Open Database Connectivity (ODBC, Eng. Around "Open Database Connectivity " ) is a standardized database interface that uses SQL database language. It provides a programming interface ( API) that allows a programmer to develop its use of relatively independent of the database management system (DBMS ), if it exists, an ODBC driver.


With ODBC, there is the possibility the details for accessing the database ( Credentials ), such as the name of the database server, set port for network access to the database, database name, user name of the database user and its password and other details under a specific name on the client. By the use of this name may then connect to the database of a client application, without having to know the details.

ODBC was originally developed by Microsoft based on the Call Level Interface X / Open and ISO / IEC, but has been adopted by other software vendors. In many areas, ODBC is now established as a standard.

ODBC drivers have different functions:

  • Core ( basic functionality only )
  • Level 1
  • Level 2

Modern programming environments thus allow simple access to many different database management systems ( using ready-made data-aware controls ). Access to the data never takes place directly on a table or a database, but always through the corresponding ( ODBC ) component. With ODBC, you can access any local or remote data source.

For object-oriented programming languages ​​( eg C , Java) are available classes that define the methods for dealing with the data material of different database systems. The programmer does not need to worry about database-specific details.

Inside the Microsoft Foundation Classes support for ODBC by the classes OpenEx, CRecordset, CRecordView, CFieldExchange and CDBException is implemented.

Also the DAO is optimized for the Microsoft Jet database engine (Data Access Objects) allows indirect access to ODBC.

Since Windows 2000 ODBC is available as part of MDAC integral part of the operating system. For earlier Windows versions, it can be installed free of charge. Microsoft announced in 2011 that the 2012 version of Microsoft SQL Server, the final version will be with an OLE DB provider for the time after the ODBC provider is recommended.

Originally ODBC was developed only for Windows, now the interface is also available for database management systems under Unix operating systems.