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SSIS, BIDS and 64bit System DSNs: Who’s on first?

After an hour or so of changing settings, package configurations, protection levels, passwords, connection strings, etc - you might just still have yourself one of those dreaded red boxes (and a headache). And you thought inserting data using ODBC was easy...

You might even have yourself some logging that indicates an error like this:
[AS400 [19]] Error: ADO NET Destination has failed to acquire the connection {43E6AE37-24E8-46F6-8AB0-689DB6531167}. The connection may have been corrupted.

Assuming you are using a System DSN for your connection (this article is based on an ODBC DSN using the iSeries Access ODBC Driver to write to DB2, but it applies to any ODBC driver with 32bit and 64bit versions where a System DSN is used for the connection).

Before going on, you should understand and have checked the PackageProtectionLevel property in your package. To get any connection that requires a password to run in BIDS, you can't use DontSaveSensitive (unless you're using package configurations to enter the password or an explicit connection string). This is by far the most common reason connections fail to validate - but there's many resources out there already on that situation, so I won't go in to it.

Now that we know it SHOULD work - why doesn't it? In short, because you don't have a 64-bit version of the System DSN you selected. What sense does that make? Let me show you.

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