Add or Edit a Database Source

A Database source allows you to retrieve and make searchable the content of a local database via the Coveo On-Premises Crawling Module.

For example, your company developer may have created a custom database to manage the parts used in your facilities, their location in your warehouse, and purchase orders. You could decide to index data regarding purchase orders only so that your buyers can find this content via your Coveo-powered search page.


The number of items that a source processes per hour (crawling speed) depends on various factors, such as network bandwidth and source configuration. See About Crawling Speed for information on what can impact crawling speed, as well as possible solutions.

Add or Edit a Database Source

Before you start, ensure that the Coveo On-Premises Crawling Module is installed on a server that has access to the database of which you want to retrieve the content. Both servers must use the same time zone to prevent indexing timing issues.


If the crawling module is running in a different time zone than the database, you must add a parameter by modifying the source JSON configuration from the Coveo Administration Console during the completion process.

Then, to add a source, in the Add a source of content panel, click the Crawling Module tab, and then click Database.

To edit a source, on the Sources (platform-eu | platform-au) page, click the desired source, and then click Edit in the Action bar.

"Configuration" Tab

In the Add/Edit a Database Source subpage, the Configuration tab is selected by default. It contains your source’s general and authentication information, as well as other parameters.

If you have not already installed the Coveo On-Premises Crawling Module on a server that has access to the database of which you want to retrieve the content, click Download Crawling Module to do so.

General Information

Source Name

Enter a name for your source.


A source name can’t be modified once it’s saved, therefore be sure to use a short and descriptive name, using letters, numbers, hyphens (-), and underscores (_). Avoid spaces and other special characters.

Connection String

Enter your database connection parameters. Since the connection string syntax differs from one database type to another, you might want to see The Connection Strings Reference for details.


Since connection strings aren’t encrypted, they should never contain credentials in plain text. Use the tokens @uid and @pwd in your connection string instead, and then enter your credentials in the Authentication section, where your password is hidden.


Hiding password and user ID using tokens: Data;Initial Catalog=MyDatabase;User Id=@uid;Password=@pwd

Item Type

Enter the table or view object names that you intend to index. You will later define them in the database configuration.

Driver Type

Select the software driver that provides access to your database.


To get a complete list of available drivers and therefore of supported database types, use the Crawling Module REST API GET call on /api/odbc/drivers (see Crawling Module REST API Reference and Getting the Available Drivers for an ODBC Source)

Paired Crawling Module

If your source is a Crawling Module source, and if you have more than one Crawling Module linked to this organization, select the one with which you want to pair your source. If you change the Crawling Module instance paired with your source, a successful rebuild is required for your change to apply.

Character Optical Recognition (OCR)

If you want Coveo to extract text from image files or PDF files containing images, check the appropriate box. OCR-extracted text is processed as item data, meaning that it’s fully searchable and will appear in the item Quick View. See Enable Optical Character Recognition for details on this feature.


Contact Coveo Sales to add this feature to your organization license.

"Authentication" Section

Enter the Username and Password of a dedicated user account that has access to the content you want to index. See Source Credentials Leading Practices. Then, select one of the following options from the drop-down list:

If you selected Active Directory on-premises, you must also fill the Active Directory username and Active Directory password fields that appear since this option won’t work with only the dedicated user credentials. If you selected Native, skip to “Content Security” Tab.

  • If you leave the Active Directory username and Active Directory password fields blank, your current Crawling Module credentials will be automatically used.

  • Active Directory on-premises doesn’t affect the authentication of the Database source.

Active Directory Username and Active Directory Password

Enter credentials to grant Coveo access to your Active Directory.

Expand Well-Known SIDs

Select this option if you want the users that are included in your Active Directory well-known security identifiers to be granted access to the indexed content. Expect an increase in the duration of the security identity provider refresh operation. Supported well-known SIDs are: Everyone, Authenticated Users, Domain Admins, Domain Users, and Anonymous Users.


If your entire content is secured with the Everyone or Authenticated users well-known, it’s more cost-effective resource-wise to index it with a source whose content is accessible to everyone than to expand the well-known with a source that indexes permissions.

Enable TLS

Select this option to use a TLS protocol to retrieve your security identities. If you do, we strongly recommend selecting StartTLS if you can. Since LDAPS is a much older protocol, you should only select this value if StartTLS is incompatible with your environment.

Email Attributes

By default, Coveo retrieves the email address associated to each security identity from the mail attribute. Optionally, you can specify additional or different attributes to check. Should an attribute contain more than one value, Coveo uses the first one.

"Database Configuration" Section

In the XML configuration box, enter a XML-formatted configuration consisting of queries against your database to retrieve and copy the data from record fields to Coveo fields. This configuration should contain only read queries, or else you could make unwanted changes to your database.

You can also run subqueries on every item to complete the information with more complex queries. See Further Configuration for other options you can implement.

"Content Security" Tab

Select who will be able to access the source items through a Coveo-powered search interface. For details on this parameter, see Content Security.

"Access" Tab

In the Access tab, set whether each group and API key can view or edit the source configuration (see Resource Access):

  1. If available, in the left pane, click Groups or API Keys to select the appropriate list.

  2. In the Access Level column for groups or API keys with access to source content, select View or Edit.


  1. Finish adding or editing your source:

    • When you want to save your source configuration changes without starting a build/rebuild, such as when you know you want to do other changes soon, click Add Source/Save.


      On the Sources (platform-eu | platform-au) page, you must click Launch build or Start required rebuild in the source Status column to add the source content or to make your changes effective, respectively.

    • When you’re done editing the source and want to make changes effective, click Add and Build Source/Save and Rebuild Source.

      Back on the Sources (platform-eu | platform-au) page, you can review the progress of your source addition or modification.

      Once the source is built or rebuilt, you can review its content in the Content Browser.

  2. Optionally, consider editing or adding mappings once your source is done building or rebuilding.

What’s Next?

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