Open database connectivity

Meaning – The term open database connectivity, refers to a standard application programming interface (API) for accessing data in both relational and nonrelational database management systems. Using this API, database applications can access data stored in database management systems on a variety of computers even if each database management system uses a different data storage format and programming interface. ODBC is based on the call level interface (CLI) specification of the X/Open SQL Access Group and was developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Lotus, Microsoft, and Sybase.

ODBC accomplishes DBMS independence by using an ODBC driver as a translation layer between the application and the DBMS. The application uses ODBC functions through an ODBC driver manager with which it is linked, and the driver passes the query to the DBMS.

Example of usage“ODBC was originally developed by Microsoft and Simba Technologies during the early 1990s and became the basis for the Call Level Interface (CLI) standardized by SQL Access Group in the Unix and mainframe field.”