Unicode Function Arguments

The ODBC 3.5 (or higher) Driver Manager supports both ANSI and Unicode versions of all functions that accept pointers to character strings or SQLPOINTER in their arguments. The Unicode functions are implemented as functions (with a suffix of W), not as macros. The ANSI functions (which can be called with or without a suffix of A) are identical to the current ODBC API functions.


Unicode functions that always return or take strings or length arguments are passed as count-of-characters. For functions that return length information for server data, the display size and precision are described in number of characters. When a length (transfer size of the data) could refer to string or nonstring data, the length is described in octet lengths. For example, SQLGetInfoW will still take the length as count-of-bytes, but SQLExecDirectW will use count-of-characters.

Count-of-characters refers to the number of bytes (octets) for ANSI functions and the number of WCHAR (16-bit words) for UNICODE functions. In particular, a double-byte character sequence (DBCS) or a multibyte character sequence (MBCS) can be composed of multiple bytes. A UTF-16 Unicode character sequence can be composed of multiple WCHARs.

The following is a list of the ODBC API functions that support both Unicode (W) and ANSI (A) versions:

SQLBrowseConnect SQLGetDiagField
SQLColAttribute SQLGetDiagRec
SQLColAttributes SQLGetInfo
SQLColumnPrivileges SQLGetStmtAttr
SQLColumns SQLNativeSQL
SQLConnect SQLPrepare
SQLDataSources SQLPrimaryKeys
SQLDescribeCol SQLProcedureColumns
SQLDriverConnect SQLProcedures
SQLDrivers SQLSetConnectAttr
SQLError SQLSetConnectOption
SQLExecDirect SQLSetCursorName
SQLForeignKeys SQLSetDescField
SQLGetConnectAttr SQLSetStmtAttr
SQLGetConnectOption SQLSpecialColumns
SQLGetCursorName SQLStatistics
SQLGetDescField SQLTablePrivileges
SQLGetDescRec SQLTables

The following is a list of the ODBC Installer and ODBC Translator functions that support both Unicode (W) and ANSI (A) versions:

SQLConfigDataSource SQLInstallDriverManager
SQLCreateDataSource SQLInstallerError
SQLDataSourceToDriver SQLInstallODBC
SQLDriverToDataSource SQLReadFileDSN
SQLGetAvailableDrivers SQLRemoveDSNFromINI
SQLGetInstalledDrivers SQLValidDSN
SQLGetTranslator SQLWriteDSNToINI

Deprecated functions have Unicode-to-ANSI mapping support because the ODBC 3.x Driver Manager supports recompiling ODBC 2.x applications with the UNICODE #define.

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