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MS does universal access

Microsoft posts a software development kit for OLE DB, its technology for accessing multiple data types through a standard interface from any desktop.

Microsoft has posted a software development kit for its OLE DB universal database access API (application programming interface) to its Web site.

OLE DB is the company's technology for accessing multiple data types--including text, video, audio, and data stored in relational database management systems--through a standard interface from any desktop, either across corporate networks or the Internet. It includes Microsoft's existing ODBC API, which provides access to databases via SQL (Structured Query Language).

Using the SDK, software developers can define any data source as ActiveX components that can be included in applications written with any ActiveX-aware development tool, including Microsoft's own tools, as well as those from Powersoft, Borland International, and other companies.

Microsoft (MSFT) plans to incorporate OLE DB technology in its entire line of tools and applications.

The SDK includes a programmer's reference, test utilities, sample code, code to access ODBC data sources via OLE DB, and a beta copy of Microsoft's ActiveX Data Objects, software that allows ActiveX-aware tools to use OLE DB.