Example: Connect to Manifold from Release 8

This topic provides a step by step procedure to connect from Manifold System Release 8 to a Manifold .map file using Manifold's ODBC driver.   See the Notes at the end of this topic for general advice on interoperability between Manifold Release 9 and Release 8.


The Manifold ODBC driver is automatically installed when installing Manifold using a Windows Installer installation package, but it is not automatically installed when running a portable installation.  When using a portable installation we must install the Manifold driver using the Help - About dialog.  See the Installations topic for a quick guide to using portable installations and to installing the Manifold ODBC driver. 

About ODBC Data Sources

Windows maintains a list of ODBC data sources to which ODBC-capable applications can connect.   To enable an ODBC-aware application to connect to a Manifold data source we must create an ODBC data source in that list.   An ODBC data source is also called an ODBC DSN (for Data Source Name).   It encapsulates necessary information for the connection, such as a what driver to use, the data source that driver can expose and various options the driver allows.


There are two ways to create an ODBC data source:




This example shows how to use Release 8 to create an ODBC data source.  In both ways of creating a new ODBC data source both Microsoft dialogs and Manifold dialogs will appear.   Both Release 8 and the Windows tool will call Microsoft dialogs as part of the process, and those in turn will utilize the Manifold ODBC driver we specify.   As part of the creation process, the Manifold driver will open its own dialogs to enable specification of options supported by Manifold.  


The primary choice offered by the Manifold ODBC driver is whether the new ODBC data source will connect to items stored in the .map project file, or whether the new ODBC data source will connect through the .map project file to provide access to external data sources that are linked into the project.    


Manifold has the highly unusual capability to act as an intermediary between an ODBC connection coming into Manifold and some other, external data source that is linked into the project.   Applications which are ODBC-capable can utilize that Manifold capability by connecting with ODBC through Manifold to other data sources for which no ODBC driver is available.


In this example we show the simpler case of Release 8 connecting via ODBC to components stored within the .map file.  


A companion example topic, the Example: Connect Through Manifold ODBC to a Third Party topic, shows how Release 8 can connect via ODBC through a Manifold .map project to work with data in an ESRI GDB file geodatabase, a data source for which there is no direct connection capability within Release 8.


Important: Except for the first two illustrations showing a Manifold project, the illustrations in this topic show Manifold System Release 8, not Radian-based Manifold System Release 9.

Target Project

We will connect to a Manifold .map project file for the project shown below, a simple project with one drawing and the table for that drawing.


To fit into this documentation, illustrations show an artificially small Manifold desktop, with only a few panes, docked to the right side.   In real life we use a much larger Manifold desktop, and all panes would be turned on, with some panes docked to the left and others docked to the right.



The drawing shows regions in France with the table providing the name and official number of the region.



Create an ODBC Data Source for a Manifold .map Project

An ODBC Data Source must be created for each Manifold .map project file to be accessed by Release 8.   We can do this using Release 8 or we can use the dialog built into Windows as described in the Example: Create an ODBC Data Source with Windows topic.   Once an ODBC data source is connected using the Windows tool we could, of course, use it within Release 8.    Some times it is simply more convenient to do the process in Release 8 so in this example we will show the entire step-by-step procedure using Release 8.


Launch Manifold System Release 8.00 and then choose Tools - Database Console.



In the Database Console click on the [...] Browse button.



In the Data Source dialog click on the yellow * asterisk icon to add a new data source.



That launches the Connect To dialog, which provides a wide variety of data sources and files to which we can connect.


In the Files of type box we choose ODBC Data Sources ().   That immediately launches the Select Data Source dialog.



Click on the Machine Data Source tab and then click the New button.



The Windows ODBC dialog complains that we do not have Administrative privileges.  No big deal, as all we care about doing is creating a user data source.   Click OK


Windows opens a dialog with one choice available.  We click Next.   


The ODBC driver for Manifold is common to all Radian-based software of the ninth generation, so it is called the Manifold 9.0 Project Driver.  Click that to highlight it and then press Next.

Windows provides a confirmation dialog to which we press Finish.


That allows Manifold's ODBC driver to go to work.    We provide a name for the ODBC data source that will remind us of the .map project it uses.  



  Press the [...] Browse button to select the .map file to be used.



We navigate to the folder holding the .map file to be used, click on it to highlight it and to load it into the File name box and then we press Open.  



Back in the Manifold ODBC Data Source dialog we confirm the name of the data source is what we want and the specific file chosen is OK.  Press OK.


At long last a new Machine Data Source appears.   Press OK.   Think we're done?   Not quite yet...


Back in the Data Source dialog we see that a new ODBC Data Source has appeared.  Unfortunately, this does not take its name from the Machine Data Source that was created, so in the Name box we give it a memorable name, in this case French Regions Radian.  As we enter a new name in the Name box it appears in the dialog list above.  Press OK.


We have endured so many ODBC dialogs we may have forgotten that all this started way back in the Database Console dialog.    Now we have our reward of seeing the data source appear in the Database Console dialog, showing drawings and tables that we can utilize as described in the Database Console help topic for Release 8.

Using the New Data Source

The project we used as an example is a very simple one, with only one table and a drawing to show the table.  To display the drawing we click on it to highlight it and then we press the Link button.   That will dynamically link the drawing into our Release 8 project, leaving the data stored in the Manifold .map file.  


In the Import / Link Options dialog we press OK.


The result in our Release 8 project is a linked drawing.   The yellow database cylinder added to the icon indicates it is linked in from an external source.



Clicking on the Regions Table drawing to open it we see it is a drawing of regions in France, as used in many of the example topics for Manifold.



We can use that drawing in a wide variety of Release 8 operations.    For example, we can click on various regions to Select them.



If we open the drawing's table we can see records in the table that have been selected corresponding to the area objects we selected in the drawing.



We can use Copy with a Ctrl-V and then do a Paste into the project to create a new, local drawing that consists of the areas that were selected.



Opening up the Regions Table 2 drawing we see that it indeed does contain the three areas that were selected and then copied and pasted as a new drawing.




Historical regions - The illustrations in this topic use data from the US government, which show the regions of France as they were before 1 January 2016, when regions in France were reduced from 22 to 13.


Tips on Interoperability between Release 9 and Release 8 - To exchange data between Release 9 and Release 8 consider the following:



If access does not need to be simultaneous:






See Also

File - Create - New Data Source


Example: Create an ODBC Data Source with Windows - How to create an ODBC data source (a DSN) using dialogs built into Windows 10.


Example: Connect to an ESRI GDB File Geodatabase - Connect Manifold to an ESRI GDB file geodatabase, display the contents, make a selection in the GDB and overlay in a map.


Example: Connect Through Manifold ODBC to a Third Party  - With Release 8, use an ODBC connection to a Manifold .map to connect through the .map project to a third party, external data source, an ESRI GDB file geodatabase.  We use Manifold facilities as an intermediary to give Release 8 capabilities it does not have on its own, to link into data stored within an ESRI file geodatabase.


Example: Connect LibreOffice Through Manifold to an ESRI GDB - A companion example topic to the Example: Connect Through Manifold ODBC to a Third Party  topic.  Shows how to connect LibreOffice Base, the database part of LIbreOffice, through Manifold to link an ESRI GDB file geodatabase table into LibreOffice.


Example: Connect to Manifold from QGIS - Step by step procedure to connect from QGIS 2.8.9 to a Manifold .map file using Manifold's ODBC driver.