Implementing ODBC in ASP .NET

The Problem

Anybody who has ever connected a web page to a simple database is probably familiar with Microsoft’s Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) interface. This is the interface that enables a developer to assign a Data Source Name (DSN) to the database, and then interact with it in a consistent fashion regardless of the specific flavor of database behind the DSN.

In combination with Microsoft’s Active Server Pages (ASP), ODBC became a very popular technology, because it’s very simple to use and it works. In fact, if you are developing in a shared hosting environment and are not paying a premium for access to a SQL or Oracle server, then ODBC may well be your only reasonable option.

Enter ASP .NET. When Microsoft folded ASP .NET into its high-end development environment, Visual Studio .NET, they did not include native support for ODBC. Why not? Because Microsoft has a new technology, called OLE DB, that is supposed to replace ODBC. As a result, the data server controls that ship with Visual Studio .NET support OLE DB and database server environments such as SQL Server, but not ODBC.

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About the author

Jason G. Williscroft

Jason G. Williscroft United States

Jason Williscroft is a former Marine and naval officer, and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he studied Systems Engineering. He is currently General Manager of HotQuant, LLC,...

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