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Chapter 25. Connecting to Client/Server ... > Defining Open Database Connectivity

Defining Open Database Connectivity

Access uses the Microsoft Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) application programming interface (API) to provide access to any database system for which ODBC drivers are available. An API is a standardized method by which an application communicates with elements of the computer's operating system or environment. For example, applications use the Windows 95 (Win32) API in GDI32.EXE, a mostly 32-bit Windows 95 dynamic link library (DLL), to perform all display operations. The ODBC API enables a standard set of SQL statements in any application to be translated to commands that are recognized by the server database. The role of ODBC drivers is explained in the following section, "Understanding ODBC Drivers."

The ODBC API was the first element of Microsoft's Windows Open Services Architecture (WOSA) used to create a variety of classes of commercial Windows applications. (32-bit ODBC 3.0 is the fourth iteration of the ODBC API, and ODBC 3.5 is expected to be available by mid-1997). Messaging API (MAPI) and Telephony API (TAPI) also are members of WOSA, which includes industry-specific APIs such as WOSA/XRT for handling real-time stock market data.


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