ODBC drivers on Mac OS X

2012-11-24

A brief survey of ODBC and database connectivity on Mac OS X, since I wanted to test ODBC drivers on Stata (see How do I set up an ODBC Data Source Name for Stata on Mac or Linux/Unix?).

What is available on OS X?

Starting with Mac OS X version 10.6 (Snow Leopard), ODBC Administrator is no longer shipped with the operating system and must be downloaded and installed separately: ODBC Administrator Tool for Mac OS X v1.0, or alternatively we can use ODBC Manager.

Mac OS X comes with iODBC, installed in /usr/bin.

However, ODBC connectors seem to be slowly updated for newer version of OS X. For example, the latest release of MySQL Connector/ODBC targets 10.6 (but it should work with 10.7 and onwards). There are detailed instructions on how to install the ODBC connector from either a binary or source package. Please note that there is a packaged installer where we can see what's going to be installed on the system:

Unfortunately, there's no file libmyodbc3S.so as reported in the above screenshot or in the on-line help. As I used the tarball, I just copied files in bin/ and lib/ to my /usr/local. Then we need an odbc.ini file. I copied the one in the test/ folder in ~/Library/ODBC (which I had to create), and changed absolute paths in there. Then I just used ODBC Administrator to configure a User DSN, according to the instructions.

We can also check that it worked directly from the command line:

$ iodbctest
iODBC Demonstration program
This program shows an interactive SQL processor
Driver Manager: 03.52.0607.1008

Enter ODBC connect string (? shows list): ?

DSN                              | Driver                                  
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
myodbc5                          | /usr/local/lib/libmyodbc5w.so           

For PostgreSQL, things were supposed to be a bit more complicated if we refer to this blog post: ODBC on OSX 10.7 for Postgresql is broke……a suggested fix. But wait, aren't we all working on a BSD platform with all GNU tools? I first tried to compile psqlodbc-09.01.0200 from PostgreSQL File browser.

$ ./configure --with-iodbc
$ make
$ sudo make install

This should install psqlodbcw.{la|so} in /usr/local/lib. I then added an entry to ~/Library/ODBC/odbc.ini (and correlate its entries with the file odbcinst.ini, as indicated in the IODBC FAQ). Guess what: this just works:

$ iodbctest
iODBC Demonstration program
This program shows an interactive SQL processor
Driver Manager: 03.52.0607.1008

Enter ODBC connect string (? shows list): ?

DSN                              | Driver                                  
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
myodbc5                          | /usr/local/lib/libmyodbc5w.so           
psqlodbc                         | /usr/local/lib/psqlodbcw.so             

A little test

Using the example from my last post, I first imported the auto.txt dataset into MySQL. I have probably an outdated version (Server version: 5.5.18 MySQL Community Server (GPL)) but that's another issue. I happened to record the dataset as follows:

mysql> CREATE DATABASE datasets;
mysql> USE datasets;
mysql> CREATE TABLE auto (MAKE char(20), PRICE double, MPG double, REP78 double, HEADROOM double,                     
                          TRUNK double, WEIGHT double, LENGTH double, TURN double, 
                          DISPLACEMENT double, GEAR_RATIO double, FOREIGNER double);
mysql> LOAD DATA LOCAL INFILE '/Users/chl/Documents/data/auto.txt' INTO TABLE auto 
       FIELDS TERMINATED BY ',' LINES TERMINATED BY '\n' IGNORE 1 LINES;
mysql> UPDATE auto SET rep78 = NULL WHERE rep78 = -999;

Then, in Stata:

How about R with the RODBC package? Let's try it:

Next adventures in Data Land: Connect from Emacs on my Airbook to a SAS server installed on another Mac running some Windows flavour (probably XP) installed on a USB key through Virtual Box!
(I dont like the idea, but I have to use SAS for a course...)

Notes

Not tested (probably because I don't see any point in using SQL Server or other Microsoft technology, let alone Excel): Accessing MSSQL databases from Excel 2011 on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

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