1.1. OpenLink ODBC Driver (Single-Tier Edition) Introduction

1.1.1. About ODBC

Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) is a Microsoft standard for database access. It provides a mechanism for desktop-based tools (word processors, spreadsheets, report writers, Internet/Intranet tools, for example) to transparently access data sources, such as databases. OpenLink Software provides the drivers you need to access your data sources from an ODBC compliant application.

1.1.2. How ODBC Works

A typical single-tier installation may consist of a database server, and a client that comprises the client networking provided by the database engine vendor and the OpenLink Lite ODBC driver. The client components need to be installed on every PC that is going to access the data. The ODBC driver must be accompanied by an application, such as Microsoft Office, which will use the driver to access and manipulate the data.

The OpenLink drivers can be used with, among others, the following software packages:

  • Microsoft Excel

  • Microsoft Word

  • Microsoft Access

  • Crystal Report Writer

  • Microsoft FrontPage98 (web page development tool)

  • Visual Basic, Visual C++

  • All Visual Studio ADO components

All standard Microsoft Office applications use the Microsoft Query tool to access data. This package must be installed in order for ODBC drivers to work. Microsoft queries can be embedded in documents and spreadsheets and easily reused and modified.

Crystal Report Writer is a stand-alone reporting tool that enables you to write and graph reports. It employs a "click through" user interface.

1.1.3. What You Can Do With ODBC

Everyone can do something different with ODBC. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Customize reports directly in Microsoft Excel

  • Create (e-)mailing lists in Microsoft Word

  • Write and design reports in Crystal Reports

  • Create custom reporting tools or data monitoring tools (like CorVu's Executive Alert) through applications written in Visual Basic, C++, Java, etc.

  • Render on-line information using data driven web content.

  • And much more.....