The aim is to read data from a Microsoft SQL server in RStudio. I am on Windows. So I have:

  1. Installed RODBC package;
  2. Created ODBC DSN pointing to the SQL server I need to read data from.

I can successfully connect to the server and read data through the standart R on Windows (RGUI). I can define connection both with odbcConnect() or odbcDriverConnect() without any errors. For example:

> con <- odbcConnect("SQLB")
> as.list(odbcGetInfo(con))
[1] "Microsoft SQL Server"

[1] "09.00.5000"

[1] "03.52"

[1] "SQLB"

[1] "SQLSRV32.DLL"

[1] "06.03.9600"

[1] "03.80.0000"

[1] "SQLB\\SQLB"

If I do the same in RStudio it always fails with error messages:

> con <- odbcConnect("SQLB")
Warning messages:
1: In RODBC::odbcDriverConnect("DSN=SQLB") :
  [RODBC] ERROR: state 08001, code 17, message [Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][DBNETLIB]SQL Server does not exist or access denied.
2: In RODBC::odbcDriverConnect("DSN=SQLB") :
  [RODBC] ERROR: state 01000, code 67, message [Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][DBNETLIB]ConnectionOpen (Connect()).
3: In RODBC::odbcDriverConnect("DSN=SQLB") : ODBC connection failed

It takes on average 16.5 seconds to return the error message.

> require(microbenchmark)
> microbenchmark(odbcConnect("SQLB"), times = 10L)
Unit: seconds
                expr      min       lq     mean  median       uq      max neval
 odbcConnect("SQLB") 16.52802 16.52953 16.53059 16.5298 16.53141 16.53639    10
There were 30 warnings (use warnings() to see them)

I have tried other drivers but the situation is the same - they all work for R but they fail for RStudio. I can not understand why it works in R but it does not work in RStudio. Please ask if more details should be provided.


This solution was valid for one month. It started to fail both for R and RStudio. Probably there were some security policy changes I was not aware of.

The solution is pretty unusual. Previously my RStudio installation was in


I made a new installation of RStudio in


and the problem is gone. Keep in mind that I am still using the old settings of the RStudio as they are stored in


and I have not changed them.

So it seems that Windows 8 is implying different permissions on executable files depending the location they are stored in. I have full permissions on C:\Users\MLiberts\Documents but I do not have full permissions on C:\Softs however I can read and write there.

C:\Softs\RStudio>icacls bin
bin BUILTIN\Administrators:(I)(OI)(CI)(F)
    NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users:(I)(M)
    NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users:(I)(OI)(CI)(IO)(M)

C:\Users\MLiberts\Documents\RStudio-1.0.44>icacls bin

The solution is to install R and RStudio as administrator in C:\Program Files\.

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