What is ODBC – An Introduction and overview

ODBC is the abbreviation of “Open Database Connectivity”. It is a standard that specifies how an application using data from database will interact with a database. ODBC is a standard adopted by the IT industry. The standard specifies the commands that can be issued irrespective of the actual database product. How database products (both RDBMS and non relational ones) respond to requests for finding data, modifying or editing them as also how the requests are to be made vary from product to product. Open Database Connectivity strives to make the requests from applications the same irrespective of which database product serves the data. Databases, on their part, interpret these requests and process data according to their own internal processes (requests and command syntax) to respond the same way irrespective of its make.

With this kind of standardization, it is possible for any application to write front end that issues the standard requests to databases. This is the front end part of the ODBC standardization/ specification. This makes it possible for any application to issue data requests that will be recognized any ODBC compliant database. In fact, the application with this kind of Open Database Connectivity compliant front end would be transparent to what database is going to supply the data requested by it. The database could be any ODBC compliant product, working on any computer on the network and on any operating environment. Like the application front end needs special code to transform the requests from the application to standardized requests, the database needs a driver that will recognize the Open Database Connectivity requests and transform them to commands in specific syntax and sequence required by the given database. These drivers are, obviously, specific to a database product of a particular company. This driver is installed with the client application, the database could be anywhere on the network. The chain of modules for getting ODBC compliant work done is as follows:

  • Application issues requests to the front-end
  • Front-end (part of ODBC requirements) issues standardized requests
  • Open Database Connectivity driver specific to a database product, issues commands as needed by the product

Database serves up data requested and changed made by application up the same chain. After this ODBC standards have been complied with creating an application with a database, removing the parts and replacing them with another is a simple affair. As long as the standard connections through the front end and the Open Database Connectivity driver are maintained, substituting the database with another or an application with another is as simple as changing the tire in a car. It does not matter if the tire is from Bridgestone, Michelin or something else as long as the dimensions (specs of database) of the tire are similar. One could write monolithic application that has the database as a part of it. The application communicates with the database in its native protocol. This will be alright if there was no need for any change during the lifetime of the application. If there is a change needed, you will need to re-write the application all over again. The flexibility arising from ODBC standardization will be lost entirely.

Related links to ODBC

  1. Open Database Connectivity – MSDN
  2. ODBC – A Technical overview
  3. SQL Server 2012 training
  4. What is an ODBC compliant database



Installation of SQL server 2012

In this blog post on SQL server, we are going to cover Installation of SQL server 2012.

Hardware and software requirements:

We start by going over the hardware and software requirements for SQL 2012 installation. This includes things like:

  • CPU: For x86 1 GHz or faster, 2 GHz is recommended
  • Operating System: SQL 2012 will run on Windows Vista, 7 and 2008
  • RAM: Minimum 1 GB, recommended is 4 GB
  • Hard Disk: You need 3 GB of disk space
  • Also you need .NET framework 3.5 and IE 7 0 for SQL 2012 install.

Additional information is available from web site.

For the purposes of this SQL 2012 install, we are going to use the 3 files option. Once the 3 files are downloaded, you can extract the SQL 2012 Server installation files to a folder. You can get to these files from this location:


Next we run the SETUP.EXE which will launch the SQL Server 2012 Installation center. This is shown right below.



Here we select the Installation option in the left pane and New SQL Server installation in the right pane. Before any software is installed, you need SQL 2012 setup support files. Another way to think about is prerequisite for your SQL server installation.

This is shown in the SQL 2012 Server screenshot below:



Next we are going to choose a set of options including which SQL 2012 server installation, for this one we choose Free edition of SQL Server Evaluation version. On the next screen, we choose SQL Server Feature selection. This includes SQL 2012 features like database engine, SSIS, management tool (SSMS), Integration services, Reporting services, Authentication choices, etc.

Here is what the screenshot looks like for our SQL 2012 install:



We make our SQL Server feature selection and click Next. We highlight SQL Server 2012 “Best Practices” that are used in the industry and then continue the process. This includes items like location of software files, database files, log files and other vital points.

Here is what it looks like on our computer for SQL 2012 Instance Configuration.



For Server Configuration in SQL 2012, it is preferred to use a dedicated domain account. This applies to the database engine service, SQL Server Agent and also other items like SSRS, SSIS and SSAS. For authentication, we use Mixed Mode Authentication. This allows access to SQL Server from Windows and Non-windows environments. Here is a screen capture on the SQL Server installation step.



After all the Installation selections have been made for SQL Server 2012, we get a final summary window. This highlights all the different options you have picked for your SQL Server installation. Please review before you move on to the next screen. We have included a computer monitor picture of this right below:


Go ahead and choose Install. This is when the SQL Server install takes a long time. Why? Because it is copying all the necessary files from installation directory to your computer. If you are falling asleep in the process, this is a good time to get your coffee or tea!!

Here is what it looks like on our end.


At the end of this process, a setup logfile is generated which has all the information regarding the SQL 2012 installation. This should be stored in a secure place. After SQL 2012 installation finishes, you can use the SQL Server Management Studio and verify that the installation process went smoothly. In addition, you can check the MS SQL services using Configuration Manager.

A final confirmation of the SQL 2012 Server installation is as follows:




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