CXXIX. ODBC Functions (Unified)


In addition to normal ODBC support, the Unified ODBC functions in PHP allow you to access several databases that have borrowed the semantics of the ODBC API to implement their own API. Instead of maintaining multiple database drivers that were all nearly identical, these drivers have been unified into a single set of ODBC functions.

The following databases are supported by the Unified ODBC functions: Adabas D, IBM DB2, iODBC, Solid, and Sybase SQL Anywhere.

Note: There is no ODBC involved when connecting to the above databases. The functions that you use to speak natively to them just happen to share the same names and syntax as the ODBC functions. The exception to this is iODBC. Building PHP with iODBC support enables you to use any ODBC-compliant drivers with your PHP applications. iODBC is maintained by OpenLink Software. More information on iODBC, as well as a HOWTO, is available at


To access any of the supported databases you need to have the required libraries installed.



Include Adabas D support. DIR is the Adabas base install directory, defaults to /usr/local.


Include SAP DB support. DIR is SAP DB base install directory, defaults to /usr/local.


Include Solid support. DIR is the Solid base install directory, defaults to /usr/local/solid.


Include IBM DB2 support. DIR is the DB2 base install directory, defaults to /home/db2inst1/sqllib.


Include Empress support. DIR is the Empress base install directory, defaults to $EMPRESSPATH. From PHP 4, this option only supports Empress Version 8.60 and above.


Include Empress Local Access support. DIR is the Empress base install directory, defaults to $EMPRESSPATH. From PHP 4, this option only supports Empress Version 8.60 and above.


Include Birdstep support. DIR is the Birdstep base install directory, defaults to /usr/local/birdstep.


Include a user defined ODBC support. The DIR is ODBC install base directory, which defaults to /usr/local. Make sure to define CUSTOM_ODBC_LIBS and have some odbc.h in your include dirs. E.g., you should define following for Sybase SQL Anywhere 5.5.00 on QNX, prior to run configure script: CPPFLAGS="-DODBC_QNX -DSQLANY_BUG" LDFLAGS=-lunix CUSTOM_ODBC_LIBS="-ldblib -lodbc".


Include iODBC support. DIR is the iODBC base install directory, defaults to /usr/local.


Include Easysoft OOB support. DIR is the OOB base install directory, defaults to /usr/local/easysoft/oob/client.


Include unixODBC support. DIR is the unixODBC base install directory, defaults to /usr/local.


Include OpenLink ODBC support. DIR is the OpenLink base install directory, defaults to /usr/local. This is the same as iODBC.


Include DBMaker support. DIR is the DBMaker base install directory, defaults to where the latest version of DBMaker is installed (such as /home/dbmaker/3.6).

To disable unified ODBC support in PHP 3 add --disable-unified-odbc to your configure line. Only applicable if iODBC, Adabas, Solid, Velocis or a custom ODBC interface is enabled.

The windows version of PHP has built in support for this extension. You do not need to load any additional extension in order to use these functions.

Runtime Configuration

The behaviour of these functions is affected by settings in php.ini.

Table 1. Unified ODBC Configuration Options

odbc.default_db *NULLPHP_INI_ALL 
odbc.default_user *NULLPHP_INI_ALL 
odbc.default_pw *NULLPHP_INI_ALL 

Note: Entries marked with * are not implemented yet.

For further details and definitions of the PHP_INI_* constants, see the Appendix H.

Here's a short explanation of the configuration directives.

odbc.default_db string

ODBC data source to use if none is specified in odbc_connect() or odbc_pconnect().

odbc.default_user string

User name to use if none is specified in odbc_connect() or odbc_pconnect().

odbc.default_pw string

Password to use if none is specified in odbc_connect() or odbc_pconnect().

odbc.allow_persistent boolean

Whether to allow persistent ODBC connections.

odbc.check_persistent boolean

Check that a connection is still valid before reuse.

odbc.max_persistent integer

The maximum number of persistent ODBC connections per process.

odbc.max_links integer

The maximum number of ODBC connections per process, including persistent connections.

odbc.defaultlrl integer

Handling of LONG fields. Specifies the number of bytes returned to variables.

When an integer is used, the value is measured in bytes. You may also use shorthand notation as described in this FAQ.

odbc.defaultbinmode integer

Handling of binary data.

Resource Types

This extension has no resource types defined.

Predefined Constants

The constants below are defined by this extension, and will only be available when the extension has either been compiled into PHP or dynamically loaded at runtime.

ODBC_TYPE (integer)







SQL_CUR_USE_ODBC (integer)












SQL_CHAR (integer)

SQL_VARCHAR (integer)


SQL_DECIMAL (integer)

SQL_NUMERIC (integer)

SQL_BIT (integer)

SQL_TINYINT (integer)

SQL_SMALLINT (integer)

SQL_INTEGER (integer)

SQL_BIGINT (integer)

SQL_REAL (integer)

SQL_FLOAT (integer)

SQL_DOUBLE (integer)

SQL_BINARY (integer)



SQL_DATE (integer)

SQL_TIME (integer)


SQL_TYPE_DATE (integer)

SQL_TYPE_TIME (integer)


SQL_BEST_ROWID (integer)

SQL_ROWVER (integer)




SQL_NO_NULLS (integer)

SQL_NULLABLE (integer)


SQL_INDEX_ALL (integer)

SQL_ENSURE (integer)

SQL_QUICK (integer)

Table of Contents
odbc_autocommit -- Toggle autocommit behaviour
odbc_binmode -- Handling of binary column data
odbc_close_all -- Close all ODBC connections
odbc_close -- Close an ODBC connection
odbc_columnprivileges --  Returns a result identifier that can be used to fetch a list of columns and associated privileges
odbc_columns --  Lists the column names in specified tables
odbc_commit -- Commit an ODBC transaction
odbc_connect -- Connect to a datasource
odbc_cursor -- Get cursorname
odbc_data_source -- Returns information about a current connection
odbc_do -- Synonym for odbc_exec()
odbc_error -- Get the last error code
odbc_errormsg -- Get the last error message
odbc_exec -- Prepare and execute a SQL statement
odbc_execute -- Execute a prepared statement
odbc_fetch_array -- Fetch a result row as an associative array
odbc_fetch_into -- Fetch one result row into array
odbc_fetch_object -- Fetch a result row as an object
odbc_fetch_row -- Fetch a row
odbc_field_len -- Get the length (precision) of a field
odbc_field_name -- Get the columnname
odbc_field_num -- Return column number
odbc_field_precision -- Synonym for odbc_field_len()
odbc_field_scale -- Get the scale of a field
odbc_field_type -- Datatype of a field
odbc_foreignkeys --  Returns a list of foreign keys in the specified table or a list of foreign keys in other tables that refer to the primary key in the specified table
odbc_free_result -- Free resources associated with a result
odbc_gettypeinfo --  Returns a result identifier containing information about data types supported by the data source
odbc_longreadlen -- Handling of LONG columns
odbc_next_result --  Checks if multiple results are available
odbc_num_fields -- Number of columns in a result
odbc_num_rows -- Number of rows in a result
odbc_pconnect -- Open a persistent database connection
odbc_prepare -- Prepares a statement for execution
odbc_primarykeys --  Returns a result identifier that can be used to fetch the column names that comprise the primary key for a table
odbc_procedurecolumns --  Retrieve information about parameters to procedures
odbc_procedures --  Get the list of procedures stored in a specific data source
odbc_result_all -- Print result as HTML table
odbc_result -- Get result data
odbc_rollback -- Rollback a transaction
odbc_setoption --  Adjust ODBC settings
odbc_specialcolumns --  Returns either the optimal set of columns that uniquely identifies a row in the table or columns that are automatically updated when any value in the row is updated by a transaction
odbc_statistics -- Retrieve statistics about a table
odbc_tableprivileges --  Lists tables and the privileges associated with each table
odbc_tables --  Get the list of table names stored in a specific data source