ODBC behavior

After testing the ODBC driver you can use it to query your instance database from a variety of client applications.

ODBC aggregate functions

The ODBC driver attempts to download the data and apply the aggregate functions locally. The ODBC driver supports the following aggregate functions.
  • COUNT
  • SUM
  • MIN
  • MAX
  • AVG

Activate the Aggregate Web Services plugin to improve the performance of aggregate queries through the ODBC driver.

ODBC date and time values

The instance and the machine on which the ODBC driver is installed may use two different time zones. Date and time values returned by the ODBC driver are in the local time zone of the application using the driver, not the ServiceNow instance time zone.

Ensure that you query in accurate time zones for both the instance and the machine that hosts the ODBC driver. GlideRecord performs filtering based on the instance time zone, and the ODBC client is filtered based on the Windows time zone.

For example, an instance is in Central Standard Time (CST), and the ODBC driver is installed on a machine that is in Pacific Standard Time (PST). An incident is created on the instance at 2014-05-20 10:00:00, and the time that the incident was created is displayed in the UI as 10:00:00 for users in both time zones. However, in order to successfully query this incident by creation date and time, a user on the machine in PST must query 2014-05-20 08:00:00 instead of 2014-05-20 10:00:00.

Duration and timer type fields are returned using the UTC timezone, starting with ODBC version 1.0.10. See KB0583982 for details about this change.

ODBC display values

Some examples of how to use and work with ODBC display values are shown below.

  • Display values in Choice and Reference columns:

    When querying a column of type Choice, Reference, Duration, or Timer, an additional column with the prefix dv_ is available that contains the display value. For example, you can select dv_caller_id to return the sys_user.name display value of the reference field from an incident record without making another request to the sys_user table.

    Figure 1. Return the display value
    Return the display value
  • Display values in filter conditions:

    Display values can also be used in a filter condition. The ODBC driver optimizes the query condition and processes the filter on the server, for example, querying on the display value of sys_user for the caller_id field of an incident by using the dv_caller_id field name.

    Figure 2. Display values in filter conditions
    Display values in filter conditions
  • Display values in aggregate queries:

    Aggregate queries can also take advantage of display values if you specify them in the group by or where clause, for example, grouping on the caller_id field of an incident, as well as specifying a filter for it. The query is optimized by passing through to the server.

    Figure 3. Display values in aggregate queries
    Display values in aggregate queries

Querying table and column names

You can get a list of accessible tables and columns based on the read ACLs for the querying user.

  • The following query will return the names of all tables for which the querying user has read access:

    select * from oa_tables;

  • After you know the name of the table you want to query, you can query the names of all columns for which the user has read access. The querying user must have read access for both the table and the columns.

    select * from oa_columns where table_name=‘table_name’;

Note: The oa_tables and oa_columns tables are internal ODBC tables. These tables are accessible only via the ODBC driver.