Difference between ODBC and OLEDB

Difference between ODBC and OLEDB

What is the difference between ODBC and OLEDB?

First, let us take a look at ODBC.


ODBC stands for Open Data Base Connectivity, which is a connection method to data sources.

When connecting a tool or application to a database, a data source, also called a Database Source Name (DSN), using an SQL driver or other driver if connecting to other database type, needs to be set up.  Then, the application is connected to the database using this DSN.

DSN is a data structure used to describe a connection to a database. A DSN will take the form of a protocol: subprotocol: host: port:. Those are the parameters required to completely specify the connection. The exact format of the DSN will vary depending on your programming language.

ODBC is the method of connectivity that encompases the DNS. Most database systems support ODBC.


OLEDB stands for Object Linking and Embedding Database. It is an application programming interface designed by Microsoft for accessing different types of data stores in a uniform manner.

It is a newer and improved successor to ODBC.

OLEDB is the successor to ODBC, a set of software components that allow a "front end interface" such as a graphical user interface (GUI) based on VB, C++, Access, and others to connect with a back end such as SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, mySQL, etc.

OLEDB components in many cases offer improved performance over the older ODBC.

OLEDB is a different type of data provider that came about with MS's Universal Data Access in 1996.

OLEDB does not require a DSN.

Additional information

More information can be found at the Microsoft website:



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