Easysoft XML-ODBC Server User Guide - Glossary

Terms and definitions


    Application Programmer Interface. An API is a published set of function calls and constants allowing different programmers to utilize a ready-written library of subroutines.


    An Application Program ("Application" or "App") is 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 value which, when written out in binary, has a meaning assigned to each digit, which can be 0 or 1. This is a very efficient way of storing a number of flags (see Flags) in a small amount of memory and can be viewed in decimal as a single number resulting from adding up the values of the individual bits, worth 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and so on.


    A programming language developed in the mid 1970s and used originally to write the Unix operating system. It is also used for many business and engineering applications, due to its compactness and low demand for memory.


    Common Gateway Interface. A specification for transferring information between a Web server and a program designed to accept and return data that conforms to the CGI specification, and where the processing occurs on the Web server, rather than on the client machine.


    The name given to 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 requests queries or actions be performed on the data by the server. Often these processes run on different hosts (see Host) across a local-area network.


    The vertical dimension of a table. Columns are named and have a domain (or type). The term "column" might refer to only the definition of a column (i.e. its name and type), or to all the data in it.

Connection String

    ODBC driver managers (see Driver Manager) accept a connection string when a client connects. Ideally it contains all necessary attribute values to make the connection to a data source, but provision is made for the driver to negotiate with the application or the user for any missing information.

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.


    Dynamic Link Library. Windows' mechanism for shared object code. See also Shared Object.


    The transfer of data from a remote machine (on the internet, for example) to your local machine. Mechanisms for achieving this include FTP and HTTP (see FTP and HTTP).


    See ODBC driver.

Driver Manager

    Software whose main function is to load ODBC drivers. ODBC applications connect to the Driver Manager and request a DSN (see 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. This is 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.


    Document Type Definition. A DTD details the tags and attributes that are used to describe the content of an XML file and where those tags are allowed. Applications can then use that DTD to interpret the contents of a file.


    A placeholder for a single item in a record, such as a Surname field in a Contact Details record. Called a cell in Microsoft Access.


    Single-bit values, representing `Yes' or `No'. When more than one flag is present, they are normally stored in a bitmask (see Bitmask).


    File Transfer Protocol. The means of transferring web files to and from a file server.


    A computer visible on the network.


    HyperText Transfer Protocol. The means of transferring web pages.


    An object-oriented language similar to C++ developed by Sun, which can either be compiled or run via interpreters and runtime environments (called Java Virtual Machines, or JVMs). Small Java applications known as applets can be downloaded from Web Servers and run on your computer by a Java-compatible Web browser.


    Software that is placed between the client and the server (see Server) to improve or expand functionality.

ODBC (Open DataBase Connectivity)

    A standard API (see API) for connecting application programs to relational database systems through a suitable driver (see ODBC driver).

ODBC driver

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

Operating System

    A collection of software programs, APIs and working practices that control and integrate the execution of system functions on behalf of application programs.


    Practical Extraction and Report Language. An interpretive programming language especially designed for processing text, which has become one of the most popular languages for writing CGI scripts (see CGI).


    A description of the hardware and operating system as a unit. For example, a PC running Microsoft Windows, a PC running BSD Unix and a Sun running Solaris are three different platforms.


    PHP Hypertext Preprocessor. A server-side scripting language which can be embedded within HTML to create dynamic Web pages. The strength of PHP lies in its compatibility with many types of databases and network protocols and it is now shipped as standard with a number of Web servers, including RedHat Linux.

Processing Instruction

    A mechanism provided by XML to allow rules to be passed to an application as to how to handle a document element (or its contents) along with the document itself.


    Simple API for XML. An API (see API) that allows a Web file that uses XML (see XML) to describe a collection of data to be interpreted. SAX is used to specify and control events via an XML parser.


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

¯ OR ¯

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

Shared Object

    A piece of object code (i.e. a program fragment) for loading and executing by other programs.

SQL (Structured Query Language)

    A standard language for interacting with relational database systems, based on Relational Theory.

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. For example:

vendor name
Easysoft Easysoft XML-ODBC Server
MySoft My ODBC Client Application

    This table has two columns; vendor, and name. It has two rows: one corresponding to Easysoft XML-ODBC, and the other corresponding to MySoft's ODBC client software. The term "table" can also apply to just the definition of the table, without its data.


    A formatting command inserted in a document that specifies how all or part of a document, should be interpreted.

User Data Source

    An ODBC Data Source with access limited to a specific user on a given system. See also System Data Source.

Visual Basic

    A programming language and environment from Microsoft, which was one of the first products to provide a graphical environment for developing user interfaces. Visual Basic has an object-oriented philosophy and is sometimes referred to as an event-driven language because each object can be programmed to react to a user event, such as a mouse click.


    Extensible Markup Language. A specification for documents which allows users to define, transmit and receive data using customized tags.


    Extensible Style Language. A specification for separating style from content when creating XML Web pages, which works like a template to allow a single style document to be applied to multiple pages.


    Extensible Style Language Transformation. The language used in XSL style sheets to transform all or part of an XML document (see XML) stored in one format into a document with a different definition.