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Link Master: A Free Open Source Add-In that Connects SQL Server to Access


Easily Create DSN-Less and ADO Connections to SQL Server From Microsoft Access

Link Master allows you to quickly create DSN-Less AND ADO connections. It provides a simple to use interface and tools that allow you to view and select the desired SQL Server tables and Pass-Through Queries you wish to link to. It also provides built in functions that automatically deliver your ADO connection strings.

Link Master is a tool that I’ve created and found very useful myself… so I’ve decided to provide it as a free and Open Source project available for download.

For those of you familiar with the previous version, this new version goes well beyond an update in how connections are created and stored. After getting feedback for the initial release of the Link Master I went back to the drawing board and completely ditched the .udl file method. The previous version of the Link Master was never recommended for use "As Is" with SQL Authentication because of the use of .udl files which store credentials in plain text. As a result I had only tested the Link Master in Windows Authenticated environments… though I had coded it for SQL Authentication. It turns out extracting passwords from .udl files was too problematic… and really, because of the plain text nature I decided to ditch that method.

This version of the Link Master is really such a big change from the first that it has bumped a full version so this is now Link Master 2.0. It provides a bug fix with the module deployment earlier mentioned, and further stores SQL Authentication credentials should the user choose to do so.

PLEASE NOTE: There are two versions of the Link Master. If you are using SQL Authentication it is VERY IMPORTANT that you understand the differences between them. They are defined as follows:

Download Link Master Open Source_

Open Source Version: The Open Source Version of the Link Master does not include Six Hat’s Encryption Method as found in the Encrypted Version. If I were to make my encryption method publicly available it would be pointless to encrypt it to begin with (Don’t want to make it too easy for the hackers!).

What this means is that with the Open Source Version your SQL Authentication credentials are stored in plain text. It is an open source project so the source code is left open so that you may implement your own encryption methods should you choose to do so.

_Download Link Master Encrypted

The Encrypted Version is exactly the same as the Open Source Version with two exceptions:

  1. The file itself is encrypted so you will not be able to see the source code and:
  2. SQL Authentication credentials are further encrypted so that they are not in plain text

Which Ever Version You Choose:

It is generally not recommended to store credentials in databases to begin with… but as there is no current method of passing hashed values to SQL Server from Microsoft Access… you should at the very least encrypt your credentials.

Anthony is quite brilliant at what he does and is extremely diligent. His communication is fantastic and is willing to go above and beyond. He is reliable and efficient and is willing to do what it takes for you to love your project. With him working on it, that's easy to do. Highly recommend him.
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