ODBC delivers open data access (by reference) to a broad range of enterprise databases via a 'C' based API. Thanks to the iODBC and unixODBC projects, ODBC is available across broad range of platforms beyond Windows.

ODBC identifies data sources using Data Source Names (DSNs).

WODBC (Web Open Database Connectivity) delivers open data access to Web Databases / Data Spaces. The Data Source Naming scheme: URI or IRI, is HTTP based thereby enabling data access by reference via the Web.

ODBC DSNs bind ODBC client applications to Tables, Views, Stored Procedures.

WODBC DSNs bind you to a Data Space (e.g. my FOAF based Profile Page where you can use the "Explore Data Tab" to look around if you are a human visitor) or a specific Entity within a Data Space (i.e Person Entity Me).

ODBC Drivers are built using APIs (DBMS Call Level Interfaces) provided by DBMS vendors. Thus, a DBMS vendor can chose not to release an API, or do so selectivity, for competitive advantage or market disruption purposes (it's happened!).

WODBC Drivers are also built using APIs (Web Services associated with a Web Data Space). These drivers are also referred to as RDF Middleware or RDFizers. The "Web" component of WODBC ensures openness, you publish Data with URIs from your Linked Data Server and that's it; your data space or specific data entities are live and accessible (by reference) over the Web!

So we have come full circle (or cycle), the Web is becoming more of a structured database everyday! What's new is old, and what's old is new!

Data Access is everything, without "Data" there is no information or knowledge. Without "Data" there's not notion of vitality, purpose, or value.

URIs make or break everything in the Linked Data Web just as ODBC DSNs do within the enterprise.

I've deliberately left JDBC, ADO.NET, and OLE-DB out of this piece due to their respective programming languages and frameworks specificity. None of these mechanisms match the platform availability breadth of ODBC.

The Web as a true M-V-C pattern is now crystalizing. The "M" (Model) component of M-V-C is finally rising to the realm of broad attention courtesy of the "Linked Data" meme and "Semantic Web" vision.

By the way, M-V-C lines up nicely with Web 1.0 (Web Forms / Pages), Web 2.0 (Web Services based APIs), and Web 3.0 (Data Web, Web of Data, or Linked Data Web) :-)