Easysoft ODBC-Firebird Driver User Guide - Introduction

Introducing the Easysoft ODBC-Firebird Driver

With Easysoft software you can connect applications on more platforms to more database systems than ever.

Chapter Guide


The Easysoft ODBC-Firebird Driver provides ODBC 3.5 access to Firebird 1.5 and 2.1. It can also be used with older versions. The Easysoft ODBC-Firebird Driver is available on a variety of platforms and is compatible with the Windows ODBC Driver Manager and unixODBC, the open source ODBC driver manager.

Data sources created with the driver can be configured to support a wide range of Firebird features.

UNICODE support is provided on some platforms.

Feature List

ODBC Conformance

The Easysoft ODBC-Firebird Driver is a ODBC 3.5 driver providing efficient operation with ODBC 3 applications such as ADO, and full backwards conformance with older ODBC applications.

Support for Firebird data types

All the older InterBase 5.x data types are supported, as well as the new InterBase data types (such as BIGINT), numeric storage as floating types (IB 5) and exact precision types (SHORT, INT, BIGINT) in IB 6.

Native Firebird data types such as BLOB, SUB, TYPE and TEXT are mapped to the correct ODBC data type (SQL_LONGVARCHAR in this case), but the native format is still available.

MetaData Calls

Direct access is provided to all the Firebird catalog tables. This information is also available via the standard ODBC calls such as SQLTables and SQLColumns.

Firebird Roles

Support is provided for Roles, both via the DSN setup and as an option to the SQLDriverConnect function.


The driver provides both ANSI and UNICODE access to Firebird databases, converting from the internal UTF8 storage format used by the Firebird server.

Default character sets may be configured and all conversions are done transparently and automatically. ANSI only applications such as Microsoft Query will only "see" 8 Bit ANSI data, while Unicode applications such as Microsoft Access are provided with direct access to 16-Bit Unicode data.

Support for older InterBase databases

Due to changes in the metadata storage for older (pre 6.0) InterBase databases, the Easysoft ODBC-Firebird Driver will detect the database version in use at run time and transparently adjust its operation to match the available data.

In cases where the detection fails (for instance with partially upgraded databases) the version may be manually configured.

Support is also provided for older InterBase interface libraries and the operation of the driver will be adjusted to ensure the most efficient execution.

For example, if the InterBase rollback_retaining function is available, it will be used by the Easysoft ODBC-Firebird Driver (with potential performance improvements), but if it is absent the driver will adjust its operation in such a way that the calling application is unaware of the change in server capability.

The Windows version of the Easysoft ODBC-Firebird Driver will use either the FBCLIENT.DLL provided by newer Firebird installations, and if that is not found, will revert to using the older GDS32.DLL library

On Unix platforms, the driver is built against the library provided by the Firebird download available from the sourceforge distribution of Firebird.

The actual library name used is documented in the file doc/FirebirdInfo in the installed directory.

Support for Older SQL Dialects

The required SQL Dialect may be configured, and the Easysoft ODBC-Firebird Driver will adjust its operation to ensure that only SQL that matches the selected dialect is passed to the Firebird server.

This enables the Easysoft ODBC-Firebird Driver to be used with older versions of InterBase.


The driver maps the ODBC transaction interface to the provided Firebird model in a transparent and efficient manner. There is also provision to select the behavior on detection of lock conflicts. The driver provides "wait" and "no wait" operations.

Stored Procedure Support

The driver supports Firebird stored procedures and provides mapping from the ODBC call methods to the native Firebird calls. Provision is made for both the "SELECT" and "EXEC PROCEDURE" calling methods and the driver will pick the correct translation. A manual override on this selection is provided for unusual procedures.