FAQ - Databases (SQL Hosting)

NOTE: SQL Hosting clients will be responsible for all code necessary to utilize their SQL databases.

General ODBC Information

The standard method for adding database functionality to your Web site is through an ODBC connection, which is a standard programming interface allowing database access for all Web-based programming.

To connect with an ODBC file, you will need to request support to setup a Data Source Name, or DSN, which you use to make the connection.

For access users, see FAQ's on access databases.

What is a Data source and how do I create one?
A Datasource can be thought of as a pointer (file location) to a database.  When developing Active Server Pages (ASP) that access databases you need to reference a Datasource (DSN) so the ASP can find the database. You can also reference the physical directory instead.

To create a datasource, create a file in your site with a .dsn extension.  The filename is the name of your datasource.  For example, if you name your datasource DOMAIN_TEST.DSN the name of your datasource is DOMAIN_TEST. The contents for your file should contain the following:

DRIVER=Microsoft® Access Driver (*.mdb)
FIL=MS Access

You can copy and paste the above information in the actual DSN you are creating.  The parameters can be changed but aren't supported by 1st NT , therefore will make no difference.  Once you have created your datasource, you now need to create the connection string to be used in your Active Server Pages (read below).

What should my connection string be in my GLOBAL.ASA?
The connection string you should use in your GLOBAL.ASA should be in one of the following format.   Be aware, you will need to change the paths, filenames and even your connection string variable to match your particular application. Ask support to create the ODBC connection DSN for you.

1. ConnectionString = "DSN= domainDSN" 
2. ConnectionString = "DSN=c:\Inetpub\domain\file.dsn;DBQ=c:\Inetpub\domain\db\database.m db"

For example: If your file.dsn was located in the "c:\inetpub\domain\web" directory, and your database name was database.mdb, and we setup the DSN called domainDSN the connection string would be:

1. ConnectionString = "DSN= domainDSN"
2.ConnectionString = "filedsn=c:\inetpub\domain\web\domain.dsn;DBQ=e:\inetpub\domain\web \database.mdb"

The following line will display the location of file.dsn in the root directory of your web, if you don't know it already.  Change the filename to a file in your site so it can return the correct information.

Response.Write (Server.MapPath("/file.dsn"))

The preferred method is #1 as the DSN is global and independent of physical location. Notify support if you need a DSN setup.

How many Datasources am I allowed to have on my site?
A maximum of one DSN per domain is included depending on the package. Additional DSN's are available for a $25 setup fee.

How are the SQL services sold?
Services are sold in the form of SQL databases residing in a dedicate device. The size of the databases depends on the plan. The total space of the plan can be distributed between the site and the database/log. 

Can I increase the size of my database/device? How about decrease?
You can increase the size of your database by support request and setup.You cannot decrease the size of your database.

How many databases can I have? Is there a setup fee?
Each plan is accompanied by a non-refundable setup fee for the first purchase. Once you are enrolled in a plan, there is only a setup fee when requiring additional features (DSN, databases).

How many SQL logins do I get? Can I get more?
With each database, you are allocated 1-2 logins. Additional logins can be purchased. Logins are allocated to the database as either public or administrative.

Why can't I choose the name of my devices, logins or databases?
Security is priority #1. Our SQL servers are shared among multiple users and accessible over the internet. The DSN, login and database naming scheme has been designed to preserve the customer's anonymity as an additional layer of security.

What do I get with each plan by default?
Regardless of the plan, you get the following standard features:

  • The first login for each database is dbo-aliased (database owner). Additional logins can be public at no extra charge.
  • Every database is accompanied by a separate transaction log residing in a separate dedicated device. We recommend 25% be used for the log.
  • DSN is created for the client site residing on a different server.

Who is responsible for database administration such as permissions?
You are. Each database has a login which is dbo-aliased. By using SQL Enterprise Manager or Transact-SQL and this login, you have full control of your database(s), including the creation of groups, permission allocation, object creation etc. Any option changes not available to the dbo must be submitted to tech support.

What about transaction logs and backups?
In order to accommodate robust SQL applications, transaction logs are never kept in the same device as your database. Instead a separate device is created, dedicated to the transaction logs. By default, the transaction log size is 1/4 of the database size. Every database and transaction log is being backed up on a weekly basis on the SQL 7  maintenance plan. There's no additional charge for the transaction log disk space or the daily backups. There is, however, a restore fee associated with every SQL restore request.

Do I need to purchase SQL Client Access Licenses?
No. Your databases can only be accessed via TCP/IP sockets over the internet. We are already fully licensed for SQL access over the internet.

How can I access my SQL server?
Our SQL servers are designed and licensed for access over the Internet using TCP/IP sockets. Each server has both a host name and an IP address. You can use either to address the server. A DSN is also provided for programming access purposes.

What do I need to do on my client side (ODBC and ODBC-less)?
You must define SQL Server advanced network entries with the Client Network Configuration Utility, which is necessary to exist on your client in order to enable TCP/IP sockets access via the internet. Please consult the following Microsoft document for more details:
Using the SQL Server Client Network Utility:

What programs/utilities can I use to access my SQL server?
You can use SQL utilities such as:

  • SQL Enterprise Manager
  • ISQL_w
  • MS Query

Additionally, you can access our SQL servers via any application that supports native SQL or ODBC connectivity using TCP/IP over the Internet. Some examples are:

  • Borland Database Engine (Borland Delphi, C++ Builder, JBuilder etc.)
  • Microsoft Visual Studio (Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual Interdev etc.)
  • Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASP)
  • Allaire Cold Fusion

Please note that your client computer must be properly configured for SQL access using the TCP/IP sockets net library. Look at the previous answer for more information.

What version of SQL are you using?
All servers are running MS SQL 7.0 with SP1.

What Net Library do I use in my SQL Client Configuration Utility? What kind of security mode?
TCP/IP Sockets, Standard Security.

What Character Set does the SQL server use?
ISO 8859-1

What Sort Order does the SQL server use?
Dictionary Order, Case Insensitive.

Can I use the transfer utility to transfer data to my SQL server?
Yes. You can use the transfer under the following scenario only: You must make your source database temporarily available over the internet so you can perform a pull transfer from your source server to the destination SQL server. Push transfer from your server to the SQL destination server is not supported for security purposes.

What can I do if I have a large database that I cannot transfer?
After we allocate a database name for you, you may put your entire database on a CD and send it to us so we can manually mount it on the SQL server. Support charges apply depending on situation. We can also transfer SQL 6.5 databases to SQL 7.0.

Do you support SQL replication?
Yes. Our SQL servers can act as "Subscription Servers" but not as "Publishing Servers" or "Distribution Servers". Additionally, if your publishing server is MS SQL 7.0 or above you can also publish to an ODBC DSN pointing to our SQL servers.

How do you assure server performance?
In addition to using high-end, high-availability servers, we monitor to ensure 100% sufficient resources and bandwidth. Our SQL servers are designed and optimized to host mission-critical SQL applications. No web sites are on the server.



To Order Call 1-250-276-4349 or use our Sales Inquiry Form.
© Secure Information Systems Ltd. All Rights Reserved.