Appendix C. Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)

In this appendix, we take a close look at ODBC, which is a part of both DAO and ADO and probably will be for some time to come, despite Microsoft’s desire to replace all previous database technologies with OLE DB and ADO.

ODBC is part of DAO in the sense that DAO supports ODBC workspaces for connecting to ODBC providers. Also, ODBC is part of OLE DB in the sense that the first OLE DB data provider was for ODBC data sources and this is still the most flexible OLE DB provider.

Our discussion of ODBC will be fairly detailed, but it will not be reference-like. However, you should feel free to skim through this appendix for whatever information suits your particular needs. If you get more deeply involved in database connectivity, you may find that some of this information will prove useful later on.

Incidentally, all of the code examples in this chapter are available on my web site:


Open Database Connectivity, or ODBC for short, is an Application Programming Interface (API) for connecting to databases of various types. (An API is essentially just a set of functions, also called services, for performing various tasks. These functions are usually contained in one or more dynamic link libraries (DLLs).) The term database is used here in a very general sense to refer not only to traditional relational databases, such as Access or FoxPro databases, but also to less traditional “databases” such as delimited text ...

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