What is ODBC?

Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) is a technology that programs use to access a wide range of databases (or data sources). For example, ODBC can be used to import data from a MySQL database into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. To do this, your computer needs the correct ODBC driver and data source. To create a data source, see Using the ODBC Data Source Administrator.

For custom programs, software developers use the ODBC Applications Programming Interface (API) to access data sources. ODBC is an implementation of ISO/IEC 9075-3 Information Technology—Database languages—SQL—Part 3: Call Level Interface (SQL/CLI).