mxODBC™ provides an easy to use, high-performance, reliable and robust Python interface to ODBC compatible databases such as MS SQL Server and MS Access, Oracle Database, IBM DB2 and Informix , Sybase ASE and Sybase Anywhere, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SAP MaxDB and many more. It is an extension to our eGenix.com mx Base Distribution.
ODBC refers to Open Database Connectivity and is the industry standard API for connecting applications to databases. In order to facilitate setting up ODBC connectivity, operating systems typically provide ODBC Managers which help set up the ODBC drivers and manage the binding of the applications against these drivers. On Windows and Mac OS X the ODBC Manager is built into the system. On Unix platforms, you can choose one of the ODBC managers unixODBC, iODBC or DataDirect, which provide the same ODBC functionality on most Unix systems.
Databases usually ship with ODBC drivers for Windows, so it's
easy to get Python connected to a database on Windows. On Linux and Mac
OS X, the situation is not as bright, but getting a lot better with the
growing popularity of these platforms. If you have trouble finding a
database driver for your platform, try the ODBC vendor list on SQLSummit.com, or have a look at our mxODBC Connect product:
If you are looking for a remote database connectivity solution for Python, you may be interested in our mxODBC Connect product, which eliminates the need to have an ODBC driver for the client side of the application. It specializes on remote database connections such as the ones you typically find in web-applications, e.g. where multiple Linux servers need to communicate with a company database running on a Windows server.
The eGenix mxODBC distribution includes the mxODBC package needed to connect Python to an ODBC manager. However, it does not include an ODBC manager or any ODBC drivers. You have to have these installed in order to be able to use mxODBC with Python.
On Windows, the situation is very simple: most databases come with ODBC drivers and register them with the Windows ODBC manager that's part of every Windows system.
Please consult the ODBC driver documentation for details on how to setup ODBC data sources. The mxODBC User Manual also includes a section on this topic and some helpful hints in case you run into problems.
Linux systems usually come with at least one of these ODBC managers preinstalled. Please see the mxODBC User Manual for setup instructions.
On Mac OS X, you can use the system system ODBC manager (which is a version of the popular iODBC manager).
Please see the mxODBC User Manual for setup instructions.
The eGenix.com mxODBC Distribution is a commercial product and made available under the terms and conditions of the eGenix.com Commercial License Agreement, Version 1.3.0 (PDF file).
When purchasing a license for the mxODBC product, you will receive a digitally signed Proof of Authorization together with a license file authorizing you to install and use the product.mxODBC is available in different editions to meet your specific needs. Please see the mxODBC Editions section for details.
If you would like to evaluate the eGenix.com mxODBC Distribution, please request an evaluation license or send an email to the eGenix.com Sales Team and include the following information: name of the licensee, number of evaluation licenses.
We will then send you the requested number of evaluation licenses for the mxODBC Professional Edition. The evaluation licenses have a built-in timeout of 30 days, but are otherwise fully functional.
If you are satisfied with the product, you can then proceed to the next section.
Production licenses for the mxODBC product can be bought via our eGenix.com Online Shop. Licenses are sold per Python installation. If you are installing the product on a shared server which is accessible over a network, then you have to purchase a separate license for each machine that can access the installation via this server.
After purchase, you will receive the necessary license files from eGenix.com within two business by email to the shipping address you specified in the ordering process.
If you need to buy licenses for third parties (e.g. as contractor or reseller), please consult email@example.com for instructions.
If you have questions about the ordering process, or the needed number of licenses, please write to the eGenix.com Sales Team.
mxODBC licenses are available in different editions to meet your specific needs:
||Standard Edition for ...
|MS SQL Server
|SQL Server Support
|Sybase ASE Support
|MS Access Support
|Support for Other Databases
|Max. Number of Connections
|Number of CPUs
The new low-cost Standard Edition License allows installation of mxODBC for use in one Python installation. Depending on the edition variant, it allows working with MS SQL Server, Oracle, IBM DB2 or Sybase ASE database backends only. The maximum number of connections per process is limited to 10 connections.
If you need to connect to multiple database backends, ones which are not listed here, or have a need to more than 10 connections per process, please have a look at the Professional Edition.
This edition is ideal for users who normally only work with one specific database backend.
The Professional Edition License
allows installation of mxODBC for use
in one Python installation. There is no limitation on the database
backend or the number of open connections per process - you can benefit
from the full mxODBC functionality on all platforms.
This edition is ideal for users in more diverse environments and in situations where the number of connections should not be limited, e.g. in a web server environment.
The Professional Edition Upgrade License provides a way for existing mxODBC customers to upgrade their installations from mxODBC 2.0, 2.1 or 3.0 to the new version 3.1.
The license provides the same advantages as the Professional Edition License, comes at a lower cost and replaces the old CPU license of your previous mxODBC installation.
For developers who want to integrate mxODBC into an application or product, we offer a Product Development Edition License which allows royalty-free redistribution of mxODBC as part of a product built by a developer.
Developer licenses for the mxODBC product can be bought via our eGenix.com Online Shop.
Licenses are sold per developer and product, e.g. if you have one developer
working on two products integrating mxODBC, you will need to purchase
two licenses. If you have three developers working on one product, you
will need to purchase three licenses in order to benefit from the
royalty-free distribution right.
For prices please check the mxODBC Product Development Edition License Shop Page. Volume discounts are available on request. Please contact the eGenix.com Sales Team for quotes.
If you are looking for upgrades to your existing mxOBDC Developer CPU Licenses, please contact the eGenix.com Sales Team for quotes.
If you want to redistribute mxODBC as part of a product on a per-installation basis (rather than on a per developer and product basis), you can do so by purchasing standard or professional edition licenses in bulk and then redistribute these to your customers. For larger volumes we also have a special reseller agreement to simplify the process. Please write to the eGenix.com Sales Team for instructions and more information.
The following documentation is available for mxODBC:
The manual includes an installation guide, a discussion of the design principles behind mxODBC, as well as a reference of the available programming interfaces.
The PDF file is also available as part of the installation and can be found in the
"Python Programming On Win32" by Mark Hammond, Andy Robinson has a section on mxODBC and mxDateTime.
A successful installation of mxODBC requires these three steps:
Redistribution of these files is not allowed. Please contact the eGenix Sales Team for details about redistribution possibilities and terms.
Solaris binaries will be made available on demand.
AIX binaries will be made available on demand.
If you need distribution archives for platforms not mentioned here, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details. It is very likely that we can find a way to help you.
On Unix it is important to know whether you need to download a distribution for a narrow Unicode build of Python (UCS2) or a wide version (UCS4).
Most Unixes ship with wide Python builds these days (including RedHat and SuSE). In order to make sure, please run the following command which will tell you what kind of Python installation you have:
python -c "import sys;print(sys.maxunicode<66000)and'UCS2'or'UCS4'"
If you get errors such as "unresolved symbol PyUnicodeUCS2_AsEncodedString" when trying to load an extension from the distribution, you have likely installed an archive for a wrong Unicode version.
For full details on how to install, setup and configure mxODBC, please see the mxODBC User Manual. It is available as PDF for offline reading and HTML for online reading:
What follows is a short summary:
Installation using the Windows installers is straight forward: just double-click on the installer EXE or MSI file and follow the instructions.
Both installers register the distribution with the Windows software registry, so you can easily uninstall the distribution should you require to do so.
With the new MSI installer you also have the option to run the installer without the GUI or to integrate it into an automatic installation process. Please see the MSI installer documentation on the Python web-site for details.
To uninstall the distribution, please use the standard Windows software registry.
To reduce the number of binaries that we have to create for each release, we have adapted a new generic distribution format that works on all Python platforms: the Prebuilt Distribution Format.
Technically, this format is a standard Python distutils distribution, but with only the
build/ directory and without the source tree.
In order to install such a distribution, please follow these instructions:
sudo python setup.py installOn Windows and some other platforms that don't have
sudo, please run the above without
sudoas administrator or root.
The distribution will then be installed into the standard directory
for Python extensions of your Python installation (usually the
site-packages/ subdirectory of the Python standard library directory).
To uninstall, follow the same steps as above, but use the command
sudo python setup.py uninstall
You will need to be able to sudo on the target machine or know the
root password for the above to work. If you don't have permission to
install packages as root, you can still install the distribution into a
local directory, e.g.
~/lib/python by using the following installation command:
python setup.py install --home=/home/user/
This will install the distribution into the directory
In order to have Python see this directory and make it useable for
import, you have to adjust the PYTHONPATH environment variable to
include this directory, e.g.
export PYTHONPATH /home/user/lib/python
To see all the possible installation options, run the install script using the help options:
python setup.py install --help
To uninstall, follow the same steps as above, but use the command
sudo python setup.py uninstall --home=/home/user/
The egg archives we provide are made available through two PyPI-style indexes which the egg tools setuptools/easy_install/pip/zc.buildout can access to automatically download and install the right egg archive.
There are two indexes, one for Python UCS2 builds:
and one for Python UCS4 builds:
If you are using a Python UCS2 build, then you can install the egg archives using this command:
easy_install -i http://downloads.egenix.com/python/index/ucs2/ \
For UCS4 builds, please use this command:
easy_install -i http://downloads.egenix.com/python/index/ucs4/ \
The command line parameters for other tools such as pip are similar. Please consult their documentation for details.
In some cases, easy_install and other download tools cannot map the platform name to the name used in the egg archive. If you get errors during the installation, please manually download the right egg archive and then run the command directly on the downloaded egg archive:
The licenses you receive from eGenix after purchase or request of an evaluation license are packaged as ZIP file having one directory per license file set.
In order to install the license file set to a specific Python
installation, please unzip the license ZIP file and copy the two files
mxodbc_license.txt from the license directory to a directory on your Python installation's
sys.path / PYTHONPATH, e.g. to the Python installation's
mxODBC will then pick up the license files from there during startup.
eGenix offers these support options:
Professional level support for this product as well as all other eGenix products and Python itself is available directly from the developers at eGenix.com.
eGenix.com offers professional consulting services for all questions and tasks around this product, including customized modifications, help with integration and on-site problem solving. Please contact email@example.com for details.
mxODBC is in production use by several Fortune-100 companies, including Intel, IBM and Royal Bank of Scotland, and many other "smaller" companies like e.g. Google.
Several of these have integrated mxODBC into their products. The most well-known of these is probably the UltraSeek search engine.
Please see the change log for details regarding changes to the package between releases.
Older versions of mxODBC, which are still available: