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SQL Azure ODBC Driver

You want a highly reliable ODBC driver for your Azure data? We have it for you; the Easysoft ODBC-SQL Azure Driver delivers blistering performance for applications connecting to the Microsoft SQL Azure product and allows you to take advantage incredible database scalability (lowering your costs).

By taking advantage of our SQL Azure ODBC driver you can take advantage of our simple installation process and excellent support services.

ODBC Driver for the SQL Azure Cloud Database Service

Focus on your application. Not the database platform.

SQL Azure offers on demand storage through Microsoft data centres and is part of the Windows Azure platform. The SQL Azure ODBC driver extends SQL Azure to Linux and Unix platforms. The database platform need not dictate the application platform therefore. This increases the choices you have when faced with delivering innovative, cost effective, robust applications in a short timeframe. For example, taking advantage of tried and tested software combinations such as Apache on Linux, combinations that have been intensively road tested over a number of years in demanding environments such as ISPs; license fee savings through use of open source software; using a huge knowledge base (forums and other such resources) to solve problems.

Benefits

Reduced costs
  • Our SQL Azure ODBC driver allows you to take full advantage of Microsoft's cloud-based relational database, in doing so it will reduce your operating costs.
  • The SQL Azure ODBC driver’s licensing options do not penalise you for the success that using an elastically scalable backend database anticipates: you can install extra CPUs and have the option to add additional client machines at no extra cost to cope with increased demand.
Simple, efficient development
  • To provide a familiar interface to SQL Azure and ensure that the transition from Windows to Linux and Unix platforms is seamless, the SQL Azure ODBC driver mirrors functionality in the SQL Native Client, Microsoft’s client interface for SQL Azure. Developers who are used to this Microsoft interface will find the expected behaviour (features, connection string settings, ODBC API extensions and so on), enabling existing technical knowledge to be reused and protecting your investment in Microsoft training.
  • The SQL Azure ODBC driver enables code written in the most widely used programming languages (C, PHP, Python, Perl, Ruby and so on) to be reused on non-Windows platforms.
Faster time-to-market
  • The SQL Azure ODBC driver supports unixODBC, the commonly available ODBC Driver Manager for non-Windows platforms. Because support for unixODBC is so widespread, your developers can choose a programming language on the basis of bringing your applications to market quickly rather than compatibility with your data access solution. For example, build SQL Azure applications in a shortened timeframe by using rapid application development tools such as Ruby On Rails, Zend and Django.
  • The SQL Azure ODBC driver also promotes rapid development through the reuse of existing cross-platform code.
Improved agility
  • The SQL Azure ODBC driver expands the choice of potential client operating systems with which to build cloud based solutions (Linux, AIX, HP-UX and Solaris).
  • The SQL Azure ODBC driver supports both SQL Azure and SQL Server and so gives you the freedom to adopt a cloud, hybrid cloud or traditional on premises approach, as dictated by the needs of your projects. For example, the SQL Azure ODBC driver gives you the flexibility to try various business models such as providing your application in the context of a hosted SQL Azure database or bundling it with a local copy SQL Server.
  • SQL Azure’s globally dispersed data centres and Unicode support help you to offer your applications to a global audience and differentiate your applications from those of your competitors by providing localised versions. To protect data integrity across your global user base, the SQL Azure ODBC driver can convert character data from the encoding used by SQL Azure to one of the many encodings that may be required to correctly represent character data on client machines throughout the world. With the SQL Azure ODBC driver you will always have a mechanism to solve data integrity issues (data loss/corruption) that could otherwise prevent you from providing a localised application in an important market. This could be vital when you need to provide your application to users in a different country, and do that tomorrow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can any ODBC driver that supports SQL Server be used to connect to SQL Azure?

To connect to SQL Azure, an ODBC driver must support SQL Server Authentication and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. The ODBC driver must also support SSL certificate verification. Without SSL certificate verification, you (and your customers) cannot be sure that the remote machine your applications are connecting to over the Internet really is the SQL Azure server and not an attacker’s machine. (A machine that is silently harvesting your SQL Azure login details.) The SQL Azure ODBC driver supports these prerequisite SQL Azure features, and has done since its initial release.

Because support for such features varies between ODBC drivers, it is always best to check an ODBC driver vendor’s web site for information confirming that their driver supports SQL Azure.

With a cloud based database, data is accessed over the Internet. Isn’t this a security risk?

The SQL Azure ODBC driver protects data as it is transmitted over the Internet with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption.

If accessing sensitive data over the Internet (or storing such data in a third-party hosted database) gives you security concerns, you have the option to create a solution that spans both SQL Azure and SQL Server. You can integrate cloud-based SQL Azure data in real time with sensitive data that is stored in an on-premises SQL Server database.

As the SQL Azure ODBC driver supports both databases, you have the flexibility to deploy Linux and Unix applications in both cloud and hybrid cloud environments.

Is the SQL Azure ODBC driver available on a pay per use basis?

The SQL Azure ODBC driver licensing model differs from that of SQL Azure. With the SQL Azure ODBC driver, you pay an upfront charge, the driver is not available on a pay per use basis. However, unlike some other ODBC driver vendors, our easy to understand licensing options:

  • Support unlimited concurrent database connections.
  • Support unlimited CPUs per server.
  • Allow you to install our software on an unlimited number of machines in your LAN or WAN for a single fee.

The SQL Azure ODBC driver licensing options allow you to budget because your upfront costs are known. In addition, the licensing options allow you to add extra CPUs at no extra cost to gain additional performance from an existing machine to cope with increased demand; you also have the option to add additional client machines, again at no extra cost.

How does SQL Azure differ from other cloud based databases?

SQL Azure is the first relational, self managed cloud based database service.

Because Microsoft manages your database infrastructure, you can focus on enhancing your products and services rather than on supporting server infrastructure or carrying out maintenance tasks. You do not need to hire additional personnel — or distract existing personnel from more strategic tasks — to maintain an on-premises infrastructure.

Likewise, using the SQL Azure ODBC driver to integrate SQL Azure with Linux and Unix platforms will not impose a distracting IT burden. Configure the SQL Azure ODBC driver by using the connection details that are automatically generated for you in the SQL Azure portal, and the driver will transparently and reliably satisfy your connectivity requirements without requiring further interaction. If you do experience any technical issues, our support team can establish a secure WebEx session with your systems to provide remote interactive support, minimising the time and effort you need to spend on resolving connectivity issues.

What are the benefits of a relational cloud database?

Because SQL Azure is a relational database, you can:

  • Apply best practices and lessons learned from the past when developing relational database structures for your cloud based solutions. If you already use SQL Server, you have the option to reuse your existing database schemas.
  • Use familiar tools to run SQL queries against and produce reports from your cloud based data.

The SQL Azure ODBC driver supports the necessary SQL statements and constructs to take advantage of SQL Azure’s relational structure. For example, you can use SQL to turn your data into an asset by producing analytics that provide insight on how to create personalised features for your users. After all, to ensure that you benefit from the scalability that SQL Azure offers, you need to retain your users, and adding new value for them in this way can help you to do this.

Diagram

Supported Platforms

The SQL Azure ODBC driver is currently available on these platforms:

Version Platform Distribution
v1.9 (SQL Server 7.0 - 2016, SQL Azure) AIX (PPC) (32 - Bit) (4.3-7.1)
v1.9 (SQL Server 7.0 - 2016, SQL Azure) AIX (PPC) (64 - Bit) (5.0-7.1)
v1.9 (SQL Server 7.0 - 2016, SQL Azure) HP-UX (Itanium i64) (32 - Bit) (11i)
v1.9 (SQL Server 7.0 - 2016, SQL Azure) HP-UX (Itanium i64) (64 - Bit) (11i)
v1.9 (SQL Server 7.0 - 2016, SQL Azure) HP-UX (PA-Risc) (32 - Bit) (10.10-11)
v1.9 (SQL Server 7.0 - 2016, SQL Azure) HP-UX (PA-Risc 2) (64 - Bit) (11)
v1.9 (SQL Server 7.0 - 2016, SQL Azure) Linux (Itanium i64) (64 - Bit) (kernel 2.4-3.0+, glibc 2.2.5)
v1.9 (SQL Server 7.0 - 2016, SQL Azure) Linux (x86) (32 - Bit) (kernel 2.2-4.0+, glibc 2.1+)
v1.9 (SQL Server 7.0 - 2016, SQL Azure) Linux (x86) (64 - Bit) (kernel 2.6-4.0+, glibc 2.3.5+)
v1.9 (SQL Server 7.0 - 2016, SQL Azure) Solaris (Sparc) (32 - Bit) (2.6-2.11)
v1.9 (SQL Server 7.0 - 2016, SQL Azure) Solaris (Sparc) (64 - Bit) (2.8-2.11)
v1.9 (SQL Server 7.0 - 2016, SQL Azure) Solaris (x86) (32 - Bit) (2.8-2.11)
v1.9 (SQL Server 7.0 - 2016, SQL Azure) Solaris (x86) (64 - Bit) (2.8-2.11)
v1.5 (SQL Server 7.0 - 2012, SQL Azure) Mac OS X (x86) (32 - Bit) (10.4-10.8)
v1.5 (SQL Server 7.0 - 2012, SQL Azure) Mac OS X (x86) (64 - Bit) (10.4-10.8)

Download SQL Azure driver

About SQL Azure

SQL Azure is a cloud based, relational, self-managed database service, and is built on Microsoft SQL Server technologies. SQL Azure automatically takes care of managing the database, storage, servers, and tuning, requiring zero or minimal end user involvement.

With Microsoft managing your database infrastructure, your staff can focus on innovation and customer service rather than server infrastructure or carrying out maintenance tasks. For example, there’s need to for your staff to be distracted with time consuming tasks such as requisitioning development, test, application, and database servers, and then unpacking, racking, and testing each machine. Your developers can quickly provision databases for use on projects without having to make advance arrangements with DBAs.

SQL Azure removes the potentially prohibitive costs associated with on premises servers capable of handling high traffic, and that are secure enough to meet enterprise customers’ strict privacy and security standards. Costs that include hardware, software, personnel, electricity to run the servers and recycling the hardware after it has exceeded its life span.

Because SQL Azure can scale elastically on a pay-per-use basis, SQL Azure is ideal in situations where usage comes in bursts or difficult to predict. For example:

  • A company that wants to take advantage of the user base on social networking sites such as Facebook, where viral-scale traffic is a possibility.
  • A startup company with no historical data on which to base usage predictions.
  • A ticketing application that has to handle thousands or tens of thousands of ticket purchases in minutes when tickets for a big event go on sale and is then idle when the event sells out.
  • A company who could see traffic explode following a good review from a popular media outlet.

For a very small investment, you can try a new project and ramp it up immediately if it works or close it down immediately if it does not. You are not burdened with the costs of underutilised server resources if you need to scale your applications down during off-peak periods or there is no market for a project you are trialing.

SQL Azure Database provides a multi-tenant architecture that allows multiple tenants to share a common underlying infrastructure while isolating each tenant’s data.

Because SQL Azure is built on SQL Server technologies, it is easy to migrate your SQL Server database to SQL Azure to take advantage of database scalability in the cloud. To make the transition to the cloud as smooth as possible, working with SQL Azure is just like working with SQL Server. This enables you to reuse existing SQL Server know-how, applications, code and database schemas helping to speed development time for SQL Azure applications.

As your developers will always have access to the latest version of SQL Azure, you can deliver future versions of your product faster because you are always up-to-date in the cloud.

Moving to the cloud helps you expand internationally and gain access to a worldwide market of customers, without the expense of establishing and maintaining regional data centres. There is no need to migrate customer data from one region to another or replicate databases. Because SQL Azure data centres are located thoughout the world, there are no latency or performance issues for customers who are located outside of the country where you are based. Additionally, it may be important to your customers to have their data stored in the same country as the one where they are located. There may also be a regulatory obligation for doing this. For example, data from customers located in the European Union must be stored at a data centre also located in the European Union.

Windows Azure, the platform that SQL Azure is part of, also provides a range of options for storing non relational data. For example, you can use Blob storage in Windows Azure to store binary data (for example, documents, images and other files your customers might upload) without impacting your relational database storage in SQL Azure. This helps you reduce your costs by putting your data in the most appropriate online storage medium.

About Easysoft

Easysoft is the world’s leading independent supplier of cross-platform data access products. Since 1993, 1000s of organisations across the world, from startups to enterprise businesses, have relied on Easysoft software to manage, analyse and share essential information.