For several years, a working party called the SQL-Access Group (SAG), consisting of interested hardware and software vendors , worked towards defining a common database access method to simplify Client-Server computing. Microsoft has taken a core set of SAG's output and developed a call-level interface called the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) Application Programming Interface.
ODBC defines a low-level set of calls which allow client applications and servers applications to exchange instructions and share data without needing to know anything about each other. It applies to any Client-Server operation, whether or not the client and server applications are resident on the same machine, or on different PC's, or even if the server is on a remote machine running a different operating system.
The Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) interface allows applications to access data from database management systems (DBMS).
The interface permits maximum interoperability - a single application can access diverse back-end database management systems. An application developer can develop, compile, and ship an application without targeting a specific DBMS product. Users can then add modules called database drivers that link the application to their choice of database management systems.
The ODBC interface defines the following:
The Interface is flexible enabling: