Manifold provides extensive capabilities for connecting to and storing data in databases.   Using built-in drivers, or built-in generic facilities such as ODBC, or drivers easily installed for specific databases, Manifold can connect to thousands of different types of databases, including Manifold's own Manifold Server database system.


Manifold uses the word database generically, meaning databases stored within an enterprise-class Database Management System (DBMS) such as Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, or similar, and also within file-based databases such as Manifold .map files, GPKG files, Microsoft Access .mdb files, ESRI .gdb files, or the many other formats in which databases are stored.  See the Big List of Formats and Data Sources topic.


An elite group within the many thousands of different databases to which Manifold can connect are those enterprise-class DBMS packages which are especially closely supported by Manifold:  IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, and PostgreSQL.  Manifold includes special, built-in features customized to each which provide exceptionally close integration with Manifold features and capabilities, such as automatic adaptation to native geospatial data types used by these databases.  


Manifold also, of course, closely supports many others, such as SQLite and ESRI GDB, but the above enterprise-class DBMS products stand out with exceptionally large capacity, performance, and extensive feature set.  When connecting to popular databases like Oracle or SQL Server, if there is an ESRI SDE installation in there, Manifold will automatically be able to use that as well.  If we download and install the optional SQLite drivers for ESRI, we can even connect to ESRI ST_GEOMETRY within SQLite databases.  


 See topics for individual databases and database file formats for software that must be installed.   In general, we need to install client software or a .dll file on the machine that is running Manifold to connect to databases. See the Product Downloads page for optional downloads.


The Databases section of Manifold documentation provides topics that help make better use of databases closely supported by Manifold, as well as notes on DBMS use overall.


The very fastest database Manifold supports is Manifold Server, to which Manifold as a client connects using multiple parallel threads with extensive server side computation and rendering preprocessing for high performance. Manifold Server is a high performance, parallel, read-only, spatial database server.  It allows many Manifold users to share data that is published through Server.  Using Server on multiple machines can distribute parallel processing to those multiple machines for executing queries and other computations that can dramatically speed up display and results when using Manifold as a client to Server.  Installing Manifold Release 9 Universal edition automatically installs Manifold Server.   

Databases are Optional

There is no requirement to install or use any other DBMS or database software to work with Manifold, or to do spatial SQL.  Manifold includes as built-in capabilities, including a phenomenally powerful internal DBMS and full-featured spatial SQL, everything you need to do Manifold, with no need to install or use an external DBMS package.  


So why install or use a DBMS or other database?  Manifold users often take advantage of an external DBMS for many good reasons:  



Disclaimer: Topics in the Database section were accurate when written, using the versions of installation software indicated.  Third party packages can and do change, so topics may be out-of-date. They are provided as examples of how different databases can be approached.


Manifold Server

A quick guide to installing and using Manifold Server.

Real and Virtual Components

When connecting to a DBMS data source, Manifold automatically generates virtual components, such as folders, to provide a consistent user interface that matches the Manifold .map portion of the project.   When uploading data into the database, some real components, such as tables, can be created while other components, such as drawings, that appear to have been uploaded into the database are virtual components that are generated on the fly by Manifold based on metadata information.  This topic explores examples.

Microsoft Access and Manifold ODBC

Issues to consider when connecting from Microsoft Access to Manifold ODBC.

DBMS Data Sources - Notes

Technical notes on using DBMS packages such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, DB2 or other DBMS packages.



Install MySQL


Create a Database in MySQL


Connect to MySQL


Microsoft SQL Server


Install SQL Server


Open a Firewall Port for SQL Server


Enable TCP/IP for SQL Server


Create a Database in SQL Server


Connect to SQL Server


PostgreSQL / PostGIS


Install PostgreSQL


Configure PostGIS in PostgreSQL


Open a Firewall Port for PostgreSQL


Enable Network Access to PostgreSQL


Connect to PostgreSQL




Install Oracle


Open a Firewall Port for Oracle


Configure Oracle


Connect to Oracle




Install Db2


Open a Firewall Port for Db2


Create a Database in Db2


Install Db2 Client


Connect to Db2




'Database' vs 'data source' - In Manifold documentation and build notes, these two terms are frequently more or less the same thing. Data source is a collective name for files,  databases, or web servers which provide data.   When we start Manifold and create a new .map file, we set that .map file to be an unnamed root data source, 'root' because it is a root of a potential data source tree. When we link a SHP file, we do so by creating a new data source component, that is, a new data source.   That data source behaves like a database in that it exposes data through tables, and it has system tables with reserved names which describe its contents. The object representing an opened data source for a script is usually called Database, and in other ways data sources are treated as databases within Manifold.

See Also





File - Create - New Data Source


Command Window


Manifold Server


Real and Virtual Components


Microsoft Access and Manifold ODBC


DBMS Data Sources - Notes


Connect to MySQL


Connect to SQL Server


Connect to PostgreSQL


Connect to Oracle


Connect to Db2


Big List of Formats and Data Sources


Example: Switching between Manifold and Native Query Engines


ESRI SDE Geodatabase


GDB, ESRI File Geodatabase


GDB, ESRI File Geodatabase, Old Format