ODBC Router Frequently Asked Questions
About ODBC and ODBCSDK on Macintosh


Quick Link: AugSoft ODBCSDK for Macintosh

The history and state of ODBC on Macintosh...

Today AugSoft produces a database "overdriver" that is compatible with virtually every Mac made since the early 1990s and an ODBCSDK for use by in-house and independent software developers (so their users will not have to ever deal with an ODBC "control panel" on their Mac). There is really no need to deal with other vendors or SDKs or compatibility issues --the real database drivers are safely installed on some Windows PC or VM somewhere in the net. However, things were not always this easy.

Apple originally worked with Q&E to produce an ODBC Control Panel for Mac that Microsoft supported in its Office for Mac 4.x product release. AugSoft initially shipped ODBC Router for use with these products and began to evangelize the Mac developers to enable their apps to use ODBC. But in 1995, Apple relinquished its ODBC components in favor of some vaporware announced from a now defunct company called VISIGENIC (that also worked with Sun to create JDBC), but Microsoft continued to support Apple's discontinued components. After VISIGENIC died, Microsoft contracted with INTERSOLV to provide ODBC support for Macintosh for its next-generation Office 98 product. INTERSOLV later merged with MicroFocus to become MERANT and went on to independently develop retail versions of their ODBC Control Panel for Mac that do not behave like the version Microsoft was shipping with Office for Mac 98. Microsoft did not use those new releases in its subsequent Office for Mac 2001 until April 2002 and by that time MERANT needed to sell-off their ODBC products so Microsoft stopped bundling ODBC components for Office for Mac X, convincing Apple to again bundle ODBC with the Mac. To do this, Apple turned to "open source" where it found the old code from the defunct VISIGENIC which had been open sourced by one of its engineers and they proceeded to include it in Mac OS X 10.2 ("Jaguar") , 10.3 ("Panther"), 10.4 ("Tiger") and 10.5 ("Leopard"), though the SDK needed by developers to support it were not distributed by Apple in XCode, only by some third-party that had gone on and evolved the SDK to support some other version of the code not being bundled with the Mac by Apple. Apple stopped including ODBC in 10.6 ("Snow Leopard"), but still makes it available as a separate download.

Thus, the challenges that Mac developers face in determining which versions of those ODBC components were present on any given customer's system and which SDK to use were hardly worth the effort when, in any case, there were only four or five native ODBC drivers available for Macintosh. In one actual case, someone began selling ODBC drivers based on downloaded freeware hacks known to crash SQLServer (SQL_Slammer style) and in another case fires up the (now unsupported) Macintosh Java Virtual Machine in the background on the customer's laptop (killing battery, etc..) and proceeds to perform JDBC/ODBC mappings. To address these issues, AugSoft created ODBCSDK that enables Mac, iPhone (iOS), Linux and Windows developers to ship apps that can access genuine Windows-hosted ODBC drivers without third-party ODBC Driver Managers, Control Panels or other components of any kind, beyond our server-side ODBC Router which costs about the same as a TV set.
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