EQWatcher Evolution > Installation > Installing ODBC

Installing ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) is OPTIONAL -- It is only needed if you need to use databases through EQWatcher.  Furthermore, if you use Windows 2000 or XP it is most likely already installed and will most likely work without upgrading it.  If you use Windows 98 or ME, it is rumored to be installed by default, however you MAY need to update to use it with EQWatcher by following the coming instructions.

At any rate, if you DO need to install or upgrade the ODBC on your system, this link MDAC 2.71 SP1 is the newest.  If you are using Windows XP and have installed Service Pack 1, this is the same version.

To use any specific kind of database with ODBC, a driver is required for that database type.  MySQL database drivers for ODBC can be found here: http://www.mysql.com/downloads/api-myodbc.html. You will probably want the "current production release", any others are more likely to have problems.

ODBC (and therefore EQWA) uses databases through "data sources" which determine which driver, database server or file, username/password, etc to use for accessing a database.  Each data source is given a name, and this is how EQWatcher connects to the source.  EQWatcher sets up two data sources on its own, named "EQWatcher" and "EQWatcherCSV", for script developers to use freely.

Setting up Data Sources

To set up an ODBC data source, use the ODBC Data Source Administrator.  On Windows 2000 and XP this will be in Administrative Tools, which is probably in Control Panel if you can't find it. On Windows 98 or ME, I assume ODBC is somewhere in Control Panel directly.  Use the "Add" button to add a source to the desired list (User or System preferably).  You must know the driver to use, and unless you are Spanish or German you will probably want to ignore the ones that say "Driver do" "Driver para" "Driver da" or "Treiber".  It's generally easy to find the correct driver, because you should know the file extension (.txt, .csv, .mdb, etc) and the drivers are listed with these tacked on the end... or they say "SQL Server" for MS SQL Server, or "MySQL ODBC 3.xx Driver" etc and you should know what your server is.  Hit Finish, and if it says something about "This application uses CTL3D32.DLL, which is not the correct version" ignore it and hit OK, it will work fine (I have this problem with the MySQL driver version 3.51, and it works fine).

After selecting the driver, the configuration screen looks a little bit different for each type... but in general the same.  Most importantly, fill in the Data Source Name and make sure it points to the correct location.  If this is a file, make sure to select the file.  If this is a server, make sure the server details are correct.  If your database requires a username/password, you should fill this in (You might not have to, because EQWA will use a username and password for the database).  Lastly, if there is a button to test the data source, test it!  For some database types there are other options, I can't really walk you through them but play with them if you need to of course.

Once this is complete, EQWA scripts can access that data source by name (and username/password if necessary).

What could we possibly do with this, really?

The possibilities really are endless.  Databases can store anything at all.  Here are a few ideas though...

And of course, all of the data will be there for you and your friends to view later on!