ISQL vs OSQL: Difference and Comparison

ISQL and OSQL are two very common connectivity tools. They work with the Microsoft server 2000 and have many useful features. Although, they are quite different from each other too.

They differ from each other on a lot of bases, from running scripts to supporting Unicode.

Key Takeaways

  1. SQL is an interactive SQL command-line tool provided by Sybase, while OSQL is a similar tool provided by Microsoft for SQL Server.
  2. iSQL supports a wider range of database servers, while OSQL is specifically designed for use with SQL Server.
  3. SQLCMD has superseded SQL in recent versions of SQL Server, while OSQL has been deprecated in favor of SQLCMD.

ISQL vs OSQL

ISQL is a command-line utility used for basic database administration tasks. OSQL is also a command-line utility used to execute SQL commands and statements, but it is designed to work with databases using ODBC drivers. OSQL allows users to execute SQL statements and scripts against SQL Server databases.

ISQL vs OSQL

ISQL is an ODBC test tool that is interactive in nature. It is very useful. It tests DNS connectivity to databases, and once the user is connected to the database, ISQL helps in the execution of SQL statements.

The best part is that ISQL is capable of running scripts too.

OSQL is a command-line utility that improves an interface to command-based ODBC queries to SQL.

It applies to all supported versions of SQL server, Analytics Platform System (PDW), Azure SQL Managed Instance, Azure Synapse Analytics, and Azure SQL Database.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonISQLOSQL
AboutThe build of ISQL is ODBC based and doesn’t support some SQL 2000 server features.OSQL is a command-line utility that provides an interface to command-based ODBC queries to SQL.
ScriptsIt is capable of running scripts.It is not capable of running scripts.
Main functionIts main function is to enable transact SQL statements to enter.Its main function is to allow the submission of jobs done on OSQL by the user.
LibraryFor communicating with SQL server 2000, ISQL uses DB-Library.The use of ISQL is replaced by OSQL in DB-Library.
Unicode.It does not support Unicode.It supports Unicode.

What is ISQL?

There are many important tools in the computer world that work together in order to execute a certain program or perform a task. One of the very important tools is ISQL.

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It is an ODBC test tool that is interactive in nature. It is used to test the connectivity of DNS to the databases.

As soon as the connectivity with the database is ensured, SQL then helps in executing SQL statements to the database.

The 32-bit version of SQL gets installed with a 32-bit PSQL server-client, 32-bit PSQL, and PSQL 64 bit. The 64-bit tools are named ISQL 64 bit.

There is a difference between ISQL and ISQL64 too. It lies in the type of DNS with which they are connected. The two utilities have different types of DNS to connect with.

The main function of SQL can be said to transact SQL statements to enter the database. For communicating with SQL server 2000, ISQL uses the DB library.

ISQL is fairly capable of running scripts too. But one disadvantage of ISQL can be that it does not support Unicode. It is ODBC based and sometimes does not support some SQL 2000 server features.

What is OSQL?

OSQL is a command-line utility that is very useful. It came out after OSQL and has also replaced some features or tasks of ISQL.

It provides a smooth interface to send command-based ODBC queries to the SQL server.

The SQL utility applies to Azure SQL database, all supported versions of SQL Server, Azure Synapse analytics, Azure SQL managed instance, and even Analytics platform system (PDW).

The ISQL utility allows the user to enter system procedures, transact SQL statements, and script files by using ODBC in order to communicate with the server.

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It is important to note that the feature mentioned above is going to be removed in future versions of the SQL Server.

Therefore the users must strictly avoid the usage of this feature in any project or work that they will be picking up in the future. Or else they can also prepare to modify the applications currently using this feature.

Its main function is regarded as making the submission of jobs done on SQL server possible by the user. It is not capable of running scripts, but the good part is that it does support Unicode.

SQL also replaces the use of SQL in the DB library. CLR user-defined data types are not supported by SQL utility. To process such data, the user will need sqlcmd utility.

Main Differences Between ISQL and OSQL

  1. ISQL is built basically based on ODBC and doesn’t support some SQL 2000 server features, whereas OSQL is a command-line utility that provides an interface to command-based ODBC queries to SQL.
  2. ISQL is completely capable of running scripts. On the other hand, OSQL is not capable of running scripts.
  3. The main function of ISQL is to transact SQL statements to enter, while the main feature of OSQL is to allow the user to submit the jobs done on OSQL.
  4. ISQL can support Unicode. On the other hand, OSQL does not support Unicode.
  5. For maintaining communication with SQL server 2000, ISQL uses DB-Library, whereas OSQL replaced the use of ISQL in DB-Library.
References
  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4302-0859-4_12

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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6 thoughts on “ISQL vs OSQL: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The detailed comparison table makes the differences between ISQL and OSQL quite evident. A well-researched and comprehensive article.

    Reply
  2. For those looking to understand the key differences between the two connectivity tools, this article provides in-depth information. Very beneficial.

    Reply
  3. This article, in particular, provides a very detailed explanation of the differences between ISQL and OSQL. Quite informative and beneficial for those dealing with databases.

    Reply

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