When describing the business of Simba Technologies (http://www.simba.com), for example to employment candidates, I occasionally get perplexed looks when I say we make ODBC drivers and ODBC driver SDKs. Many technical people think that ODBC drivers are just always available for whatever database.
But how did that driver come into being? And ask this not just for databases. Ask it for any source of data from which others might want to create reports? Even when interviewing for a job I will ask candidates if the IP telephone in the interview room could benefit from having an ODBC driver? Of course it could; then Excel, Crystal Reports, or any other standard reporting application could connect to the phone's IP address as if it was an ODBC/JDBC/ADO.NET database, and get the table of the last 50 called numbers!
There are an amazing number of unique data sources out there, each with their own peculiar API. They may be a piece of hardware like telephone. Or a special kind of database, perhaps compressed or high performance. Or a geographic database that does even seem tabular/relational, but from which you could get some data out in a tabular way (e.g. table of roads, parks, water connections). Finally, you might have a custom application system, like a stock market exchange or inventory for water behind dams, that contains data. What all of the preceding have in common is someone might want to get data out of them into either a standard reporting application, or into yet another application, using ODBC, JDBC, or ADO.NET.
The purpose of this blog post was to expand your imagination about whether your currently confined custom data could be let out of the barn? Could you or your customers increase their business efficiency through added or better data access connectivity?
Simba has helped many companies provide outward accessibility for their data via our relational and multi-dimensional Software Development Kits (SDKs) and custom data driver development services. For relational access, have a peek at our comprehensive SimbaEngine SDK documentation, including our “Build a Driver in 5-Days” and developer guides available here http://www.simba.com/odbc-sdk.htm