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Microsoft APIs beyond ODBC

Legacy technologies from Microsoft

  1. OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) DB,
  2. ADO (ActiveX Data Objects), and
  3. RDS (Remote Data Service)
are the Microsoft APIs that extend ODBC.
These APIs share design similarities to Java's JDBC API.
OLE DB and ADO are object-oriented interfaces used for executing SQL statements.
ADO and RDS are most similar to the JDBC API.
However, JDBC is pure Java.
Neither RDS nor ADO are written in Java. OLE DB is designed for tools, rather than developers.
The Microsoft Universal Data Access (UDA) is a term that incorporates ODBC, RDS, ADO, and OLE DB. The (legacy) JDBC 2.0 API includes the UDA functionality, including SQL3 support. Each of the Microsoft technologies are designed to run on Windows operating systems, and they provide little if any support for other platforms.


The (ODBC) Microsoft Open Database Connectivity interface is a C programming language interface that makes it possible for applications to access data from a variety of database management systems (DBMSs). ODBC is a low-level, high-performance interface that is designed specifically for relational database management systems.
The ODBC interface allows maximum interoperability and an application can access data in diverse DBMSs through a single interface. In addition, that application will be independent of any DBMS from which it accesses data. Users of the application can add software components called drivers, which interface between an application and a specific DBMS.
JDBC Metadata

Connectivity Technologies for Microsoft

ADO.NET is a high-level application-programming interface that is targeted at loosely coupled, n-tier, internet-based applications that support disconnected access to data. It is a core component of the Microsoft .NET Framework.

DataSet is synchronized with the XmlDataDocument

ADO.NET provides .NET-managed providers for connected access, and DataSets that read and write in XML for disconnected management of retrieved data and user interaction. For more information about data providers in ADO.NET, see .NET Framework Data Providers.
The DataSet reads and writes XML, and the XMLDataDocument integrates relational and XML views. For more information about data sets, see ADO.NET DataSets.

RDS (Remote Data Service)

Remote Data Service (RDS) is a feature of ADO, with which you can move data from a server to a client application or Web page, manipulate the data on the client, and return updates to the server in a single round trip. Beginning with Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, RDS server components are no longer included in the Windows operating system (see Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 Compatibility Cookbook for more detail). RDS client components will be removed in a future version of Windows. Avoid using this feature in new development work, and plan to modify applications that currently use this feature. Applications that use RDS should migrate to WCF Data Service.

Windows Communication Foundation

Windows Communication Foundation, which was code-named Indigo, is a technology that allows pieces of software to communicate with one another. There are many other such technologies, including the Component Object Model and Distributed Component Object Model, Remote Method Invocation, Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ), and WebSphere MQ. Each of those works well in a particular scenario, not so well in others, and is of no use at all in some cases. The Windows Communication Foundation is meant to work well in any circumstance in which a Microsoft .NET assembly must exchange data with any other software entity. In fact, the Windows Communication Foundation is meant to always be the very best option. Its performance is at least on par with that of any other alternative and is usually better; it offers at least as many features and probably several more. It is certainly always the easiest solution to program.

Microsoft JDBC Driver for SQL Server

The Microsoft JDBC Driver for SQL Server is a Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) 4.0 compliant driver that provides robust data access to SQL Server databases. The JDBC driver can be installed on the Windows and UNIX operating systems.