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What is ODBC?

According to Microsoft, ODBC is a specification for a database API. This API is database and operating system agnostic due to the fact that the primary goal of the ODBC API is to be language-independent. Additionally, the open functions of the API are created by the manufactures of DBMS-specific drivers. Developers can use these exposed functions from within their own custom applications so that they can communicate with DBMS through the language-independent drivers.

ODBC Advantages

  • Multiple ODBC drivers for each DBSM

    • Example

      • Oracle’s ODBC Driver

      • Merant’s Oracle Driver
      • Microsoft’s Oracle Driver
  • ODBC Drivers are constantly updated for the latest data types
  • ODBC allows for more control when querying
  • ODBC allows for Isolation Levels

ODBC Disadvantages

  • ODBC Requires DSN
  • ODBC is the proxy between an application and a database
  • ODBC is dependent on third party drivers

ODBC Transaction Isolation Levels are related to and limited by the transaction management capabilities of the data source.

Transaction isolation levels:


    • Data is allowed to be read prior to the committing of a transaction.


    • Data is only accessible after a transaction has completed


    • The same data value is read during the entire transaction


    • Transactions have no effect on other transactions

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