ODBC stands for Open Database Connectivity. ODBC is a standard that allows applications to read from almost all of the database types that are available today. That means that an application that allows an ODBC connection can read a variety of database formats such as Microsoft Access, Paradox, DBISAM, dBase, and FoxPro; spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel; and even connect to external database servers, like SQL Server or MySQL.
Now that you have a better understanding of what ODBC is, let’s see what you can you do with it.
An ODBC connection can transfer information from your database to an application instantly. For example, if you have software that downloads orders into a database you can use ODBC to push that information into many different software applications. You can find the pushed order by typing in a reference number (e.g., the order number). So if you are using Endicia Professional Suite or UPS Worldship and you want to ship the order you just downloaded you first setup your ODBC connection. Every order you receive will be instantly and automatically entered in your shipping software so you can ship without keying. You can even have tracking information automatically sent back to the database for further processing using the same ODBC connection. No manual input required.
Another common use for ODBC is linking to a Microsoft Access database or a report writer like Crystal Reports. That way you can manage your data outside of the original application without worry of corruption or accidentally altering something. It’s a quick and easy way to mine your valuable data in real time.
There are many uses for ODBC and it is relatively simple to setup. For more information on ODBC visit the Wikipedia article.