ODBC: frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some common questions about ODBC.

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What is ODBC?

Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) is a technology that enables you to move data from one type of database (a data source) to another. To do this, you need the correct driver. For example, with ODBC you could import data from a FileMaker Pro database into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, but you'd need to add the FileMaker Pro data source and driver to your computer.

How do I add a data source and driver to my computer?

Follow these steps:

  1. Open ODBC data source administrator by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Additional Options, and then clicking Data Sources (ODBC).

  2. Click Add, choose the appropriate driver for the data source you're adding, and then click Finish.

  3. In the Data Source Name box, type a name for the data source (for example, you could type FileMaker). You can also type a description to help you remember why you are using this data source.

Where can I find an ODBC driver?

Database programs often come with their own drivers built in, and many ODBC drivers are available in the list of drivers in the ODBC Data Source Administrator. You can also try searching the Internet or you can contact the manufacturer of the database program that you want to use.

How do I set up an ODBC connection?

In the database program you are using, follow the steps for importing data. Database programs vary widely, so refer to the Help documentation for each program to find detailed instructions about importing data.

How do I enable ODBC connection pooling?

Connection pooling gives an ODBC application the ability to reuse an existing connection from a pool, so that the application doesn't have to go through the complete connection process for any subsequent connection. For information about enabling connection pooling, go to How to Enable Connection Pooling in an ODBC Application on the Microsoft website.