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How To Set Up ODBC Data Sources When Distributing Apps
Article ID: 123008 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q123008
This article discusses the following four methods for setting up an ODBC data source on a computer:
Required FilesThe following files must be distributed with your application if you use ODBC. When using the Setup Wizard to create distribution disks, ensure that the necessary files are included in the file list. All of the files listed should be installed in the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory.
Optional files (SQL Server or Oracle) are denoted with an asterisk (*).
File Description ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ODBC.DLL The ODBC Driver Manager. This DLL is called by the Microsoft Jet database engine when performing ODBC operations. The Driver Manager handles loading the correct ODBC driver and dispatching ODBC function calls to the driver. ODBCINST.DLL The ODBC Driver Installation library. This DLL contains Driver installation specific functions. The ODBC Administrator (ODBCADM.EXE) calls functions exported from this DLL when installing ODBC drivers. You may also call functions in this DLL to automate driver installation. ODBCADM.EXE The ODBC Administrator program. This program allows a user to install ODBC drivers and set up or modify Data Sources. ODBCINST.HLP The ODBC Administrator help file. COMMDLG.DLL The Common Dialog DLL. This DLL is used by the ODBC Administrator program. CTL3D.DLL The 3D Control DLL. This DLL is used by the ODBC Administrator program. If you are using ODBC.DLL version 1.05 or greater, you need to distribute CTL3DV2.DLL. PDSODBC.DLL Crystal Reports Physical Server DLL for ODBC. This DLL is required only if your application uses Crystal Reports to access an ODBC data source. <driver>.DLL The ODBC driver(s) that the application will use to connect to specific Data Sources. SQL Server: SQLSRVR.DLL* Oracle 6: SQORA.DLL* <netlib>.DLL The network library file(s). This file is used to access the Data Source when using a specific network protocol. Named Pipes: DBNMP3.DLL* TCP/IP (Sybase SQL Server): WDBNOVTC.DLL* IPX/SPX (Sybase SQL Server): WDBNOVSP.DLL* SQL*Net Interface: ORA6WIN.DLL* INSTCAT.SQL* SQL Server Catalog Stored Procedures script. DRVSSRVR.HLP* SQL Server ODBC Driver help file. ORASETUP.DLL* Oracle ODBC Driver setup functions. DRVORACL.HLP* Oracle ODBC Driver help file. ORACLE.TXT* Oracle ODBC Setup "read me" file. ODBC.INI Initialization file containing information about specific Data Sources. The DSN parameter in the Connect property of the data control or the OpenDatabase statement corresponds to an entry in the ODBC.INI. This file must also be created or modified on the client computer. ODBCINST.INI The Initialization file that contains information about installed ODBC drivers. The RegisterDatabase statement and ODBC Administrator use the information contained in this file to set up Data Sources. Entries in ODBCINST.INI are created either by running an ODBC driver setup or through the ODBC API. This file must also be either created or modified on the client computer.
Four Methods to Get DSN information into ODBC.INI and ODBCINST.INIThe .INI files store information about the ODBC driver(s) and the ODBC Data Sources. As a result, they are variable -- a user's may already have them installed in the \WINDOWS directory. If a developer were to blindly copy ODBC.INI and ODBCINST.INI onto the user's computer, the new files may overwrite existing Data Sources.
Below are four methods you can use to get DSN information into the user's ODBC.INI and ODBCINST.INI files.
ODBC SetupTo install an ODBC Driver and establish an ODBC Data Source, the Visual Basic online Help documentation recommends that you copy the entire contents of the \VB\ODBC directory to an additional distribution disk.
As a developer, you can specify that the disk be inserted and SETUP.EXE run from the floppy disk. In addition, you can prompt the user to insert the ODBC floppy disk, and then use the Visual Basic Shell command to shell out to SETUP.EXE.
The Setup Wizard copies and modifies SETUP1.MAK into SETUP1A.MAK during the process of creating distribution disks. It builds SETUP1A.MAK into SETUP1.EXE, compresses it, and copies it to the distribution disks. When SETUP.EXE is executed on the distribution disks, the files in SETUP.LST are copied to the destination computer. SETUP1.EX_ is then uncompressed and executed to start copying files from the floppy disks to the destination computer.
It is possible to then modify SETUP1A.MAK, rebuild SETUP1.EXE, compress it, and copy it to the distribution disks. To ensure that the compressed file size will fit on the first distribution disk, you must pad the project with code prior to first executing the Setup Wizard. Then you can change the code into comments and add new code to prompt for the ODBC Setup disk. The resulting EXE size will then still fit on the first distribution floppy disk.
Modify SETUP1.FRM in the \VB\SETUPKIT\SETUP1 directory to add the necessary code to pad the executable. This file is copied into SETUP1A.MAK during the Setup Wizard's execution.
NOTE: Microsoft Technical Support does not support the modification of the Setup process or any of the setup files. Support is provided for the Setup Wizard and the files it creates on an "as is" basis only.
Here are the steps to follow:
For more information on modifying SETUP1.EXE please refer to Chapter 25, "Distributing Your Application" in the Microsoft Visual Basic Programmer's Guide.
RegisterDatabaseVisual Basic provides the RegisterDatabase statement to help in installing ODBC data sources, not drivers. The RegisterDatabase statement assumes that ODBCINST.INI and ODBCINST.DLL already exist on the computer. That is, the drivers must be installed before running RegisterDatabase. If so, the developer can use RegisterDatabase to add or update an entry in the ODBC.INI.
The problem with this method is that if the client computer does not have ODBC installed on the computer, the ODBCINST.INI and DLL will not exist. Also, if the ODBC driver is new to the computer, there will not be an entry for it in ODBCINST.INI, so RegisterDatabase will fail then as well.
The following description, syntax, remarks, and example about the RegisterDatabase statement come from the Visual Basic online Help:
Makes connect information for an ODBC data source name available for use by the OpenDatabase function.Syntax:
RegisterDatabase dsn, driver, silent, attributesRemarks: The RegisterDatabase statement has the following parts:
If the database is already registered in the ODBC.INI file, the entry is updated. If RegisterDatabase fails for any reason, no changes are made to the ODBC.INI file and an error occurs.
ODBC APIThis is probably the most flexible and most efficient method, but most developers are not familiar with it and do not have the ODBC SDK that documents the API. Developers should get the Microsoft Software Development Kit (SDK) and get the "Microsoft ODBC 2.0 Programmer's Reference and SDK Guide" from Microsoft Press.
Copy INIIf the developer is certain that an ODBC.INI and ODBCINST.INI do not exist on the installation computer, they can simply copy the files. However, the developer must ensure that the paths to the drivers are correct; paths are fully qualified within the .INI files. For example, the ODBC.INI file will specify C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\SQLSRVR.DLL as the driver for SQL Server, so if the user's Windows setup is in \WIN31, the path won't work.
Article ID: 123008 - Last Review: July 13, 2004 - Revision: 1.2