Open Database Connectivity
Standard (ODBC)
Open Database Connectivity Without Compromise !

ODBC Objectives

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.

ODBC Theory of Operation

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:

  • A library of ODBC function calls that allow an application to connect to a DBMS, execute SQL statements, and retrieve results.
  • A standard way to connect and log on to a DBMS.
  • A standardized representation for data types.

The Interface is flexible enabling:

  • An application to construct SQL statements at compile time or at run time
  • An application to use the same object code to access different DBMS products
  • An application to connect to multiple instances of DBMS products
  • An application to send and receive data in a format convenient to the application; the driver converts data values to the format of a specific DBMS product.

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