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 ODBC - Open Data Base Connectivity
 


 
On this page you will find an overview about ODBC - Open Data Base Connectivity. This subject is related to the "export"  facilities we have in some of our applications - it fulfills a similar purpose (re-using your data with other applications).

 See also our item about exporting your data.

The subject is not too difficult to grasp - but it is a little bit of 'computer jargon'.

ODBC (Open DataBase Connectivity) is a Windows interface for accessing data from a variety of Database Management Systems (DBMS) and data file formats, across a variety of networks and platforms. The ODBC standard was developed and is maintained by Microsoft.

ODBC is of importance if you want to use, explore and further process data (collated with our tools) with other applications. For example: with a Report writer, a Label Printing application or performing a mail merge with your word processor.
 


What is the main benefit of using ODBC ?

On our FREEWARE page there is a link to a great application: WinSQL - this is a "must have" to query your data in a more sophisticated matter - esp. if you have a greater data volume to process.

How to  QUERY  your data ...  (also using SQL - Structured Query Language)

which gives you also an introduction in the basics of using SQL (structured query languages) using the FREE WinSQL application. This is of great value for our target group.



 
[ To use ODBC with your data you need to install the so-called 'ODBC drivers' which you can purchase from the local representative of the company manufacturing our development tools or order them directly from the manufacturer. At the end of this item we have some links and address material for you. ]


On this page we will explain ODBC in an easy manner. For the following we assume you have the ODBC driver available and are ready to start the installation process. If you have the ODBC driver on floppy disk - you  just have to double-click on the file: setup.exe  to start the process. When using a more recent version of the ODBC driver - the screen display and dialogue may appear slightly different.

Instructions:

1. Unzip the files on disk to a temporary subdirectory
2. Run Setup.exe
3. Click the Help button on the Setup-> Data Sources dialog for information on using the TopSpeed ODBC driver.  You may also want to create an icon that points to the Help file (TPSODBC.HLP) which is installed in the \Windows\System directory.

 

 
You should download the file:  tpsodbc.hlp  from this web site if you have NOT yet purchased the ODBC driver and print out all the information (some pages only). It makes the understanding of the following much easier.
 
 Click to download the file:  tpsodbc.zip
 
Next step after pressing 'Continue' - see screen shot before.
You will be asked which version of the TOPSPEED driver you want to install. This depends on your circumstances, who has access to your data etc., your internal data security requirements etc.
One important tip:  NEVER operate on your orginal data ! We also refer to our installation texts where we recommend to put a copy of your data base files into the sub folder:  c:\tbsc\odbcfiles  BEFORE  you access them via ODBC. This folder has already been created during the installation procedure - we think it becomes now much clearer why we have gone through such a length and beyond the normal application setup: Security of your data !
 

 

 
In the next step you set up your "data sources" in a dialogue - for example your "address book" file.
 
 
Below is the empty setup dialogue for a Topspeed data source:
 
 
You give the data source a name and a description and then allocate it from the right folder. The shot below was taken from our test runs before we have written the latest installation procedure. In the field Database you should have the following entry:
 
c:\tbsc\odbcfiles\addrbook.tps\!
 
Only Date and Time fields need some special attention: they have to be listed extra and are separated by  |
The exact structure of our data base files is included on the distribution disks for our registered users.
 
 
Another example for the data source definition - this time for the READ ONLY ODBC driver:
 
 
After this is done you can access and manipulate your data sources from the Control Panel - the shot below was taken from Windows 95 !
 
 

 

 
We hope that the screenshots and our small introduction have helped to clarify the subject without going deeper into any
computer jargon. Please print out the pages of the help file for this subject:
 
 Click to download the file:  tpsodbc.zip
 
If you already have the latest ODBC driver available then please read the help file coming with the more recent version.
More information is available from the following web sites (the manufacturers of our development tools) :
 
 
 Topspeed
 SoftVelocity
 
If you are a registered user and need the ODBC driver - please contact us. We are happy to help you to locate them for you !
 

 
We are aware that this subject sounds complicated for many computer users in our target group - esp. when they are new to computing. But we hope that this short overview about ODBC was sufficient to give them a practical introduction - please don't hesitate to e-mail us if are a registered user and have further questions.
 
 How to  QUERY  your data ...  (also using SQL - Structured Query Language)
 
 

We are using the following resources and recommend to visit these web sites for further information  ...
 

If you have needs going beyond our practical tools we recommend to visit the web site of:
 
       www.kdnuggets.com
 
KDnuggets is the leading source for Data Mining, Web Mining & Knowledge Discovery on the Internet.
They offer a comprehensive range of software, solutions, jobs, courses, publications,
a company list and web sites related to these subjects.
 
 

 
TBSC  -   The Blue Software Company
 Home Page   Order Information   Partners / Employmt. 
 Products / Services   Freeware / Shareware   More ... 
 Download Products   Resources / Links 
 
Practical software, services and solutions for the small business
and the individual computer user - world wide !