Introduction to MySQL ODBC Driver
ODBC or MySQL connector represents the collection of the MySQL ODBC drivers. MySQL ODBC drivers were called as myODBC drivers in the early days. MySQL ODBC driver is responsible for making it possible to access the MySQL database with the help of open database connectivity API (ODBC API). The latest version of ODBC i.e. ODBC 8.0 comes with the facility of having Unicode and ANSI driver. We can use the native interface of driver-manager based interfaces to connect to the MySQL database when we use the MySQL ODBC driver. This driver provides complete support for all the MySQL functionalities such as transaction and stored procedures. If we use an ODBC driver with a 5.1 or higher version, we also get complete Unicode compliance with MySQL.
When we use the Windows platform on our machine, we need to install the ODBC driver to connect to MySQL from a certain application. While using the Mac or Linux/Unix platform, named pipes of native MySQL network can be used for communication between the applications and MySQL database. Sometimes, the application that you are using on Linux/Unix or Mac os demands the usage of the ODBC interface to communicate with the database, at that time it is required to install the MySQL ODBC driver on that platforms too. Applications such as Filemaker Pro, Microsoft office and ColdFusion require ODBC for communication with MySQL.
Downloading ODBC Connector/Driver
You can download the latest version of the ODBC driver that will support your MySQL version for the platform you are using by going to the following link – https://downloads.MySQL.com/archives/c-ODBC/.
You need to specify the version of the ODBC driver you want to download and mention the operating system you are using and the version of the operating system. After choosing all these parameters, your file will be ready for download. All you need to do is to click on the download button. MySQL ODBC driver is licensed under GPL and is completely open-source. For windows machine, we have entered the following details as per my platform.
You can install MySQL ODBC driver on your platform by using any one of the methods from the two methods mentioned below:
- Binary Installation: This method is the most preferable and used most of the time because it is easy. All the libraries that are necessary for ODBC driver and other related files are pre-built. Along with that, there is a program for installation and scripts of the batch that can help to copy and configure the files and stuff automatically.
- Source Installation: This method is used when you want to install the ODBC driver on the platform for which binary package for installation is not available or in some other case, suppose you want to make some changes into the installation process and customize the MySQL ODBC driver before installation.
Given below are the installation steps:
Step #1 – Double-click on the file that is downloaded in MSI format. In my case, the file that got downloaded is named MySQL-connector-ODBC-5.3.2-win32.msi. The output that can be seen after double-clicking is as follows – Click on run.
Step #2 – Next, you will see setup of wizard for ODBC driver as shown below. Click on next.
Step #3 – Agree the license agreement and click on next.
Step #4 – You can choose any of the option as per your need – typical, custom or complete. Select Typical option and click on next.
Step #5 – There you go. Program is ready for installation. Click on the install button.
Step #6 – Now, click on the finish button to complete installation.
Configuration of ODBC Driver
After completing the installation, we will need to configure the ODBC driver and its related connections.
For this, we will need to follow the following steps:
My platform is Windows 7, so to configure ODBC connections, Got to start button, click on it, and then choose Control Panel option. After that select System and Security option that further opens to a list from which we need to select Administrative Tools and then finally click Data Sources (ODBC). This will lead to pop up of the following window.
Now, you will need to click on the Add button and select the ODBC 5.3 option from the list as shown below.
After clicking on the finish button, you will need to specify the fields that will be needed for configuring the DSN connection using the window of connection parameters as shown below.
- Data Source Name: To access the data source with a particular name you will have to provide the name in the data source name field.
- Description: In order to identify the connection for future use, you can add some descriptions in this input field.
- TCP/IP Server: By default, localhost is used for accessing the database server. In case, you want to use some other host, then you can specify the server host of MySQL in this field.
- User: This field is used to specify which user should be used while trying to connect with the database server of MySQL.
- Password: You can enter the password for the MySQL database connection in this field.
- Database: This field will display all the databases that will be allowed for access for the user that you have entered above. You can select the name of the database to which you want to connect in this field.
- Port: 3306 is the default port that is used for the connection. For the port other than this you can mention the TCP/IP port in this field.
Now, click on the test button after entering the above details to check whether the database connection is getting pinged properly as shown below.
If you want to enter other DSN details click on the details button located below as shown below.
You can even specify other network details related to secure socket layer by clicking on the ssl button shown below.
The connection is now ready. You can use the connection in different applications such as Microsoft Excel, Word to connect the database and retrieve data and manipulate the same.
We can use the ODBC driver of MySQL to establish a connection with MySQL database from any many applications. You can easily install it when you want to use it by following the above steps in the windows platform.
This is a guide to MySQL ODBC Driver. Here we discuss how to download ODBC connector/driver, with installation methods, steps and configuration of ODBC driver. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –