"External Component..." or "currently in use or invalid" error with ModelBuilder, SCADAConnect or Inroads Import

Product(s): WaterGEMS, WaterCAD, HAMMER, SewerGEMS, SewerCAD, StormCAD, CivilStorm
Version(s): V8i, CONNECT Edition
Area: Other


When working with a spreadsheet or Access Database file in ModelBuilder or SCADAConnect, one of the following errors appears:

"External Component has thrown an exception"

“The data source is unavailable or invalid”

This may also occur when trying to import or export Inroads SDB: "Inroads Drainage file is currently in use or is invalid"


This error has been known to occur if there are problems with the version(s) of the Microsoft Access Database Engine (ADE) component installed on your computer. This is a separate component installed in Windows, which is relied upon to work with spreadsheets and Access database files.

For version 10.02.00.XX and greater, the installer will attempt to first install the 2010 64-bit version of ADE, then the 2010 32-bit version. This is the proper order of installation and enables you to connect to Access and Excel data sources in both the 32-bit and 64-bit version of the OpenFlows product. However, the installer may not be able to install these components in the right order if you already have one or more version installed (for example as part of Microsoft Office). Additionally, older versions only installed the 32-bit Access Database Engine.

Quick Fix

If you're using the 64-bit version of the product (check under File > Help > About) a quick solution is to try using the 32-bit version. The 32-bit version uses the 32-bit version of the Microsoft Access Database Engine and once your data is imported, you can save the model, then reopen the 64-bit version. This should be a valid solution as long as the import process does not require extended memory usage (which the 64-bit version can utilize). See more about that here and here.

Long Term Fix (recommended)

If you need to continually access the external data source, such as with SCADA signals, you can resolve the issue by checking your Access Database Engine versions, and reinstalling them in a more compatible order:

First, navigate to the Windows "Programs and Features" section of Control Panel and search for "database engine" and uninstall any versions of the Access Database Engine. You may see more than one version installed, because there is a 32-bit version required for 32-bit applications and a 64-bit version for 64-bit applications.

There are multiple different versions of the Access Database Engine: 2007, 2010 and 2016, available in both 32-bit and 64-bit. See this article for more information regarding challenges with the order of installation of this Windows component.

It has been found that the best combination of Access Database Engine versions is 2010 64-bit followed by 2007/2010 32-bit. This has been seen to work best for both versions of Microsoft Office (32-bit and 64-bit), both versions of the OpenFlows product (32-bit and 64-bit) and with the most areas of the OpenFlows programs that rely upon this component (ModelBuilder, SCADAConnect, Inroads import/export, etc).

1) Download both the 32-bit and 64-bit Access Database Engine. It is recommended that you use the 2010 version for 64-bit and the 2007 version for 32-bit.

2) Navigate to Control Panel > Programs and Features, search for "Access" and uninstall the current Access Database Engine version(s) (which may show as "2007", "2010" or "2016")

3) Install the 2010 64-bit Access Database Engine version - you should not encounter an error, since the 32-bit version is no longer present. 

4) Install the 2007 32-bit Access Database Engine version.

If you encounter an error stating that you cannot install it because 64-bit components are installed, you may have tried a combination that does not work. Again, the recommended combination is 2010 Access Database Engine 64-bit followed by 2007/2010 Access Database Engine 32-bit. As mentioned further above, this is the order that the OpenFlows product installers attempt to use for version 10.02.00.XX and greater, but if you already had versions of ADE installed beforehand, the installer may not be able to do this, as it will not attempt to uninstall ADE.

See Also

What version of Office am I using?

Download Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 64-bit

Download Microsoft Access Database Engine 2007 32-bit

ModelBuilder/SCADAConnect error: Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 64-bit is required to access this data source