About the SAS Data Providers

The four SAS Data Providers implement data access interfaces that conform to the OLE DB specification from Microsoft, which was built on the OLE Component Object Model (COM).

These providers should cover most situations where OLE DB-compliant software needs to access SAS data sets. For information about how to choose the provider that best suits your needs, see SAS Data Provider Feature Comparison and Choosing the Right Server/Provider Combination for Your Application. For installation information, see the following topics:

About OLE DB and ADO

Providing standard interfaces is part of an overall industry trend towards universal data access. The goal is for software applications to conform to a widely used specification, which gives them the ability to use many different types of data files. As this trend continues, OLE DB is expected to become the dominant method of accessing new database products.

OLE DB is a set of interfaces that evolved from the Microsoft Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) data access interface. OLE DB interfaces provide a standard by which applications can uniformly access data located over an enterprise's entire network and stored in a variety of formats—such as SAS data sets—database files, nonrelational and multidimensional stores. OLE DB interfaces can provide much of the same functionality that is provided by database management systems.

OLE DB for Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) extends the OLE DB interfaces to provide support for multidimensional data stores.

OLE DB providers—including the four SAS providers—may be accessed through the low-level OLE DB interfaces using Visual C++. Alternatively, they may be accessed through the higher level ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) using Visual C++, VBScript, Java, JScript, or Visual Basic.