Data Access for ISAM User Manual - Glossary

Terms and definitions

API (Application Programmer Interface)

    A published set of function calls and constants allowing different programmers to utilize a ready-written library of subroutines.


    A program that applies the computer to solving some real-world problem. In ODBC terms, it is the program connecting to the data source.

Authorization code

    You must have an authorization code for the Easysoft product you wish to license in order to obtain a purchased license. When you purchase a product your authorization code is emailed to you. You do not need an authorization code to obtain a trial license.


    A process performing tasks local to the current user, for example, formatting and displaying a report from data retrieved from the server.


    The architecture whereby one process (the server) keeps track of global data, and another task (the client) is responsible for formatting and presenting the data. The client connects to the server and requests queries or actions be performed on its behalf. Often these processes run on different hosts across a local-area network.


    The vertical dimension of a table. Columns are named and have a domain (or type).


    A collection of data files.

Data source

    In ODBC terms, a data source is a database or other data repository coupled with an ODBC Driver, which has been given a Data Source Name (see DSN) to identify it to the ODBC Driver Manager.

Data type

    The specification of permitted values. A data type limits the values which are allowed to be used.


    Database Management System. Software that handles access to a database.


    To retrieve data from a remote machine (or the Internet) to your local machine. Mechanisms for achieving this include FTP and the World Wide Web.


    See ODBC driver.

Driver Manager

    Software whose main function is to load ODBC drivers. ODBC applications connect to the Driver Manager and request a data source name (DSN). The Driver Manager loads the driver specified in the DSN's configuration file. In Windows, the ODBC Data Source Administrator is used to set up the Driver Manager.


    Data Source Name. A name associated with an ODBC data source. Driver Managers, such as unixODBC or the Microsoft Windows Driver Manager, use the Data Source Name to cross-reference configuration information and load the required driver.


    A placeholder for a single datum in a record. For example, you can have a Surname field in a Contact Details record. Fields are sometimes referred to as cells.


    File Transfer Protocol. A standard method of transferring files between different machines.


    A computer visible on the network.


    HyperText Transfer Protocol. The means of transferring web pages.


    Software that is placed between the client and the server to improve or expand functionality.

License key

    A string which is provided by Easysoft for use in the licensing process.


    Open Data Base Connectivity. A programming interface that enables applications to access data in database management systems that use Structured Query Language (SQL) as a data access standard.

ODBC driver

    Software that accesses a proprietary data source, providing a standardized view of the data to ODBC.


    The horizontal dimension of a table. At its most basic, a row equates to a record within a file.


    A specification of the structure of a database, including the tables, their column headings and keys.


    A computer, or host, on the network, designed for power and robustness rather than user-friendliness and convenience. Servers typically run around-the-clock and carry central corporate data.


    A process performing the centralized component of some task, for example, extracting information from a corporate database.


    Structured Query Language. An international standard text language for querying and manipulating databases.

System data source

    In the context of ODBC under Microsoft Windows, a data source which can be accessed by any user on a given system. See also User data source.


    A data set in a relational database, composed of rows and columns.


    Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. A standard method of accessing data on different machines.

User data source

    In the context of ODBC under Microsoft Windows, a data source which can only be accessed by a specific user on a given system. See also System data source.