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Article ID: 110508 - Last Review: October 26, 2013 - Revision: 4.0

This article was previously published under Q110508
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.


Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) version 2.5 and later use the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) API (application programming interface) to access and manipulate data. Before a table can be created, ODBC requires that a "data source" be configured to allow access to data. A data source is a set of data that can be located in a variety of databases (for example, FoxPro, Access, SQL Server, and so forth) in various locations (for example, local or network). Once a data source is configured/named, the programmer only needs to specify the name of the data source to connect to the data. To create a table for the data source, use the CDatabase::ExecuteSQL() function and pass it a string that uses the CREATE TABLE SQL statement.

For additional information about programmatically configuring a data source, please see the following article(s) in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
110507  ( ) How To Configure ODBC Data Sources on the Fly
NOTE: The information contained within this article is duplicated in the 'Programming with MFC Encyclopedia' shipped with Visual C++ 4.0. The article can be found by searching for "SQLConfigDataSource" and selecting the article titled 'FAQ: Programatically Configuring an ODBC Data Source'.

More information

To create a data source, the ODBC Administrator program, which is normally found in Windows Control Panel as an icon labeled "ODBC", is typically used.

Many data sources, such as FoxPro data source, specify directories for databases. That is, a directory is the data source and each table is contained in a separate file (in the case of dBASE or FoxPro, each table is a .DBF file). Other data sources, such as Microsoft Access and SQL Server data sources, require that something exists before a data source can be established. For example, when using the SQL Server ODBC driver, you would of course need a SQL server established. The Microsoft Access ODBC driver requires that a .MDB file exists before it can create a data source. When creating an Access ODBC data source through the ODBC Administrator program, you are given two choices; you can select a .MDB file or you can create a .MDB file. There isn't a programmatic way of creating the .MDB file from your application. Therefore, if your application requires that you place data into an Access data source (.MDB file), you most likely will want to have an empty .MDB file that you can use or copy whenever you need it.

Once you have the data source established, creation of tables can easily be done by using the CDatabase::ExecuteSQL() function and the CREATE TABLE SQL statement. For example, if you had a database object called myDB, you could use the following MFC code to create a table:
                   ", OfficeName TEXT(10))")
The code above creates a table called "OFFICES" in the ACCESS data source connected to by myDB; the table contains two fields "OfficeID" and "OfficeName".

NOTE: The field types specified in the CREATE TABLE SQL statement may vary according to the ODBC driver that you are using. For example, the Btrieve ODBC driver will require "STRING" in place of the "TEXT" type shown in the CREATE TABLE statement above. The MSQUERY program is one way to discover what field types are available for a data source. In MSQUERY, select File, choose Table_Definition, select a table from a data source, and look at the type shown in the "Type" combo box.


For more information about data sources, see the "Database Classes Encyclopedia" in the online books.

Applies to
  • Microsoft Foundation Class Library 4.2, when used with:
    • Microsoft Visual C++ 1.52 Professional Edition
    • Microsoft Visual C++ 2.1
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