ODBC is able to access a wide variety of file systems because it takes advantage of their common properties and common standards. For example, most of the popular database systems on the market today bear a strong resemblance to each other, both in functionality and in the methods they use to access data. This is because the major vendors’ products are based in whole or in part on the relational database concepts of E. F. Codd. ODBC makes use of these commonalties.
Shared standards also lend power to ODBC. Several groups have been working to set standards in the UNIX environment, where much of the database technology originated. These groups include the ANSI standards committee, the X/Open consortium, and the SQL Access Group. Together, these groups have devised much of the core technology that Microsoft has organized into ODBC.