I receive “access denied, the user does not have permissions to run a query” errors when trying to use the driver.

To be able to query projects in Google BigQuery, the user must have at least Reader status on the project.

To view and update permissions that are members of your project, go to https://console.developers.google.com/, select your project from the drop-down near the top, select “Permissions” in the navigation panel on the left-hand side, and make sure the user you are calling with is at least a “Reader” on the project.

What SQL does the driver support?

By default, the driver will use BigQuery Standards SQL. You can also configure the driver to use Legacy SQL.

How are arrays handled in the driver

The driver returns arrays as raw JSON chunks

Does the driver support write-back?

Yes, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE are supported.

What are the differences between the Simba and Google version of the BigQuery drivers?

Simba has a relationship with Google that allows them to redistribute the driver to BigQuery users. If you are looking to use the driver internally we recommend acquiring a copy of the driver from them. If you are looking to commercialize or redistribute the driver please contact solutions@simba.com

Do I need a License File?

The Google BigQuery Driver downloaded from the Simba website will include an email providing a .lic file which will need to be installed use the driver. Full instructions on how to do this are provided in the email. If you downloaded the driver from the Simba website and did not receive an email, please check your email spam folder as strict filters can occasionally classify this as junk.

Currently, the version of the driver downloaded from the Google BigQuery website does not require installation of .lic file

General FAQ for all drivers


Where is my license file?

It is sent in a separate email when you download the driver. Please check your junk folder as strict filters may incorrectly mark the license email as spam

How do I install my license file?

License location is product and platform specific, but generally, the license file should be placed in the same folder where the driver files (.dll, .so, .dylib or .jar) are located. Detailed instructions on how to install the license are provided in the email with which you received the license file and in the User Guides.

I get the following error when I attempt to connect, how do I fix it?

The license file “<…snip…>” could not be found. Please contact your administrator or Simba Technologies Inc. at sales@simba.com.

The customer should find their license file in their email and place it in the location indicated in the error message.

I get an error when trying to copy the license file from Outlook to my Program Files directory.

This is due to Windows permissions, you must first copy it to your desktop and then into your Program Files directory.

Can I use a license file for one platform on another platform?

No, licenses are specific to platform, but not bitness.

Can I use a license file for one bitness with the other bitness?

Yes, licenses are specific to platform, but not bitness.

Do I need to have a copy of the license file with both the 32 and 64-bit driver, or just one?

Yes, the license file needs to be present for each driver and bitness you use.

General ODBC

I cannot see the DSN I’ve created in my application

This is usually due to a mismatch in bitness between the application and driver. The driver bitness (32 or 64-bit) must match the application bitness. Please see the Bitness section for more information.

I cannot see the driver I've installed in the ODBC Administrator.

This is usually because the wrong bitness of ODBC Administrator is being used, please see https://cdn.simba.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/HOW-TO-32-bit-vs-64-bit-ODBC-Data-Source-Administrator.pdf for how to access the correct one.

ERROR: Data source name not found and no default driver specified

If you can see your DSN in the ODBC Administrator, but your application reports this error, then most likely you created a User DSN and the application or the data access process runs under a different user account. If this is the case, then the application/process will not be able to detect the User DSN. Using a System DSN may resolve this issue since they are accessible by all processes running on the local machine. If the error persists with the System DSN, it is possible that the application or process trying to load the driver has a different bitness than the driver. See the previous answer to correct this problem.

I get the following error when I try and connect: “The specified DSN contains an architecture mismatch between the Driver and Application.”

This is due to a mismatch in bitness between the application and driver. The driver bitness (32 or 64-bit) must match the application bitness. Please see the Bitness section for more information.

Where is the driver installed?

The ODBC driver must be installed on the same machine that the application is running on. If using a desktop application like Excel, then it must be installed on the desktop. If using a server application like Tableau Server, it must be installed on the server machine.

What format do dates use?


How do I enable logging in the driver?

On Windows, open ODBC Administrator, go to the System DSN tab, select your DSN and hit Configure. Then Click the Logging Options button, add your logging settings and click OK and OK to save the settings. Restart the application you are using the driver with for changes to take effect.

In OSX or Linux platforms, you must modify the simba.<driverName>odbc.ini file. For example, for Salesforce, this is simba.salesforceodbc.ini. The default location for this file is INSTALL_DIR/lib/<bitness>. Add the following under [Driver]. 6 is the highest log level(Trace). Restart the application you are using the driver with for changes to take effect.



For a step by step guide visit How do I enable logging in an ODBC driver?

Or for more information, see the install guide for your driver.

How do I enable logging in the driver manager?

For Windows: Open ODBC Administrator, go to the Tracing tab then provide a Log File Path, including file name. Click Start Tracing Now, then open your application. Click Stop Tracing now to finish.

OSX and Linux:

iODBC – in your odbc.ini file add the following:






unixODBC – in your odbcinst.ini file add the following:



See this blog post for more information.

What format do times use?


What format do timestamps use?

YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss[.fffffffff]

I get the following error: (Simba)(ODBC)(11560) Unable to locate SQLGetPrivateProfileString function

This is due to not setting the ODBCInstLib in the .simba.<driverName>odbc.ini correctly. Please refer to the .ini file and uncomment the correct ODBCInstLib line as indicated by the comments to match the driver manager that you are using.

How can I test connectivity on non-Windows platforms?

When using iODBC as the driver manager you can use the iodbctest application provided as part of iODBC.

When using unixODBC as the driver manager you can use the isql application provided as part of unixODBC.

Are parameters supported?

Yes, parameters are supported for all drivers. Note that the syntax for parameters follows ODBC, and you use the ? as a parameter marker. For example: “SELECT * FROM T1 WHERE C1 = ?”

Bitness Specific

Do I need to use a 64-bit driver on a 64-bit OS?

No, virtually every 64-bit OS can run 32-bit programs. Instead, you should match the bitness of the driver to the bitness of the application you wish to use the driver with.

How can I tell the bitness of my application (in general)?

On Windows 64-bit, open the Task Manager and go to the Processes tab. Locate the name of the application that is running, and if it has a “*32″ beside the name then it is a 32-bit application.

How can I tell the bitness of Excel?

Excel 2007 and earlier are all 32-bit.

Excel 2010: Click the File tab and then click Help in the left navigation pane. The bitness will show up at the end of the version number.

Excel 2013: Click the File tab and then click Account in the left navigation pane, then click the About Excel button. The bitness will show up at the end of the version number.

How can I tell the bitness of PowerBI

Expand the main PowerBI ribbon and open the Help section. Clicking on the About item will open a Dialog containing version information including bitness.

How can I tell the bitness of QlikSense

QlikSense normally installs as a 64-bit application when downloaded from the website, however, its bitness isn’t really relevant, as QlikSense will allow you to connect to either 32 or 64-bit DSNs.

How can I tell the bitness of Tableau?

Tablea 8.0 and earlier are all 32-bit.

Tableau 8.1 and later: Click the Help menu item, then click About Tableau. The bitness will show in the top right hand corner of the dialog.

Tableau Specific

“SimbaDriverODBC.pkg can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software” error

No, Tableau does not currently support generic ODBC connections on Mac. Please see: http://kb.tableau.com/articles/issue/generic-odbc-data-connection-unavailable-on-the-mac.

Mac Specific

Will my generic ODBC driver work with Tableau on a Mac?

Before opening downloaded software for the first time, macOS requests your approval to make sure you aren’t misled into running software you did not expect. This is because macOS includes a technology called Gatekeeper. We have seen this come up for users who updated to the Catalina version. If you download and install apps from the internet or directly from a developer, macOS continues to protect your Mac. This is a great benefit for the end-user. Keeping this in mind, when it comes to installing Simba ODBC Drivers, users can run into an error seen bellow: “SimbaDriverODBC.pkg can’t be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software”.

There is a way to install the Simba Driver, you will just need to modify settings to allow apps from identified developers.

Navigate to “Settings” and select “Security & Privacy”

In the “Security & Privacy” window navigate to the “General” Tab.

Select App Store and Identified developers bellow the heading “Allow apps downloaded from”


Note, if the editing is grayed out as in this photo, click on the lock icon at the bottom left corner of the “Security & Privacy” screen to allow editing.

Click the “Open Anyway” button beside the Simba[Driver]ODBC.pkg which was blocked from installing.

Note if you do not see the Open Anyway button, try running the .pkg one more time

You will now be prompted if you want to open the “Simba[Driver]ODBC.pkg”

Click “Open” and the installer will start and you will be able to move through the steps of installing the Simba ODBC driver.


Note: we are aware that some of our drivers from the website have been signed with a certificate that has expired. We are working on resolving this issue and updating our website drivers. If you encounter an error “The package was signed with a certificate that has expired…” Clicking continue will allow you to install the software.


How do I configure my ODBC driver on Mac OS

This blog has step by step instructions for Salesforce ODBC but the process is the same for any other data source.

Linked Server

Insert, Update, and Delete fail with an error saying the Linked Server doesn’t support the required transaction interfaces.

Linked Server does not use ODBC natively, it uses OLE DB and to talk to ODBC it uses the Microsoft OLE DB to ODBC bridge. This is where the problem arises. You can work around this by disabling transactions for DML queries with the provider. Delete the linked server connection to the data source, then open the Linked Server Providers and right click on the MDASQL one. Select the “Non-transacted updates” and then recreate the linked server and try again.

Why do I get an error about unsupported conversions?

Because Linked Server uses the OLE DB to ODBC bridge, conversions are dependant on the bridge. This bridge does not support conversions when character columns have more than 8000 characters, so limiting the size of columns to 8000 characters allows this to work. Some drivers have configurable character lengths, so setting this will fix the error. In other cases, simply omitting the column will also resolve the issue

Why does TOP not work when querying the Linked Server directly?

This is a known bug and has been resolved. If the driver you are using has this problem, contact Simba to obtain the latest version of the driver.

How do I set up a Linked Server?

Please refer to the Quickstart guide that comes with the driver for information on how to create a Linked Server, or contact Simba to obtain the latest information