Looking to connect to MySQL DB from ArcCatalog.

As of now I have ArcCatalog 10.5 running on machine 1. I have a MySQL 8 instance running on machine 2 (server).

I am able to connect to machine 2 from machine 1 via HeidiSQL. I can modify tables, edit users, etc.

I have installed the MySQL OCDB Drivers, done the Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers in Arc Catalog on machine 1. However, I am unable to connect to the MySQL instance in any fashion.
I am greeted with this error: Test connection failed because of an error in initializing provider. [Microsoft][ODBC Driver Manager] Invalid connection string attribute.

This error leads me to believe that I might have typed something wrong. However, I'd like to not use the connection string at all; ideally, it would show me the MySQL instance in the Data Source Name drop down box.

When I load ArcCatalog on machine 2 I see my DBs in the drop down box.

  • 2
    This more a MySQL/ODBC issue than a GIS one. ArcGIS isn't going to see a MySQL instance the way it would a PostgreSQL server (with geometry support, et. al.)
    – Vince
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 15:19
  • Could you elaborate a bit more? I was led to believe that MySQL is fully capable of handling spatial data.
    – Kyle
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 15:26
  • 1
    ArcGIS does not support spatial data in MySQL. The ODBC support is only for ODBC types (integer/short/float/double/datetime/varchar/BLOB)
    – Vince
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 16:26
  • 2
    It's not that MySQL doesn't handle spatial data, just that Esri evaluated the handling (and SQL implementation) and found it lacking for geodatabase implementation (versioned queries stress the bounds of ANSI SQL implementation, and in fact doomed Sybase support at 8.x). The open source RDBMS supported by Esri is PostgreSQL. While you need a Server license for enterprise geodatabase support in PG, simple tables are accessible in PG via both read and (limited) write without the EGDB.
    – Vince
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 18:17
  • 1
    PostgreSQL is the database. PostGIS is one of two supported geometry type implementations (SDE.ST_GEOMETRY being the other, except in an RDS, where only PostGIS would be available). SAP HANA support exists; I've not used it.
    – Vince
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 18:31

1 Answer 1


I solved my problem by installing the OCDB Drivers on machine 1. After installing the drivers I was able to setup/connect to my DB via ArcCatalog and the OLE DB function.

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