Open Data Base Connect - ODBC: A "universal" data base API (Application Program Interface) that uses a combination of ODBC specific calls and the SQL Data Base manipulation language. In principle, ODBC allows a single interface to be written for any of a variety of databases. ODBC will act as a translation layer converting ODBC calls to Access, Foxbase, Oracle, et. al. operations. ODBC is a Microsoft initiative and is supported by all versions of Windows

ODBC consists of an ODBC Manager plus a driver for each supported data base type. Each data base to be used must by configured with the Microsoft ODBC Manager. There are several Versions of ODBC with different capabilities. Both 16 and 32 bit drivers and ODBC administration software exist. Drivers can be either single or multiple Tier. Single Tier drivers are basically ODBC to SQL translators operating on the client machine. Multiple tier drivers attempt to do as much processing as possible on the server so as to minimize communication bandwidth needs.

It is unclear why user level ODBC controls are needed or provided in Windows since there is probably not one user in 1000 who has any idea what to do with them.

The idea of a generalized data base interface was actually an initiative of the Unix community, but unix/Linux implementations are not widespread. The best known seems to be iODBC.

Return To Index Copyright 1994-2002 by Donald Kenney.