11.2. Configuring Data Sources

The graphical (GTK+-based) configuration screen makes setting up your data-sources (DSNs) quite intuitive, especially if you're used to the setup screens on Windows:

Figure 11.1. iODBC GTK Administrator

iODBC GTK Administrator

Figure 11.2. iODBC GTK Administrator

iODBC GTK Administrator

An example of adding a new datasource follows:

11.2.1. The Configuration Files

The iODBC library searches for its DSN through a set few files:

$ODBCINI - the environment variable, if set
~/.odbc.ini - in your home-directory, if it exists
/etc/odbc.ini - a system-wide default

The format of this file is very simple; there are 3 sections, one for ODBC itself (setting up tracing), one for a list of DSNs, and one for the definitions of those DSNs, thus:

Debug         = 1
Trace         = 0
DebugFile     = /home/tim/temp/odbc-debugfile.log
TraceFile     = /home/tim/temp/odbc-tracefile.log
TraceAutoStop = 1
[ODBC Data Sources]
Virtuoso30 = OpenLink Virtuoso 3.0
Description = Virtuoso 3.0
Driver      = /opt/opl/virtuoso-o12/lib/virtodbc.so
Address     = localhost:1111
UserName    = dba
User        = dba

Each DSN configured has an entry in the `ODBC Data Sources' section, and a complete definition in a paragraph section of its own.

There is also an ODBCINSTINI file; this contains descriptions of the ODBC drivers available.

[ODBC Drivers]
OpenLink Generic = installed
[OpenLink Generic]
Driver = /opt/openlink/odbcsdk/lib/oplodbc.so

11.2.2. Making a Test Connection

To test that a DSN connects correctly, you can use the supplied `odbctest' utility.

zsh, purple  3:58PM bin/ % ls
iodbc-config*  iodbcadm-gtk*  odbctest*
zsh, purple  3:58PM bin/ % echo $ODBCINI
zsh, purple  3:58PM bin/ % ./odbctest
iODBC Demonstration program
This program shows an interactive SQL processor
Enter ODBC connect string (? shows list):
Progress9.x(solaris)           | OpenLink Generic ODBC Driver
Progress9.x(solaris)           | OpenLink Generic ODBC Driver
pgsqlPurple                    | PostgreSQL native driver
pgsqlPurpleOpl                 | PostgreSQL using OpenLink driver
pgsqlPurpleVirtDemo            | Virtuoso database driver
SQLServer                      | OpenLink Generic ODBC Driver
Enter ODBC connect string (? shows list): DSN=pgsqlPurpleOpl
Driver: 04.50.0801 OpenLink Generic ODBC Driver (oplodbc.so)
SQL>select count(*) from timtest;
 result set 1 returned 1 rows.

Any of the DSN attributes can be overridden in the connect-string, which takes the form


The attributes themselves depend on the database driver behind the DSN; normally they control the username (where the attribute could be called`userid' or `uid') and password (if specified) used to connect to the database, some form of server hostname specification (`host=' or `server='), and a means to identify a database instance on that server (`database='). A driver may also have custom attributes, such as FetchBufferSize, Port, etc.

11.2.3. Compiling Sample Program

To compile the sample "odbctest" application, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the directory:

  2. Type the following commands to use the default Makefile and odbctest.c code:

    make clean

11.2.4. Developing ODBC Applications

The ODBC SDK only implements an interface for the 'C' programming language.

To write an ODBC application,you must perform the following tasks:

  1. Include the files "sql.h" and "sqlext.h" in your 'C' program(s).

  2. Link the application with the following driver libraries:

  3. At runtime, the ODBC drivers required for the connection are as follows (must be included in your shared library path):

  4. Compile the program in the same directory as the "Makefile" file using the syntax:


Note: Some UNIX systems also need -lsocket, -lnsl_s or both.

11.2.5. Further Reading:

"Data Management: SQL Call Level Interface (CLI)"

from X/Open in conjunction with SQL Access Group

ISBN: 1-872630-63-4

X/Open Document Number: S203

Microsoft ODBC API documentation: http://www.microsoft.com/data/odbc/default.htm