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Object Linking and Embedding Database (OLE DB)

Definition - What does Object Linking and Embedding Database (OLE DB) mean?

Object Linking and Embedding Database (OLE DB) is a group of APIs used to facilitate and abtract access to application data of different file formats, including spreadsheets, structured query language (SQL)-based database management systems (DBMS), indexed-sequential files, and personal databases.

OLE DB is based on the Component Object Model (COM) and is part of the Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) software package, which is used to read and write data.

Techopedia explains Object Linking and Embedding Database (OLE DB)

The OLE DB object model components are data source objects (DSO), command objects, rowset objects and session objects. OLE DB uses abstraction sets to segregate stored application data, because different programs require access to different DSO types.

OLE DB classifications are:
  • Consumers: Applications requiring data access
  • Providers: Software components that supply consumer data by using OLE DB APIs
When requesting OLE DB data, an application follows this sequence:
  1. Initialize the OLE.
  2. Establish a connection to the data's source.
  3. Use a command to request access.
  4. Process the application query to acquire request results.
  5. Provide the requested DSO.
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