IBM i Access ODBC

ODBC is a common database interface that uses SQL as its database access language. An ODBC driver is supported by IBM® i Access products to provide support for this interface.

What is ODBC?

ODBC stands for open database connectivity. It consists of:

  • A well-defined set of functions (application programming interfaces)
  • Standards for SQL syntax (that are recommended but not imposed)
  • Error codes
  • Data types

The application programming interfaces provide a rich set of functions to connect to a database management system, run SQL statements and to retrieve data. Also included are functions to interrogate the SQL catalog of the database and the capabilities of the driver.

ODBC drivers return standard error codes and translate data types to a common (ODBC) standard. ODBC allows the application developer to obtain integrated database error information, and to avoid some of the most complex problems that are involved with making applications portable.

What you can do with ODBC:

Use ODBC to:

  • Send SQL requests to the database management system (DBMS).
  • Use the same program to access different database management system (DBMS) products without recompiling.
  • Create an application that is independent of the data communications protocol.
  • Handle data in a format convenient to the application.

The flexibility of ODBC APIs allows you to use them in transaction-based, line-of-business applications (where the SQL is predefined) and also in query tools (where the select statement is created at run time).

Structured Query Language (SQL):

SOL is a standardized language for defining and manipulating data in a relational database. In accordance with the relational model of data, the database is perceived as a set of tables, relationships are represented as values in tables, and data is retrieved by specifying a result table that can be derived from one or more base tables. The ODBC API uses dynamic SQL to interact with the database. Dynamic SQL allows the SQL statements to be constructed and executed when the ODBC application is executed.

For more information on SQL, see the Db2® for IBM i SQL Reference book. View an HTML online version of the book, or print a PDF version, from the Db2 for IBM i SQL Reference topic collection, in the IBM i Information Center. See the related links below.

IBM i Access ODBC topics:

Note: The information linked to from this page applies to the 32-bit ODBC driver support, the 64-bit ODBC driver support, and the IBM i Access ODBC driver support.

You can find documentation on the ODBC standard by searching for ODBC at the Microsoft Web site.

Note: By using the code examples, you agree to the terms of the Code license and disclaimer information.