[QODBC-Desktop] How to setup QODBC to run without QuickBooks
Posted by Rajendra Dewani (QODBC Support) on 06 November 2013 11:42 AM

How to setup QODBC to run without QuickBooks

Problem Description

  • I want to use QODBC, which does not have the QuickBooks program on the machine.
  • Do I need QuickBooks installed on the machine to use QODBC?
  • Can QODBC read directly from QuickBooks company file (.QBW or . QBB)


QODBC works as a Windows ODBC driver (DLL) to access the QuickBooks data. QuickBooks Accounting stores its data in its
own proprietary encrypted file system.

Due to the nature of accounting systems, balancing, and transaction integrity, the QuickBooks system prevents all external applications
from directly accessing the data files used by QuickBooks. However, Intuit created a workaround called the QuickBooks SDK (software development kit), which resides inside the QuickBooks application interface.

QODBC allows users of any ODBC-compliant front-end application to read and write data contained in the QuickBooks system similar to any other ODBC-enabled database by processing commands via the QuickBooks SDK interface in the desktop application, so QODBC will not run if QuickBooks is not installed on the same machine or a connected machine (see: QRemote) because the SDK resides in the application

QODBC accepts SQL (structured query language) commands from applications through the ODBC interface, then converts those calls to navigational XML commands, passing them to the QuickBooks SDK for processing and returning recordsets that qualify for the query results.

This driver is not a Client/Server product or a direct database access tool because that method is prohibited by Intuit, but rather communicates directly with the QuickBooks application as it runs.

QuickBooks is a flat-file database; this driver will not change it into a relational database, so keep that in mind when developing with this driver.

QODBC acts as a 'wrapper' around the Intuit SDK so customers can finally get at their QuickBooks data using standard database tools, speeding development time.

When QODBC starts, it will check if QuickBooks is running or not. If not, it will launch QuickBooks in the background. QODBC will ask the QuickBooks application to load a certain company file if the company file path is specified.

You can run QuickBooks on the desktop, or you can run it in "hidden" mode (see links below). Either way, it is running. The only difference is whether you see it on the desktop or not.

How to setup QODBC for Auto-login into QuickBooks

How to set up QODBC Driver to auto-connect to QuickBooks. (Video)

Note: QuickBooks requires you to approve the security settings for QODBC to allow it to access the data in QuickBooks once for each application/company file combination. After this step, the connection to data in QuickBooks can be fully automated and not require user input.


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