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Introduction

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 files or Excel worksheets.

Typically, the functions in the ODBC API are implemented in database-specific ODBC drivers. In this way, an application is shielded from having to know the specifics of the various types of databases.


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