ODBC, Open Database Communication, a standard API (application program interface) developed by Microsoft for Windows applications to communicate with database management systems.
Oracle offers ODBC drivers to allow Windows applications to connect Oracle server through ODBC.
Oracle offers different ODBC drivers for different versions of Oracle servers. When you install an Oracle server or a client tools on your Windows system, the appropriate ODBC driver will be installed for you automatically.
If you want to install a specific ODBC driver, you need to go to http://www.oracle.com/technology/software/tech/windows/odbc/index.html. Download the right ODBC driver and follow the instructions to install it.
To find out what Oracle ODBC drivers are installed on your Windows system, you can use the ODBC manager to look at them:
► Go to Control Panel.
► Go to Administrative Tools.
► Run Data Sources (ODBC).
► Go to System DSN tab.
► Click the Add button.
You should a list of all ODBC drivers installed on your system. Oracle ODBC drivers should be on the list. For example, your installed ODBC driver list could look like the one the picture bellow with two Oracle ODBC drivers, "Oracle in OraClient10g_home1" and "Oracle in XE":
Oracle ODBC Drivers
A Windows application can connect to an Oracle server directly, if it knows how to use the Oracle TNS technology.
A Windows application can connect to an Oracle server indirectly through Windows ODBC manager, be caused offers ODBC drivers to support the ODBC API. The diagram below shows how MS Access can connect to an Oracle server through the ODBC driver:
Oracle ODBC Connection
If you want to follow the tutorial exercises in the sections below, you need to create a user account and a table for ODBC connection testing as shown here:
SQL> CONNECT system/retneclgg
SQL> CREATE USER f2f IDENTIFIED BY retneclgg ACCOUNT UNLOCK;
SQL> GRANT CREATE SESSION TO f2f;
SQL> GRANT CREATE TABLE TO f2f;
SQL> ALTER USER f2f DEFAULT TABLESPACE USERS;
SQL> ALTER USER dev QUOTA 4M ON USERS;
SQL> connect f2f/retneclgg;
SQL> CREATE TABLE dev_faq (id NUMBER);
SQL> INSERT INTO dev_faq VALUES (3);
SQL> INSERT INTO dev_faq VALUES (5);
SQL> INSERT INTO dev_faq VALUES (7);