I enjoy watching the show MythBusters because I love the concept of testing out whether a belief that people collectively accept as fact holds up under scientific scrutiny. After watching the show, I find myself thinking more critically about whether the things I believe are true based on proof or myths based on blind acceptance of "prevailing wisdom". I bring this up because it's time for me to revisit and put to rest one of my favorite myths of the application software development community - that ODBC is dead.
The people who say that ODBC is dead haven't taken its pulse recently. Despite claims that ODBC usage has been eclipsed other data access APIs, the fact is there are many critical applications that still use it. There is even some degree of new application development being done with ODBC through languages such as PHP and Perl. Even though Microsoft is currently pushing alternatives data access APIs such as ADO.NET, they still seem to think there is enough of a market for ODBC to announce a beta release of ODBC 3.8, which adds features such as asynchronous execution, streamable output parameters, and ODBC C data type extensibility.
Of course, we at DataDirect have always known that ODBC isn’t dead. Every day we have new customers come to us seeking the very best ODBC drivers for new development projects as well as existing, critical application deployments. Despite the fact that it has been years between updates to ODBC, DataDirect has continued to innovate in ways that push the boundaries what defines an ODBC driver, yet work seamlessly with any ODBC compliant application.
Over the next few weeks, I will outline just a few of the many features and innovations we have added to our ODBC drivers. These features not only redefine what an ODBC driver is, but also shatter perceptions about the limits of ODBC applications. With any luck, what I share will demonstrate that reports of the death of ODBC have been greatly exaggerated and thus we can all declare this myth “busted”.
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