Easysoft ODBC-InterBase Driver User Guide - Introduction

Introducing the Easysoft ODBC-InterBase Driver

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

Chapter Guide


The Easysoft ODBC-InterBase Driver provides ODBC 3.5 access to Borland's InterBase version 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 2009 and XE. It can also be used with older versions back to 4. The Easysoft ODBC-InterBase 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 InterBase features.

UNICODE support is provided on some platforms.

Feature List

ODBC Conformance

The Easysoft ODBC-InterBase 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 InterBase data types

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

Native InterBase 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. The InterBase 7 BOOLEAN datatype is also implemented to the SQL 99 standard. and is available when the driver is connected to a InterBase 7 database via the InterBase 7 GDS library.

Longer Metadata Names

Support is provided for longer Metadata names (67 bytes plus a null terminator), when the driver is connected to a InterBase 7 database via the InterBase 7 GDS library.

MetaData Calls

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

InterBase 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 InterBase databases, converting from the internal UTF8 storage format used by the InterBase 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-InterBase Driver will detect the InterBase 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-InterBase 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 InterBase interface libraries prior to version 7 were not thread safe, so if the driver detects it is being used with a version of the library before 7, the driver will ensure thread safe operation by employing exclusion primitives to only allow single thread access to the library. Because of this multi threaded applications may show performance improvements when using the driver with the InterBase7 GDS library.

Support for Older SQL Dialects

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

This enables the Easysoft ODBC-InterBase Driver to be used with many versions of InterBase and it has been successfully used with versions from 4 to 7.


The driver maps the ODBC transaction interface to the provided InterBase 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 InterBase stored procedures and provides mapping from the ODBC call methods to the native InterBase 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.