Microsoft Announces Availability of OLE DB Software Development Kit

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 3, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of the Microsoft® OLE DB Software Development Kit (SDK) version 1.0. OLE DB, a data access API, is Microsoft’s component database architecture interface. Based on the Component Object Model (COM), OLE DB provides access to data regardless of location or type. OLE DB is a freely published specification created with industrywide participation and designed to take full advantage of the existing ODBC industry standard. OLE DB provides a standard for data access and interoperability in an enterprise’s network, from the desktop to the mainframe and across the Internet.

The OLE DB SDK is a complete development kit designed for use by developers whose products either supply or consume data. The SDK includes the programmers reference, test utilities, sample code, an ODBC data provider for efficient OLE DB-based access to existing ODBC data sources, and an OLE DB data provider for ODBC-based access to OLE DB data sources. The OLE DB SDK 1.0 also contains a beta version of ActiveX
Data Objects. ActiveX Data Ojects are a data access object model based on OLE DB functionality for use by solution developers from any ActiveX Controls-compliant development tool or language.

OLE DB Provides Solutions for Accessing Data

The combination of OLE DB and ActiveX Data Objects creates a unified strategy for data access and will be used throughout the Microsoft line of applications, tools and data stores as well as a broad range of third-party products. This will provide a consistent data access object model across a range of tools and data sources for developers.

“We expect OLE DB to play a significant role in the way tools and languages access data industrywide,”
said David Vaskevitch, vice president of enterprise computing at Microsoft.
“There is a rapidly increasing variety of types of data and data stores in business today. The inconsistency in the way data is found and accessed creates barriers for the developer attempting to deploy integrated solutions. The goal of OLE DB is to utilize data sources such as relational, desktop, mainframe, mail and ISAM, in a consistent and high-performance way.”

“OLE DB’s standardized interface is a critical step forward in the support of object data access for mainstream applications,”
said Larry Alston, director of product management at Object Design Inc.
“Our goal is for users of our object database management system to have a standard option for accessing object data. We view this as an important evolutionary step toward the coexistence of traditional and object data management.”

Market Opportunity for Database Components

OLE DB defines how to partition the functionality of a traditional relational database into logical pieces, allowing developers to use these interfaces to define a very simple data provider, such as a log file, all the way to a full relational database. The OLE DB SDK will enable developers to create database products that are assembled from best-in-class components, encouraging a new market for interoperable database components to emerge and creating a more flexible way to access and manage heterogeneous data sources. For example, a query processor or transaction manager can be written as separate components that can plug into an OLE DB-compliant data source, allowing functionality to be added incrementally as required by the client application. This enables specialized database components to be offered by a third-party value-added market.

An application of this approach can be seen in the ISG Navigator an OLE DB-based distributed middleware product, which provides transparent access to data on a variety of platforms and data sources, such as RMS and MUMPS, and SQL-based data.

“OLE DB allows ISG Navigator to plug into and manage a wide variety of data sources, distributed throughout the enterprise and across the Internet boundaries,”
said Arie Gonen, CEO of ISG International Software Group.
“We are able to make existing corporate information considerably more valuable by accessing more data sources in their native form. I am confident that OLE DB will become a standard for data access and manipulation to both SQL and non-SQL data sources.”

“With OLE DB, we have an opportunity for our decision support tools to integrate a wealth of diverse information and present it to users in ways that are not possible today,”
said Tommy Steele, president of Intergraph Software Solutions.
“By exposing the technical information within our applications through OLE DB interfaces, we believe the benefits for our customers to be almost limitless.”

ODBC in a COM World

Microsoft open database connectivity (ODBC) is a standard SQL-based data access interface that will continue to provide a unified way to access SQL-based data. Transparent access to ODBC-based data from an OLE DB client is provided through the ODBC data provider, included in the SDK, giving OLE DB developers high-performance access to existing ODBC drivers, thereby leveraging their investments in ODBC drivers.

“OLE DB provides a robust data access design and enhances the support of any data source, along with ODBC,”
said Bob Zurek, vice president of research and technology for the Powersoft Business Group of Sybase Inc.
“This technology will allow our customers to build applications with even greater access to enterprise data with Powersoft development tools.”

Broad Industry Support for OLE DB

Since the beta release of the OLE DB SDK last July, over 700 software companies and 300 corporations have downloaded the SDK. These companies include Apex Software Corp.; Asymetrix Corp.; Attachmate Corp.; Borland International Inc.; Intergraph Corp.; ISG International Software Group; INTERSOLV Inc.; MapInfo Corp.; Object Design Inc.; ONTOS Inc.; Open Horizon Inc.; Pervasive Software Inc. (formerly Btrieve Technologies); PLATINUM technology inc.; Powersoft Business Group of Sybase Inc.; SAS Institute Inc.; Seagate Software, Information Management Group; Simba Technologies Inc.; Sybase Inc.; Tandem Computers Inc.; Visigenic Software Inc.; Visio Corp.; Wall Data Inc. and many others.

Pricing and Availability

The OLE DB SDK will be available at no charge to customers for downloading at beginning today.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft and ActiveX are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Industry Support for OLE DB

Apex Software Corp.

PR Contact: Kristen McGahey

Phone: (412) 681-4343

URL: (

Asymetrix Corp.

PR Contact: Dennis Sullivan

Phone: (206) 637-2458

URL: (

Attachmate Corp.

PR Contact: Tiffany Allesina

Phone: (206) 649-6069

URL: (

Borland International Inc.

PR Contact: Knox Richardson

Phone: (408) 431-1201

URL: (

Intergraph Corp.

PR Contact: Jack Robertson

Phone: (205) 730-8785

URL: (

ISG International Software Group

PR Contact: Derek Caldwell,
Sunrise Financial Group Inc.

Phone: (212) 421-1616

URL: (


PR Contact: Colleen Duffy

Phone: (301) 838-5229

URL: (

MapInfo Corp.

URL: (

Object Design Inc.

PR Contact: Louisa Zauli

Phone: (617) 674-5162

URL: (


PR Contact: Basil Harris

Phone: (508) 323-8266

URL: (

Open Horizon Inc.

PR Contact: Alison Bowman, NRG PR

Phone: (415) 827-7016

URL: (

Pervasive Software Inc. (formerly Btrieve Technologies)

PR Contact: Craig Lakey

Phone: (512) 794-1620

URL: (

PLATINUM technology inc.

PR Contact: Barbara Brodley

Phone: (630) 620-5000

URL: (

Powersoft Business Group of Sybase, Inc.
PR Contact: Kathleen Quirk

Phone: (508) 287-1882

URL: (

SAS Institute Inc.

Phone: (919) 677-8000

URL: (

Seagate Software, Information Management Group

URL: (

Simba Technologies Inc.

PR Contact: Susan Trainer

Phone: (510) 837-5503

URL: (

Sybase Inc.

PR Contact: Mary Shank-Rockman

Phone: (510) 922-4165

URL: (

Tandem Computers Inc.

PR Contact: Junne Moy

Phone: (408) 285-6142

URL: (

Visigenic Software Inc.

PR Contact: Shannon Hall, The Horn Group

Phone: (415) 579-6437

URL: (

Visio Corp.

PR Contact: Melissa Covelli

Phone: (206) 637-9097

URL: (

Wall Data Inc.

Phone: (206) 814-3654

URL: (

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