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Open Database Connectivity

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(Redirected from ODBC)

Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) is a standard software API for connecting to database management systems (DBMS). This API is independent of any one programming language, database system or operating system. ODBC is based on the Call Level Interface (CLI) specifications from SQL, X/Open (now part of The Open Group), and the ISO/IEC. ODBC was created by the SQL Access Group and first released in September, 1992.

Contents

Description

ODBC is a native interface that is accessed through a language that can make calls into a native library. In case of the Windows platform, this library is a DLL. Microsoft Windows was the first to provide an ODBC product. Now versions exist for UNIX, OS/2, and Macintosh platforms as well.

In addition to the ODBC software, a separate module or driver is needed for each database to be accessed. The functions in the ODBC API are implemented by these DBMS-specific drivers. ODBC allows programs to use SQL requests that will access databases without having to know the proprietary interfaces to the databases. It handles the SQL request and converts it into a request the individual database system understands.

Most current DBMSs support ODBC which means that computer programs that rely on ODBC can connect to several different brands of DBMSs using the same basic code.

A JDBC-ODBC Bridge is a JDBC driver which employs the ODBC driver to connect to the database. This driver translates JDBC method calls into ODBC function calls. Such a bridge is usually used when there is no JDBC driver available for a particular database. Sun included one such bridge in the JVM, but this was intended as a stop-gap measure while JDBC Drivers were in short supply, was never meant for production use, and Sun generally recommends against its use. Independent data access vendors now deliver JDBC-ODBC Bridges which support current standards for both mechanisms, and far outperform the JVM built-in.

iODBC (http://www.iodbc.org/), or Independent Open DataBase Connectivity, is an open source, platform-independent implementation of both the ODBC and X/Open specifications, generally used on platforms other than Microsoft Windows. The iODBC project is distributed under the LGPL and/or BSD License, and is maintained and supported by OpenLink Software (http://uda.openlinksw.com/). Apple chose to bundle iODBC into Mac OS X and Darwin, starting with Darwin 6.0 and Mac OS X v10.2. iODBC has been ported to several other operating systems and hardware platforms, including Mac OS 9, Linux (x86, Itanium, Alpha, MIPS, and ARM), Solaris (SPARC & x86), AIX, HP-UX (PA-RISC & Itanium), Compaq Tru64, Digital UNIX, Dynix, Generic UNIX 5.4, FreeBSD, DG-UX, and OpenVMS.

UnixODBC is a Driver Manager implementation for non MS Windows platforms. This is to include XFree86 GUI support for both GNOME and KDE. UnixODBC is used by OpenOffice.org.

External links

Sources of ODBC Driver Managers

Sources of ODBC Drivers

  • OpenLink Software (http://uda.openlinksw.com/odbc/) ships ODBC Drivers for a number of target databases, including Bridges to other data access mechanisms (e.g., ODBC, JDBC) which often provide more ODBC functionality than the targeted data source (e.g., full cursor support).
  • Actual Technologies (http://www.actualtechnologies.com) makes ODBC drivers for Macintosh OS X. Most popular databases are supported, including Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle and MySQL.

ODBC Tools and Utilities

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