Review of Data Access Methods

By: Andrew Merkulov

Some people don't understand the differences between Interbase ODBC and OLE DB technologies.

In this article we'll compare an OLE DB provider with an ODBC driver and review Firebird components.

Firebird ODBC driver

Firebird ODBC driver - is the ODBC API realisation with C. ODBC API calls are sent to the definite Firebird, Interbase database API.

ODBC drivers were the Microsoft first attempt to provide a standard of data accessing.

Advantages of the ODBC techology is cross platform features. UnixODBC development lets ODBC drivers' use on Unix platform.

Firebird and Interbase ODBC manufactures

Firebird ODBC Driver/Gemini InterBase - project is not supported since March, 2005

Easysoft ODBC drivers spread separately for Firebird and InterBase:

- Easysoft ODBC-InterBase Driver - declared about IB 7, IB 7.5, IB 6.5, Interbase 6 support

- Easysoft ODBC-Firebird Driver - declared about FB 1.5, Firebird 1 support.

There is a large list of ODBC drivers but no information about drivers' last update for Firebird and InterBase. If to look at the numbers of supported versions, the changes were long ago.

Firebird and Interbase OLE DB driver - IBProviderOLEDB or OLE DB - Object Linking and Embedding, Database.

OLE DB technology was created after ODBC and became the Microsoft Company idea about standard access components.

It allows access to the Interbase and Firebird SQL Server applying the Interbase and Firebird component in Visual Studio 2008, 2005, ADO, C++ and other tools.

Advantages of standard interfaces use

The techologies goal is to isolate the client from data source realisation features providing him with standard data access interface.

There are some pros of such approach:

- independence of client application from data source realisation features.

- easy update of SQL Servers.

- application connectivity with many database server.

- Huge development tools' support.

The idea is that it's easier for developers to realise 1 standard interface than to support multiple database servers with different API.

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