Open DataBase Connectivity
(ODBC) A standard for accessing different database systems. There are interfaces for Visual Basic, Visual C++, SQL and the ODBC driver pack contains drivers for the Access, Paradox, dBase, Text, Excel and Btrieve databases.
An application can submit statements to ODBC using the ODBC flavor of SQL. ODBC then translates these to whatever flavor the database understands.
ODBC 1.0 was released in September 1992.
ODBC is based on Call-Level Interface and was defined by the SQL Access Group. Microsoft was one member of the group and was the first company to release a commercial product based on its work (under Microsoft Windows) but ODBC is not a Microsoft standard (as many people believe).
ODBC drivers and development tools are available now for Microsoft Windows, Unix, OS/2, and Macintosh.
["Unix Review", Aug 1995].