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Installing the APPX/ODBC Driver



The AppxODBC driver allows you to make APPX-based data available to PC applications such as Crystal Reports, Access or Excel. This data can be stored locally or remotely. This document describes how to install and configure AppxODBC to access data stored on remote hosts, such as UNIX systems, without having to install a full copy of APPX on each user's PC.

Before you start:

Certain things must be in place on your network, for this to work as documented. They are:

  1. The APPX Presentation Server (APS) or APPX Desktop Client (ADC), which must be installed on the UNIX or Windows server containing the data that the PC user wishes to access. (Or, at least, it must be installed on a system which can map to the network drive on which data is stored, since data may be stored on a Netware server which cannot run APS. That will, of course, be MUCH slower than if the data is on a local drive.)

    AppxODBC connects to the APS/ADC over a TCP/IP link, including access over the Internet. Before continuing, please verify that you can access the Presentation Server or APPX Desktop Client from a client PC on your network, using the same server user ID and password you plan to use for your AppxODBC connection. This is a good way to verify that you're not running into any issues with spelling or upper/lower case of your user ID and password (in addition to security or OS issues most commonly seen if you are trying to access data on a Windows, rather than UNIX, server).

  2. A client PC running Windows 2000 or newer, which can access the server across a TCP/IP network link.

    You can verify this by telnet'ing into the server (in the case of a UNIX machine) or ping'ing the server, from the client.

Installation and Configuration

  1. Remove DLL's for old versions of AppxODBC

    If the PC on which you're installing AppxODBC has a prior release OR BETA version of AppxODBC on it, you must do this step for the installation to work correctly.

    (If you are installing AppxODBC on a machine for the first time, you can skip this step, as there are no old version DLL's to remove.)

    If the following two files exist, please delete them from your Windows\System directory:

    • appxodbc.dll - the actual driver
    • appxsetp.dll - the data source definition dialog

  1. Remove System DSN called "appxodbc"
  2. Install AppxODBC

    Run 'APPXODBC.EXE', the AppxODBC installation program.

    A new ODBC data source named 'appxodbc' will be automatically defined. You can use this data source with third-party ODBC clients such as Excel and Crystal Reports. Note: The APPX ODBC directory will be written to by the ASQL import function. Please install APPX ODBC into a directory with WRITE access, such as C:\APPX\APPXODBC\

  3. Tell AppxODBC which data files you want to access

    Run the "asql" program in your installation directory, and specify which APPX files you want the PC user to be able to access via ODBC:

    C:\APPXODBC> asql
    or from the shortcut created on your desktop

    'asql' imports APPX data dictionary definitions into the AppxODBC relational dictionary. It will read the APPX SYSDIR (system directory) file available at the server/port specified, and allow you to select those files you want to reveal through ODBC.

    Once you have selected the files you want, press the "Import Definitions" button - 'asql' will read the APPX data dictionary, produce SQL 'create table' scripts for each file you selected, and run those scripts for you automatically, behind-the-scenes.

    Limiting access to the "asql" program, and only specifying a subset of the APPX files as available via ODBC may be useful to you as a security measure, to protect your application from well-meaning but curious users equipped with various PC programs that can read and modify data via ODBC.

At this point, you should be able to open up a PC ODBC client program like Crystal Reports, specify the AppxODBC data source, and access APPX data files.

To debug an AppxODBC Installation, please see Debugging APPX/ODBC.


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Topic revision: r1 - 2012-03-13 - ChrisBrower
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