Today, a large portion of the critical information is required for day-to-day business. These can be found outside or on the traditional corporate production databases.

Instead, this information can be found in file systems, indexed-sequential files like Btrieve, and also on personal databases like Microsoft Access and Microsoft Visual FoxPro; these can also be found in productivity tools like spreadsheets, project management planners, and electronic mail; and, ultimately, on the World Wide Web.

The Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server is a standalone data access Application Programming Interface (API) that was released with SQL Server 2005.

To take advantage of these features like query notifications, user-defined data types (UDT), snapshot isolation, and support for XML data types, new applications were developed or existing ones could be improved using the Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server.

Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server was solely created to make it easier to access native SQL Server data using Microsoft OLE DB.

It includes a method for developing fresh data access features without altering the existing Windows DAC elements, which are now a part of the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Although Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server makes use of Windows DAC’s components, it isn’t specifically tied to any one version of Windows DAC.

In this blog, you’ll learn more about Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server.

Introduction to OLE DB

OLE DB (Object Linking and Embedding, Database, also known as OLEDB or OLE-DB), a Microsoft-created API, enables uniform access to data from a variety of sources.

The API does not directly relate to OLE; instead, it offers a set of interfaces that are implemented using the Component Object Model (COM).

OLE DB was initially designed by Microsoft as a higher-level replacement and successor to ODBC. Further expanding its features to support a wider range of non-relational databases, such as object databases and spreadsheets.

Why Use Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server

You should take into account several factors when choosing Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server as the data access technology for your application.

If you’re developing a new application that is managed by a programming language like Microsoft Visual C# or Visual Basic and you need to access the new SQL Server features, you can use the.NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server, which is also a part of the.NET Framework.

If you are developing a COM-based application and need to access the new SQL Server features, you should use the OLE DB Driver for SQL Server. If you do not require access to the new SQL Server features, you can continue to use Windows Data Access Components (WDAC).

The main issue with the OLE DB applications is whether you need to access SQL Server’s new features or not. If you have an application that does not require the new SQL Server features, you can continue to use WDAC.

However, if you need to use those new features, such as the XML data type, you should use the OLE DB Driver for SQL Server.

Setting up Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server

Microsoft OLE DB is a set of interfaces that use the Component Object Model to introduce data from a variety of relational and nonrelational sources. OLE DB interfaces offer applications consistent access to data stored in various information sources.

These interfaces support the DBMS functionality, allowing the database to share its data.

OLE DB is made up of a programmatic model that includes web services, which store and exposes data, figure out data consumers, and who else uses the data also processing and transportation of data (such as query processors and cursor engines).

Furthermore, OLE DB includes an ODBC bridge to ensure continued support for the wide range of ODBC relational database drivers.

Before diving in, you must have the following software installed to use SQL Server data:

  • Microsoft OLE DB Driver on your client
  • SQL Server running on your server.

The Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server opensource installer lets you install the client components required during run time to take advantage of newer SQL Server features. The installer includes and installs the Microsoft Active Directory Authentication Library beginning with version 18.3. (ADAL.dll).

The most recent general availability (GA) version is Microsoft OLE DB Driver 19.0.0 for SQL Server. Microsoft OLE DB Driver 19 for SQL Server will be installed alongside Microsoft OLE DB Driver 18 for SQL Server.

Here are the steps to get started with OLE DB Driver for SQL Server:

Step 1: Download the OLE DB Driver from the Microsoft Download Center.

Step 2: Save the installer to your local machine and run it. Click Next

Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server Setup
Image Source: Self

Step 3: Accept the terms of the license agreement, then click Next after selecting OLE DB Driver for SQL.

Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server License Agreement
Image Source: Self

Step 4: Click Install. If the operating system prompts you for confirmation, select Yes.

Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server - Installation
Image Source: Self

Step 5: When the installation is finished, click Finish to close the installer.

Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server - Installation Completion
Image Source: Self

PRO TIP: We recommend that you restart your system when the installer prompts you to do so. Click Yes to restart your system immediately. Alternatively, click No to restart your system later.

For Unattended Installation, click here!

Advantages of Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server

Here are a few advantages that are worth keeping an eye for:

  • Programmatically Changing Passwords: Before SQL Server 2005 (9.X), only an administrator could reset a user’s password when it expired. Beginning with SQL Server 2005 (9.X), OLE DB Driver for SQL Server supports handling password expiration programmatically via OLE DB Driver and through changes to the SQL Server Login dialog boxes.
  • Table-Valued Parameters: Table-valued parameters were introduced in SQL Server 2008 and allow you to send multiple rows of data to the server in an efficient manner. Table-valued parameters have similar functionality to parameter arrays, but they offer more flexibility and integration with Transact-SQL.
  • Metadata Exploration: The metadata discovery advancement in SQL Server 2012 (11.X) enables OLE DB Driver for SQL Server applications to ensure that column or parameter metadata returned from query execution is identical to or compatible with the metadata format specified before the query was executed. If the metadata returned after query execution is incompatible with the metadata format you specified before query execution, you will receive an error.
  • Conducting Asynchronous Operations: Asynchronous processing allows methods to return immediately without causing the calling thread to block. This gives the developer a lot of the power and flexibility of multithreading without requiring him to explicitly create threads or handle synchronization. When initializing a database connection or the result of command execution, applications request asynchronous processing.
  • Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server High Availability and Disaster Recovery: If an OLE DB Driver for SQL Server application is connected to a database in an availability group that fails over, the original connection is lost, and the application must establish a new connection to continue working after the failover.
  • Utilizing Query Notifications: When the underlying data of a query changes, you can use query notifications to request notifications within a specified timeout period. The notification options are specified in the request, which includes the service name, message text, and timeout value to the server.
  • Mirroring a Database: Database mirroring maintains a copy of a SQL Server production database on a standby server. Depending on the configuration and state of the database mirroring session, this server is either hot or warm on standby. A standby server can fail over quickly with no loss of committed transactions, whereas a warm standby server can force service.
  • Bulk Copy Operations: Using the SQL Server bulk copy feature, large amounts of data can be transferred into or out of a SQL Server. The data can also be transferred from SQL Server to an operating system data file or as an ASCII file. 

Conclusion

Businesses have generally moved data from their original storage system into some form of database management system in order to reap the benefits of database technology such as declarative queries, transactions, and security (DBMS).

This procedure is costly and redundant. Furthermore, businesses must be able to leverage the benefits of database technology not only when accessing data within a DBMS, but also when accessing data from any other sort of information container. An Automated Data Pipeline helps you solve this issue and this is where Hevo comes into the picture.

This blog has introduced you to an overview of the Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server development, including installation and deployment. You can learn more about data modeling in SQL Server then click here.

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Share your thoughts on Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server in the comments section below.

Davor DSouza
Research Analyst, Hevo Data

Davor is a data analyst at heart with a passion for data, software architecture, and writing technical content. He has experience writing more than 100 articles on data integration and infrastructure.

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