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A C program that calls the ODBC API typically requires the following declarations:

 #if defined(_MSDOS) || defined(WIN32)
 #include <windows.h>
 #include <stdlib.h>
 #include <stdio.h>
 #include <string.h>
 #include "sqlext.h"
 SQLHENV  henv;                   // Environment handle for application
 SQLHDBC  hdbc;                   // Connection handle
 SQLHSTMT hstmt;                  // Statement handle

Handles identify a particular item; in ODBC this item can be an environment, connection, statement or descriptor. When the application calls SQLAllocHandle, the Driver Manager creates a new item of the specified type and returns the handle to the application. The application uses the handle to identify that item when calling ODBC functions.

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