Access ISAM Files From Desktop Tools


Access ISAM files directly from standard desktop tools such as Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Crystal Reports, and others.

Issues and Alternatives

Applications that use ISAM require data access to be performed using customized programs and typically reside on SCO UNIX, VAX/VMS, Alpha/OpenVMS or Windows NT platforms. Often, the only way to transfer data between the ISAM database system and a PC is to export data into a file and transfer it to a PC.


Most desktop tools are JDBC, and OLE DB compatible. Using OpenAccess SDK, you can use one of these APIs to access your ISAM database system. OpenAccess provides 90% of the code in binary form; you simply implement the functions to read and write rows of data—with no need to learn ODBC, JDBC, OLE DB or SQL.

  • Enables you to support end-users who want access to ISAM files from standard desktop tools
  • Allows you to quickly develop an interface without being an ODBC, JDBC, OLE DB or SQL expert
  • Ensures fast data access and optimized join processing
  • Supports future desktop data access standards
  • Supports all platforms

See ODBC, JDBC, or OLE DB Access to ISAM File Databases (.pdf) for a sample use case, implementation instructions, and sample code.