Open DataBase Connectivity

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Open DataBase Connectivity

(standard, database)
(ODBC) A standard for accessing different database systems. There are interfaces for Visual Basic, Visual C++, SQL and the ODBC driver pack contains drivers for the Access, Paradox, dBase, Text, Excel and Btrieve databases.

An application can submit statements to ODBC using the ODBC flavor of SQL. ODBC then translates these to whatever flavor the database understands.

ODBC 1.0 was released in September 1992.

ODBC is based on Call-Level Interface and was defined by the SQL Access Group. Microsoft was one member of the group and was the first company to release a commercial product based on its work (under Microsoft Windows) but ODBC is not a Microsoft standard (as many people believe).

ODBC drivers and development tools are available now for Microsoft Windows, Unix, OS/2, and Macintosh.

["Unix Review", Aug 1995].
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


(Open DataBase Connectivity) A database programming interface from Microsoft that provides a common language for Windows applications to access databases on a network. ODBC is made up of the function calls programmers write into their applications and the ODBC drivers themselves.

For client/server database systems such as Oracle and SQL Server, the ODBC driver provides links to their database engines to access the database. For desktop database systems such as Access and FoxPro, the ODBC drivers actually manipulate the data. ODBC supports SQL and non-SQL databases. Although the application always uses SQL to communicate with ODBC, ODBC will communicate with non-SQL databases in its native language. See JDBC.

ODBC Interfaces
These are the various ways applications access data sources using ODBC and other Microsoft interfaces.
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