Windows Data Sources – CompTIA A+ 220-802: 1.4

The Windows ODBC functionality allows developers to build applications without any concern over the type of database that the application will use. In this video, you’ll learn about Windows Data Sources and how to configure them for your ODBC-based applications.

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If you’re a developer who has created applications in Windows or other operating systems, and you need those applications to communicate to a database, you may have used something called ODBC. This stands for Open Database Connectivity. This was created because, obviously, there are a lot of different kinds of databases out there in the world. And there are a lot of different operating systems that your application came reside on.

With ODBC, these things don’t matter. ODBC is a translation that occurs between your application and a database so that you don’t have to write your application to use any particular kind of database. You can simply have your application use ODBC to talk to whatever database you happen to be using.

You would configure this in the Control Panel under Administrative Tools. There’s an option inside there for data sources. And most of the time, your users won’t need to change or modify any of these things. The defaults will work just fine. But if you have a particular application that is using a certain aspect of ODBC that may need modification, you’ll find it right there in your Administrative Tools under Data Sources.

Let’s see what these ODBC Data Sources look like. Let’s go out or Start menu. We’ll choose Control Panel. And in our Administrative Tools, we have Data Sources. And it even has there ODBC. This is where we would see all of our ODBC sources and drivers.

We have different tabs for these Data Source Names. That’s what they’re called in ODBC. There are User Data Source Names. There are System Data Source Names, File Data Source Names, the Drivers themselves that allow you to translate the application communication to the database itself. There’s Tracing, in case you need to do troubleshooting of these ODBC calls, Connection Pooling, which is very useful if you want to pool information that’s going into these database drivers.

You can even enable a Performance Monitor for those, as well. That way, you don’t have to have this inefficient communication every time you have to restart communication to a database. You can effectively bring up a connection, use that for multiple communications.

And there’s your About. If you’re on the phone with support and they want to know what version of that driver are you using, you can, of course, look right there in the About tab.

If you need a way to see what’s happening with ODBC or make any modifications to the way that your computer is accessing these ODBC compliant databases, you would find all of that in your Administrative Tools, right here in the ODBC Data Source Administrator.