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ODBC Error - Unable to connect to the datasource undefined.

We have setup an ODBC datasource on the gateway server, connected a desktop model, imported data and published the model.  No problems.  We have setup the Gateway and the gateway and the data source in the gateway and both show as ONLINE.   I am still getting the message that it Unable to connect to the datasource undefined.  Both have the Authentication and Privacy Level as set below.  Can someone help me resolve this error as I have exhausted all means.




Community Support
Community Support

Hi , @Razorbx13 

According to my research on the error message "Cannot connect to undefined data source" that you are currently encountering, in addition to its purely literal error message, it may also be due to a merge query for two tables from different data sources (which may be due to some limitations or privacy level errors) or some parameter positions used in the conversion data in PQ are incorrect, you can check these two forums with similar problems with possible solutions:

'Unable to connect to data source undefined' - Microsoft Power BI Community

Solved: Unable to Connect to Data Source Undefined - Microsoft Power BI Community


If you are sure that you have not encountered the above possible error causes, you can expand your error details and paste the error in the case reply in text format.


Thank you for your time and sharing, and thank you for your support and understanding of PowerBI! 


Best Regards,

Aniya Zhang

If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly

Well I am testing with a small chart of accounts table.  No merges, no transformations whatsoever.  About 1,000 records.  Works fine on the desktop.  The Gateway datasource says Online.  Still getting this error.

Super User
Super User

Hi @Razorbx13 


For the authentication method you will need to put in a username and password to successfully log into your ODBC data source?

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Yeah, but there is no requirement for that on the desktop.  It basically is a direct connect in with no login required.  The one on the gateway server in which we installed the desktop just to check connections worked fine.  

Hi @Razorbx13 


All databases need a log in to authenticate. You probably have got single sign on, which is signing in for you in the background. I would suggest chatting to the database administrator to confirm how to connect from the Gateway server which sits outside of your domain.

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Well I still have a question.  I load the ODBC driver on my laptop.  Copy all the DBF files to my laptop for the server location, setup the 64 bit ODBC connection, open up PowerBI Desktop and I see all the tables.   Are you saying there is a userid and password embedded in one of those DBF files?  Or somewhere else I am missing?

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