.


-- 

AG
Email: npATadhdataDOTcom


"Stefan Hoffmann" <ste5an@ste5an.de> wrote in message 
news:%23GYgqEHvKHA.3408@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
> hi,
>
> On 05.03.2010 15:02, Banana wrote:
>> If you are concerned about protecting the password, IMHO, the best policy 
>> is to not store the password at all- have the user type in the password 
>> just in the time to execute an ad hoc query.
> As he's using SQL Server he should really think about using Windows 
> integrated authentication on the SQL Server. So no user/password is 
> required.
>
>> AFAIK, this cached connection is not accessible programmically.
> This is correct.
>
> Due this fact, you cannot implement a 'Change User Logon' function without 
> closing Access.
>
>
> mfG
> --> stefan <-- 



0
AG
3/5/2010 3:16:49 PM
hi,

On 05.03.2010 16:16, AG wrote:
> Additionally, passthrough queries seem to retain the logon/password if not
> using integrated authentication.
Yup, as Banana said, the connection is cached for all kind of ODBC 
related actions.

mfG
--> stefan <--
0
Stefan
3/5/2010 3:35:33 PM
Stefan Hoffmann wrote:
> As he's using SQL Server he should really think about using Windows 
> integrated authentication on the SQL Server. So no user/password is 
> required.

Yes, that's another option. My only quibble with Windows authentication 
is that it does not restrict access to only via this application -- 
anyone can create a new blank database and get the same access and 
bypass the logic embedded in the application.

However, this can be considered to be minor because normally it is 
expected that the employees would be trusted to not toy with their 
privileges and not all security problems are meant to be solved with 
technology. Furthermore, this can be alleviated with proper 
security/permissions setup. Nonetheless that's one thing to be aware about.

BTW, I don't think SQL Server is the only one that's capable of Windows 
authentication -- I understand Oracle can do this as well. I don't know 
how well it does it, though.
0
Banana
3/5/2010 3:41:10 PM
AG wrote:
> Additionally, passthrough queries seem to retain the logon/password if not 
> using integrated authentication.

It's been a while since I tested, but I don't believe this is accurate. 
As I explained earlier, you don't have to embed complete connection 
string in the passthrough queries. Just embed only three things; driver, 
server and database. At the Access startup, run an ad hoc query with the 
complete connection string & discard it then all other queries & tables 
that connect to the same source will now work because Access caches this 
connection. If this ad hoc query isn't run, the passthrough query will 
display a connection dialog.

Also, this behavior will be consistent whether you're using integrated 
authentication or not.
0
Banana
3/5/2010 3:43:31 PM
"Banana" <Banana@Republic> wrote in message 
news:4B912616.1040104@Republic...
> Stefan Hoffmann wrote:
>> As he's using SQL Server he should really think about using Windows 
>> integrated authentication on the SQL Server. So no user/password is 
>> required.
>
> Yes, that's another option. My only quibble with Windows authentication is 
> that it does not restrict access to only via this application -- 
> anyone can create a new blank database and get the same access and bypass 
> the logic embedded in the application.

Going with Windows auth doesn't mean that you have automatic access to 
SQLServer. Your user ID has to be explicity added to SQLServer security and 
given privledges. Even if they can somehow end up 'seeing' the server, they 
won't be able to tamper with it - assuming you've set their permissions 
appropriately.

>
> However, this can be considered to be minor because normally it is 
> expected that the employees would be trusted to not toy with their 
> privileges and not all security problems are meant to be solved with 
> technology. Furthermore, this can be alleviated with proper 
> security/permissions setup. Nonetheless that's one thing to be aware 
> about.
>
> BTW, I don't think SQL Server is the only one that's capable of Windows 
> authentication -- I understand Oracle can do this as well. I don't know 
> how well it does it, though. 


0
David
3/6/2010 1:27:26 AM
David C. Holley wrote:
> Going with Windows auth doesn't mean that you have automatic access to 
> SQLServer. Your user ID has to be explicity added to SQLServer security and 
> given privledges. 

Yes, this is correct. However, I was talking in reference to the 
application itself. If someone writes an Access application that does 
some validation checks within Access, those would be bypassed if the 
user created a new application that used the same credentials. This can 
be solved by moving the logic to server-side, using Applications Roles 
or setting up the permissions will fix this, but that's a step that 
needs to be taken and it can't be taken if the developer isn't aware of 
this step.

> - assuming you've set their permissions appropriately.

Precisely why I mentioned this.
0
Banana
3/6/2010 2:21:36 PM
"David C. Holley" <David.C.Holley> wrote in message 
news:umb0uwMvKHA.6124@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
>
> "Banana" <Banana@Republic> wrote in message 
> news:4B912616.1040104@Republic...
>> Stefan Hoffmann wrote:
>>> As he's using SQL Server he should really think about using Windows 
>>> integrated authentication on the SQL Server. So no user/password is 
>>> required.
>>
>> Yes, that's another option. My only quibble with Windows authentication 
>> is that it does not restrict access to only via this application -- 
>> anyone can create a new blank database and get the same access and bypass 
>> the logic embedded in the application.
>
> Going with Windows auth doesn't mean that you have automatic access to 
> SQLServer. Your user ID has to be explicity added to SQLServer security 
> and given privledges. Even if they can somehow end up 'seeing' the server, 
> they won't be able to tamper with it - assuming you've set their 
> permissions appropriately.

I believe Ben's point is that if the user has the ability to interact with 
the SQL Server database via the Access application, he/she will also have 
the ability to interact with the SQL Server database without the Access 
application.

SQL Server does have the concept of Application Roles, but I don't believe 
there's any fool-proof way to hide the Application Role credentials in a SQL 
Server application, so a determined hacker would be able to determine them.

-- 
Doug Steele, Microsoft Access MVP
http://I.Am/DougSteele
(no e-mails, please!)





0
Douglas
3/6/2010 2:21:46 PM
Right, because anyone that we grant access to in SQL Server could use a 
System DSN to create their own Access front end and connect to the tables in 
SQL Server. The bet that we're making is that the users that we're 
installing the app on don't have the interest or ability to do so.

So then, three questions? (And please answer them in-line)

1) Does a ODBC connection (DSN or DSN-less) created on the fly store any 
user name/password information if you're using Windows integrated 
authentication?

2) If Access creates an ODBC connection (DSN or DSN-less) on the fly, will 
the user see the connection if they open the ODBC Data Source Administrator 
utility?

3) Only having Access 2007 runtime on the user's machines is another vaible 
means of creating an obstacle for them, although they might still be able to 
access SQLServer via Excel and ODBC?

"Douglas J. Steele" <NOSPAM_djsteele@NOSPAM_gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:%23vdObhTvKHA.404@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
> "David C. Holley" <David.C.Holley> wrote in message 
> news:umb0uwMvKHA.6124@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
>>
>> "Banana" <Banana@Republic> wrote in message 
>> news:4B912616.1040104@Republic...
>>> Stefan Hoffmann wrote:
>>>> As he's using SQL Server he should really think about using Windows 
>>>> integrated authentication on the SQL Server. So no user/password is 
>>>> required.
>>>
>>> Yes, that's another option. My only quibble with Windows authentication 
>>> is that it does not restrict access to only via this application -- 
>>> anyone can create a new blank database and get the same access and 
>>> bypass the logic embedded in the application.
>>
>> Going with Windows auth doesn't mean that you have automatic access to 
>> SQLServer. Your user ID has to be explicity added to SQLServer security 
>> and given privledges. Even if they can somehow end up 'seeing' the 
>> server, they won't be able to tamper with it - assuming you've set their 
>> permissions appropriately.
>
> I believe Ben's point is that if the user has the ability to interact with 
> the SQL Server database via the Access application, he/she will also have 
> the ability to interact with the SQL Server database without the Access 
> application.
>
> SQL Server does have the concept of Application Roles, but I don't believe 
> there's any fool-proof way to hide the Application Role credentials in a 
> SQL Server application, so a determined hacker would be able to determine 
> them.
>
> -- 
> Doug Steele, Microsoft Access MVP
> http://I.Am/DougSteele
> (no e-mails, please!)
>
>
>
>
> 


0
David
3/6/2010 3:11:26 PM
"David C. Holley" <David.C.Holley> wrote in
news:#Tx0K9TvKHA.732@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl: 

> Right, because anyone that we grant access to in SQL Server could
> use a System DSN to create their own Access front end and connect
> to the tables in SQL Server. The bet that we're making is that the
> users that we're installing the app on don't have the interest or
> ability to do so. 

But surely you'd grant them only the same access they'd have in the
application? So what damage could they do? 

-- 
David W. Fenton                  http://www.dfenton.com/ 
usenet at dfenton dot com    http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
0
David
3/6/2010 4:35:31 PM
David C. Holley wrote:
> Right, because anyone that we grant access to in SQL Server could use a 
> System DSN to create their own Access front end and connect to the tables in 
> SQL Server. The bet that we're making is that the users that we're 
> installing the app on don't have the interest or ability to do so.

Right. Also, as I noted earlier, this is a case where I think it makes 
sense to trust the employees- the employees usually already have an 
incentive to keep the system working so they won't want to fiddle with 
it. If the company was sufficiently concerned about their disgruntled 
employee stealing or tampering with the data, then I would think they 
have much more bigger problem on their hands than the problem of 
securing it properly! As long their computers are firewalled and 
inaccessible externally, this is good enough in my book.

> 1) Does a ODBC connection (DSN or DSN-less) created on the fly store any 
> user name/password information if you're using Windows integrated 
> authentication?

Good question. I don't know this for a fact but I would expect that it 
pass some kind of a token or hash to identify a computer/user to the SQL 
Server (or maybe to the AD provider). If you look in the registry hive, 
however, you won't see anything like that. There's just a key for "Use 
Trusted Connection" and LastUser.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ODBC\ODBC.INI\<Name of DSN>

Note that for SQL Server authentication, the password isn't stored also; 
they require that the password be manually entered everytime. However, 
for a DSN for other data sources (Access and MySQL for example), the 
password is stored there plaintext. Scary!

When you choose "Save Password" in Access at linking-time, what it means 
is that the Connect property of the linked table will now embed the 
credentials so it's not in Windows Registry but it's certainly in Access 
..mdb/.accdb files and it's certainly readable.

This can be prevented on server side by creating a MSysConf table and 
inserting in a row with the flag set accordingly. Access will respect 
the setting if such table exists on the server. I don't think it'll help 
with DSNs though.

> 2) If Access creates an ODBC connection (DSN or DSN-less) on the fly, will 
> the user see the connection if they open the ODBC Data Source Administrator 
> utility?

No. Administrator deals only with DSN definition & configurations, not 
the actual connections, generally speaking.

> 3) Only having Access 2007 runtime on the user's machines is another vaible 
> means of creating an obstacle for them, although they might still be able to 
> access SQLServer via Excel and ODBC?

Yes. DSN is not restricted to a single application - if the application 
can use ODBC, then it can use any DSN that was created by other 
applications/developer. Even in case of using DSN-less connections, it 
only means that the user has to find the connection string and use it in 
other application to get the same access.
0
Banana
3/6/2010 5:53:57 PM
Yeah, but its one thing to be able to delete a single record given how the 
forms are designed. Its another thing for them to be able to select multiple 
records at once and delete them or to have someone create a query that 
updates a field in one of the key tables. Its an issue of volume.

"David W. Fenton" <XXXusenet@dfenton.com.invalid> wrote in message 
news:Xns9D3375EACADD0f99a49ed1d0c49c5bbb2@74.209.136.81...
> "David C. Holley" <David.C.Holley> wrote in
> news:#Tx0K9TvKHA.732@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl:
>
>> Right, because anyone that we grant access to in SQL Server could
>> use a System DSN to create their own Access front end and connect
>> to the tables in SQL Server. The bet that we're making is that the
>> users that we're installing the app on don't have the interest or
>> ability to do so.
>
> But surely you'd grant them only the same access they'd have in the
> application? So what damage could they do?
>
> -- 
> David W. Fenton                  http://www.dfenton.com/
> usenet at dfenton dot com    http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/ 


0
David
3/7/2010 2:26:17 AM
"Banana" <Banana@Republic> wrote in message 
news:4B9296B5.4070501@Republic...
> David C. Holley wrote:
>> Right, because anyone that we grant access to in SQL Server could use a 
>> System DSN to create their own Access front end and connect to the tables 
>> in SQL Server. The bet that we're making is that the users that we're 
>> installing the app on don't have the interest or ability to do so.
>
> Right. Also, as I noted earlier, this is a case where I think it makes 
> sense to trust the employees- the employees usually already have an 
> incentive to keep the system working so they won't want to fiddle with it. 
> If the company was sufficiently concerned about their disgruntled employee 
> stealing or tampering with the data, then I would think they have much 
> more bigger problem on their hands than the problem of securing it 
> properly! As long their computers are firewalled and inaccessible 
> externally, this is good enough in my book.
>
>> 1) Does a ODBC connection (DSN or DSN-less) created on the fly store any 
>> user name/password information if you're using Windows integrated 
>> authentication?
>
> Good question. I don't know this for a fact but I would expect that it 
> pass some kind of a token or hash to identify a computer/user to the SQL 
> Server (or maybe to the AD provider). If you look in the registry hive, 
> however, you won't see anything like that. There's just a key for "Use 
> Trusted Connection" and LastUser.
>
> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ODBC\ODBC.INI\<Name of DSN>
>
> Note that for SQL Server authentication, the password isn't stored also; 
> they require that the password be manually entered everytime. However, for 
> a DSN for other data sources (Access and MySQL for example), the password 
> is stored there plaintext. Scary!
>
> When you choose "Save Password" in Access at linking-time, what it means 
> is that the Connect property of the linked table will now embed the 
> credentials so it's not in Windows Registry but it's certainly in Access 
> .mdb/.accdb files and it's certainly readable.
>
> This can be prevented on server side by creating a MSysConf table and 
> inserting in a row with the flag set accordingly. Access will respect the 
> setting if such table exists on the server. I don't think it'll help with 
> DSNs though.

Now that I think about it, I can't see why an ODBC connection would *need* 
store a user ID and password if Windows Authentication is being used. The 
point of integrated authentication is single sign on access. The user has 
authenticated with Window when they logged on, from there its just a matter 
of looking at their Windows User Id and determining within the application 
that their accessing what rights, if any they have.


>
>> 2) If Access creates an ODBC connection (DSN or DSN-less) on the fly, 
>> will the user see the connection if they open the ODBC Data Source 
>> Administrator utility?
>
> No. Administrator deals only with DSN definition & configurations, not the 
> actual connections, generally speaking.
>
>> 3) Only having Access 2007 runtime on the user's machines is another 
>> vaible means of creating an obstacle for them, although they might still 
>> be able to access SQLServer via Excel and ODBC?
>
> Yes. DSN is not restricted to a single application - if the application 
> can use ODBC, then it can use any DSN that was created by other 
> applications/developer. Even in case of using DSN-less connections, it 
> only means that the user has to find the connection string and use it in 
> other application to get the same access. 


0
David
3/7/2010 2:55:50 AM
Reply:

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Dear friends, this question could be stupid ....but intresting !!!!!!!!!!!!! the query is -----> i have few devices all of them use the same communication protocol(custom made not standard one). but connect at different baud rate now the problem is that i dont know the device connected at which baud rate so how can i know the baud rate of the device connected at serial port....................... again different explation----->>>> there is only one application which intrect with different devices at different baud rate but same communication protocol so how can i open the port...

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I've written a little network utility. Now I found it it useful to be an IE plugin. It's not a real plugin since it still runs outside IE as a separate EXE. I've managed to create a menu entry and toolbar button for it. When I click it the program is launched. I also found how to enumerate all running instances of IE When the program is launched it becomes the topmost window but I need to know which was on top before because from that instance I need to read the current URL. Or is it easier to write a real plugin which runs inside IE. I would prefer outside because it can be used s...

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Hi, We have couple of users who are complaining that they have multiple disconnections to our exchange server in daily basis. All the users are using cache mode. I have tried to get log from Outlook in troubleshoot mode but it won't tell much about connection failures or disconnections. Is there anyway how can I change logging level from troubleshoot log. ************************ 2005.05.10 13:19:30 <<<< Logging Started (level is LTF_TRACE) >>>> 2005.05.10 13:19:30 Microsoft Exchange Server: Synch operation started (flags = 00000001) 2005.05.10 13:19:30 Micr...

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Hey everyone, I have a laptop that running Outlook 2007 that is configured to use Outlook anywhere. The users mailbox downloads and they are able to send/receive outside of our office, however when the user attempts to add a calendar appointment they get the follow error: "The connection to microsoft exchange is unavailable". Any ideas? The microsoft exchange connection status window shows I'm connected via HTTPS so I have no idea whats wrong :/ On Dec 10, 10:18=A0am, wildgoosed <david.wildgo...@gmail.com> wrote: > Hey everyone, > > I have a l...

connect text box toolbar is grayed out.
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Hello, I have downloaded and installed updated CRM client for Outlook 2007, but after starting Outlook, I get the message box saying: An error occurred loading Microsoft CRM functionality. Try restarting Microsoft Outlook. Contact your system administrator if errors persist. In event log I find these errors: There was a problem connecting or authenticating to the Microsoft CRM server. Close down Microsoft Outlook and restart. HR=0x80070002. Context=. Function=CAddin::HrStartLogonScreen. Line=1427. There was a problem connecting or authenticating to the Microsoft CRM server. Close do...

Connecting/downloading hotmail addresses to Outlook
How do i connect/download my hotmail addresses to Outlook so that I can send photos from Outlook to my Hotmail addresses. I have already used Outlook Connector; I have the "send" icon, but cannot send because it shows no addresses listed in my Outlook. I have Outlook 2003. thanks This might help: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/883771 Regards, saymon Nicky wrote: > > How do i connect/download my hotmail addresses to Outlook so that I can send > photos from Outlook to my Hotmail addresses. I have already used Outlook > Connector; I have the &quo...