ODBC DM 3.81 in the Next Release of Windows (code-named Windows “8” and Windows Server “8”)

We’re excited to announce Microsoft ODBC Driver Manager (DM) version 3.81. It will be released in the next release of Windows (code-named Windows “8” and Windows Server “8”).

 What’s New in Version 3.81?

Compared to ODBC DM 3.80 that shipped in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, there are two major new features in ODBC DM 3.81.

 ODBC Asynchronous Operation Notification

In ODBC 3.80 or before, applications can only use the polling model in asynchronous programming. An application has to call the original function multiple times in order to determine whether the operation has completed or not. This is not a very intuitive programming model. Also, repeated API calls waste CPU cycles, and hence the overall system performance might decrease. ODBC 3.81 supports the notification programming model for asynchronous operations. This feature supports both statement and connection APIs that are allowed to be executed asynchronously.

ODBC Driver-Aware Connection Pooling

In ODBC 3.80 or before, ODBC connection pooling is managed by DM without the participation of the ODBC drivers. Since most ODBC connection attributes and connection string keywords are driver-specific, the ODBC Driver Manager might not always know the best way to reuse connections in the pool. The ODBC DM 3.81 introduces a new model in which, the DM can collaborate with ODBC drivers on pooling decisions. This can improve the efficiency and performance of  ODBC connection pooling.

 Please read the introductory page for more detail about each of the above new features.

 Why the Version Number is changed into 3.81?

This is mainly used to differentiate it from the ODBC DM 3.80 (released in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2). However, ODBC drivers do not need to update their version.

 Is There any Application Compatibility Concern?

Application compatibility is our highest priority when the above features were designed. Basically, both features mentioned above are opt-in from both application and driver perspective. Therefore, existing ODBC drivers and applications will continue to work properly under the next release of Windows.

 When Can I Use These New Features?

For ODBC driver writers, the Beta version of the next release of Windows (code-named Windows “8” and Windows Server “8”) has these features. Try out the Windows “8” Beta bits today!

 For application developers, please read the linked MSDN pages above to better understand how these features may fit within your environment.  At the
moment, ODBC 3.80 drivers supporting these features are not yet available; however, we are in contact with several driver vendors about supporting these
features. Please work with your driver vendor to better understand their plan for these features support.

 Microsoft SQL Server Native Client ODBC driver plans to support these new features as soon as Windows “8” becomes general available. 
Please monitor https://blogs.msdn.com/b/data/ for announcement on the support of these features.

 Does SQLODBC Driver (inside WDAC) Support ODBC 3.80?

No. SQLODBC is already deprecated.
Its sole purpose is for backward compatibility. You are advised to plan the migration from SQLODBC to the latest version of SQL Server Native Client ODBC

 Pak-Ming Cheung

Microsoft Developer, WDAC team, Data Programmability