Alteryx Designer Desktop Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer Desktop experts.

How to format common ODBC DSN-less connection strings


Many people need to make ODBC connections to external data, but they may be unsure of how to format their connection strings, particularly with DSN-less connections. Here is a reference guide with examples of common DSN-less ODBC connection string formats. Here is a reference guide with examples of common DSN-less ODBC connection string formats. For connection strings not covered below, information can be found through the database or driver documentation or through online resources such as


DSN-less connection strings help make workflows easier to export to other computers, as the importing computer does not need a matching DSN configured in the ODBC Data Source Administrator.




  • Alteryx Designer
    • All versions
  • Alteryx Server
    • All versions
  • ODBC driver for external data sources such as SQL Server, Oracle, Cloudera, or Hadoop




DSN-less connection strings typically include:

  1. The driver name
  2. Hostname/IP address with the port number
  3. Database name
  4. Depending on the authentication type: User ID and Password.

Note: DRIVER and DSN should always be capitalized. Alteryx looks for the driver's name and then hands the rest over to the driver. Other parameters should match what the driver expects so it can parse the parameters correctly. 

Standard ODBC DSN Connection string format




DSN-less example


odbc:DRIVER={SQL Server Native Client 11.0};UID={Username};PWD={Password};DATABASE={Database_name};SERVER={Database_Host}


DSN-less trusted connection, the id and password are taken from the driver configuration


odbc:DRIVER={SQL Server Native Client 11.0};DATABASE={Database_name};SERVER={Database_Host};Trusted_Connection=yes


ODBC Connection string formats for Hadoop and Cloudera platforms


There are separate Hadoop and Cloudera platforms and one where both are combined into one. These platforms use the same ODBC driver types: Hive (data warehousing), Impala (massively parallel processing), and Spark (performance-based processing).


For DSN connections there is only parameter: DSN=[DataSourceName] (that's it).


In DSN-less connections for Cloudera and Hadoop, the driver, host, and port are all included in the connection string along with the authentication mechanism.


The authentication mechanisms for these driver types are the same (AuthMech in the connection string).

0 = No Authentication

1 = Kerberos

2 = User Name - the UID may be omitted with anonymous login enabled

3 = User Name And Password


No Authentication


DRIVER=Simba Hive|Impala|Spark ODBC Driver;Host=[Server];Port=[PortNumber];AuthMech=0;




DRIVER=Simba Hive|Impala|Spark ODBC Driver;Host=[Server];Port=[PortNumber];AuthMech=1;KrbRealm=[Realm];KrbHostFQDN=[DomainName];KrbServiceName=[ServiceName];


User Name


DRIVER=Simba Hive|Impala|Spark ODBC Driver;Host=[Server];Port=[PortNumber];AuthMech=2;UID=[YourUserName];


User Name and Password


DRIVER=Simba Hive|Impala|Spark ODBC Driver;Host=[Server];Port=[PortNumber];AuthMech=3;UID=[YourUserName];PWD=[YourPassword];


Optional parameters that may need to be added to a connection string if configured are ServerType, SSL, and ThriftTransport.


ODBC Connection string formats for Oracle platforms


Simba (validated driver) 
Driver=Simba Oracle ODBC Driver;Host=[Server];Port=[PortNumber];SVC=[DBService];UID=[YourUserName];PWD=[YourPassword];

Oracle driver
odbc:DRIVER={Oracle in OraDB12Home1};Dbq=TNSaliasName;UID=username;PWD=password


OCI Connection string formats for Oracle platforms (aka EZCONNECT - No TNSnames.ora file required)




Method of using the TNS Entry Syntax as a DSN-less connection string


oci:username/password@(DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS_LIST=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=TCP)(HOST=hostname)(PORT = 1521)))(CONNECT_DATA=(SERVICE_NAME=service_name)))


Same TNS Entry Format for Oracle using SSL/TLS

(This is a good workaround if needing to use the TCPS protocol as a DSN-less connection string)


Common Issues


Spoiler (Highlight to read)

If all the correct values for a connection string are not known, errors with the connection occur. In Designer, check the Results window and Engine log for details. For scheduled workflows, the Service log may be helpful, as well as the Gallery log if the workflow is running from the Gallery. A local system administrator may be needed to verify correct the parameters for the connection string.

Here are the default locations for Alteryx logs, check your System Settings if the logs are not found.

%ProgramData%\Alteryx\Engine logs



If all the correct values for a connection string are not known, errors with the connection occur. In Designer, check the Results window and Engine log for details. For scheduled workflows, the Service log may be helpful, as well as the Gallery log if the workflow is running from the Gallery. A local system administrator may be needed to verify correct the parameters for the connection string.

Additional Resources

5 - Atom

Do we have DSN-less example for connecting to Oracle database?


Hi @sduraisamy


My apologies for the delay in replying. I recently learned that I have to subscribe to an article after posting it to see when someone responds.


Here is a DNS-less Oracle connection string example from


Omiting tnsnames.ora


This is another type of Oracle connection string that doesn't rely on you to have a DSN for the connection. You create a connection string based on the format used in the tnsnames.ora file without the need to actually have one of these files on the client pc.



8 - Asteroid

@EricWe, Thanks a lot and this is really helpful. Would like to know if we have DSN less connection string for Redshift as well?


Hi @francis_oy


Yes, there is a DNS-less option when connecting to Redshift. Here is an example of the syntax to use.


odbc:Driver={Amazon Redshift (x64)}; UID=database_id;PWD=database_password;; Database=example_database;Port=5439;

5 - Atom



I'm hoping you can help me with an AS/400 iSeries DSN-less connection. The driver we use is iSeries Access ODBS and I'm trying to set up a DSN-less connection. I've looked at the following website for the connection string:; however, I'm not able to get it to work in Alteryx Designer.


What am I doing wrong? Here's the connection string I'm using:


ODBC:Driver={iSeries Access ODBC Driver};System=Test;Uid=Test;Pwd=__EncPwd1__;


I've tried putting in our password instead of EncPwd1 and it doesn't work either.


Thank you for any help you can provide!


Hi @Jberus


Try this format with the database address and port included in connection string. It is from



5 - Atom

Hi .@EricWe,


Thank you for replying! This doesn't work either; however, I've since learned that our organization has been able to set up AS/400 on the Alteryx Gallery, so we're looking into how they were able to get it to work. It wasn't working on the Gallery, which is why I was trying to go DSN-less.

6 - Meteoroid

Thanks for this information, I was able to follow and create DSN less connections for various databases. 

We have an AWS RDS Postgresql and I am trying to construct DSN less ODBC string to perform Bulk Load and I am not able to make it work. Can anyone help me with this?


Below is the string that I am using:


pgbl:Driver={Simba PostgreSQL ODBC Driver};Server=<server>;Port=5432;Database=<database>;UID=<user>;PWD=<Password>;SSLMode=prefer;




Hi @ananthtony , 


Are you using the validated 1.4.45 version of the Simba PostgreSQL driver? It is available from on the Driver tab.

This article in our help documentation may be useful: PostgreSQL Bulk. It includes a link to PostgreSQL's driver configuration requirements. 


There are example PostgreSQL connection strings available here. If issues persist, please contact our Support Team and send an e-mail to

6 - Meteoroid

Hi @EricWe 


Thanks for your reply and it is very useful. I was able to resolve the issue using the below connection string. 


pgbl:Driver={Simba PostgreSQL ODBC Driver};Server=<server>;Port=5432;Database=<database>;UID=<user>;PWD=<Password>;SSLMode=prefer;Database=<database>;



6 - Meteoroid

Hi @EricWe ,


Anychance you can give me a hand with an Athena connection. I am having a heck of at time getting the ODBC connection setup for this. I have searched all over and cant find an example of the DSN or DSN-less string anywhere


Thank you for this great post


Hi @eddiestuder


What error is occurring? Be sure to use the Simba driver from In the driver configuration, the logging option called log trace may be helpful. Also, Wireshark traces are good for debugging connections.



6 - Meteoroid

Hello @EricWe ,


We had a session with the client and it looks like the issue is how they are trying to authenticate with the connection. I will post an update here if and when we find a solution


Thank you for your reply though just the same

5 - Atom

I am trying to connect my Oracle DB through ODBC using DSN-less connection. However, I am getting this error on canvas = "Error Data source name not found and no default driver specified" while trying to input the tablename or query space. I have used the below: 




Request your help on this. While running the flow on gallery, I get the error as "No table chosen; Please select a Table from data source." as I am unable to choose any table or query in the tool because of the above canvas error.

5 - Atom

Do We have DSN-less connection string for Postgre SQL with certificate and Key ? 


Hi @ManasaPrabhu


Please contact Our Support team can help with researching for the root cause and finding a resolution. 


Hi @TestUser


The SSL examples for PostgreSQL on may be helpful. 

7 - Meteor



I am trying to set up a Dremio DSN-Less connection string. 


In my DSN set up, I have use Encryption unchecked. 


What is the parameter for that in generic DSN-less connection string? Is it Encrypted=0?  


I tried that, it still failed. 




Hi @zzy98y,


I checked on and in Dremio's documentation, but couldn't find a dns-less example. Dremio is not currently on our supported data source list.


This guide from Dremio seems to be the only thing available. Dremio client for Designer.


Here are our guides for generic odbc use: ODBC connections and Unsupported data sources. 



Also, there is an Ideas board, if you'd like to ask for Dremio to be added as a supported source.

17 - Castor
17 - Castor

@zzy98y perhaps try UseEncryption=0 based on the Dremio document that @EricWe pointed to.




7 - Meteor

It worked, Thank you so much for your help!!!