# Introduction to the ODBC jEDI
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# Technical Definitions
The following terms/abbreviations will be penned in italics in the following sections and child documents to indicate that they are defined within this section:
- ODBC - Open Database Connectivity
- RDBMS - Relational Database Management System
- ANSI - American National Standards Institute
- SQL - Structured Query Language; A standardized query language for requesting information from a relational database
- DSN - Data Source Name
- jQL - jBASE’s version of the ENGLISH/ACCESS query language from Reality/PICK
- jEDI - jBASE External Device Interface
# Technical Prerequisites
Due to the technical nature of this document, prerequisite knowledge of the following is considered essential:
- jBASE and concepts of MultiValue databases
- Concepts of at least one RDBMS
If additional knowledge of jBASE is needed, please review the Introduction to jBASE documentation for information on commands and utilities used in this walk-through.
Additionally, in order to properly perform the steps listed in the installation and configuration sections of this document, you will need a licensed system running jBASE 5.6 or greater. If you do not yet have a valid licensed jBASE system, please contact Zumasys licensing to obtain the components needed to construct one.
The ODBC jEDI driver/tool-set adds the new ODBC file type to jBASE, and gives users the ability to create jBASE files that map jBASE records to tables of any given target RDBMS. The data formatting and mapping of jBASE table columns to target RDBMSs is done automatically, so that from the jBASE perspective, your ODBC file looks like any other jBASE file (All commands used to interact with a file (jED, COPY, OPEN '<file>', etc) work just like a hashed file.
There are several drivers (shared objects), one for each RDBMS, that rely on the jEDI to generate the mapping between the dynamic array on the jBASE side, to the columns in tables on the RDBMS side. These drivers connect to the independent RDBMSs via the ODBC jEDI module.
The ODBC jEDI driver suite relies on various initialization files and environment variables critical for the proper function of the utility. Valid composition of these files and variables is essential for the proper connection and mapping of the jBASE record structure to the desired target RDBMS table, and vice versa.
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