A blog about designing and developing Business Intelligence solutions using Microsoft SQL Server
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Recently I was working on a little side project, where I needed to allow users to connect to a variety of data sources using several connection types – SQL Server, OLE DB and ODBC. Unless I wanted users to manually type in the OLE DB provider (errr… I had no intention of even doing this myself…) then I needed to populate a list of installed OLE DB providers on the current machine.

Having had very little experience in .NET programming I searched around a bit and found a few less the elegant solutions, but was surprised just how simple it was to do in the end. In fact there’s a class to do it… OleDbEnumerator

There’s a couple of methods of interest in the class – GetElements() which returns a data table containing information about the installed OLE DB providers, and GetRootEnumerator() which returns a data reader with information about the installed OLE DB providers.

In a windows forms application, populating a data grid view is as simple as one line:

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' Set the data source of the data grid view to the
' data table returned by GetElements()
DataGridView1.DataSource = New OleDbEnumerator().GetElements()

The resulting data grid view is shown below.

OLE DB Provider List