Using ODBC in QT



This article shows how to access databases and files from QT by using an Easysoft ODBC driver. Use the Easysoft ODBC-ODBC Bridge with QT to access any remote ODBC driver. For example, access Microsoft SQL Server from QT on Linux or any UNIX platform. Use our Oracle, Sybase, InterBase, Firebird, ISAM and System Z drivers to access those databases and files.

If you have not already done so, please register with us to download a fully functional free trial version of the Easysoft ODBC driver for the database you want to access. After you have registered, download the Easysoft driver for your database from the product page for that driver. For installation instructions, see the Easysoft product documentation.

ODBC Support under QT

Our example assumes you have built (or are using) QT with ODBC support provided by the unixODBC driver manager. There are other ODBC Driver Managers for UNIX but Easysoft recommend unixODBC.

Building QT with ODBC Support

You can use ODBC under QT in two ways:

  1. as a plugin
  2. with ODBC built into libqt

If you build QT yourself you will need to use:

In either case, if you use unixODBC as distributed with Easysoft ODBC drivers you will need to tell QT where to locate the unixODBC header files and the unixODBC libraries. You do this with the -I and -L arguments to QT’s configure:

build as plugin:

./configure -I /usr/local/easysoft/unixODBC/include\
  -L /usr/local/easysoft/unixODBC/lib\

to build ODBC support directly into libqt:

./configure -I /usr/local/easysoft/unixODBC/include\
  -L /usr/local/easysoft/unixODBC/lib\

Defining/Testing Datasources

Before you run any QT code which uses any of the QSql classes you should create an ODBC datasource and test it works with unixODBC’s isql. There are two types of ODBC datasource:

You can use odbcinst -j to locate the files where unixODBC stores system and user datasources. e.g. say you were logged in as martin:

$ /usr/local/easysoft/unixODBC/bin/odbcinst -j
unixODBC 2.2.12
DRIVERS............: /etc/odbcinst.ini
SYSTEM DATA SOURCES: /etc/odbc.ini
USER DATA SOURCES..: /home/martin/.odbc.ini

says we are using unixODBC 2.2.12, the definitions for ODBC drivers are stored in /etc/odbcinst.ini, system datasources are defined in /etc/odbc.ini and user datasources are defined in /home/martin/.odbc.ini (for user martin).

In this example, user datasources defined in /home/martin/.odbc.ini are only available to the user martin (i.e. any programs run as user martin will consult /home/martin/.odbc.ini for user datasources but another file if run as user fred).

When you install Easysoft ODBC drivers they will typically create a system datasource during the installation which is either based on information you provided during the install or is a fixed datasource available at e.g. if you install the Easysoft ODBC-ODBC Bridge (OOB) the installation will typically install a "demo" datasource which points to an (OOB) Server at and optionally a datasource pointing to your installed OOB Server.

Once this datasource is defined in either the user or system ini file you can test it with isql e.g.

/usr/local/easysoft/bin/isql -v dsn_name username password

e.g. for OOB’s demo datasource you might use:

/usr/local/easysoft/unixODBC/bin/isql -v demo demo easysoft

The username and password arguments are a valid username and password for the database you are connecting to.

Example QT Code to use ODBC

QT contains a number of classes which you can use to run queries, insert data etc into databases for which you have an ODBC driver (see the QT documentation and "SQL" under modules.)

This example uses a simple QT program to list the tables in a database, pick the first table listed, show the names of the fields and then display all the rows in the first table. The example deliberately does not use any of the GUI classes to concentrate on the Sql* classes in QT.

The code for the example program is in example.cpp. To build this you need to:

Create a project file containing:

SOURCES = example.cpp
TARGET = example
CONFIG = qt debug

then run:

qmake -o Makefile

This creates a Makefile which you can process with make i.e. just type make. This will compile the example.cpp code into a binary called example. You can then run the example program from the shell using:


The example code is heavily commented. You should refer to the QT documentation for more detailed explanations of the QSql classes.

Using the Easysoft ODBC Drivers with QT

Easysoft have tested our ODBC drivers with QT 3 and 4.

All Easysoft ODBC drivers come with unixODBC and create datasources in /etc/odbc.ini during installation. You can use these datasources with QT. By default all Easysoft products install unixODBC in /usr/local/easysoft/unixODBC and you will find isql and odbcinst in the bin subdirectory.

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