Join to tab files

I'm a sql developer who hasn't used GIS before.
From what I can tell MapInfo (Exponare) keeps it's data in tab files.
I need to write views (in SQL Server) that will take 95% of it's info from a sql table but needs to join to the mapping data to collect the other 5%
The 2 datasets have a common key so that is fine.
Writing a query in mapinfo that selects data from a sql table is fine (via odbc) but the other way around?
Where would I start?
Special driver?
Linked tables within SQL (that isn't a sql table)??
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QPRAsked:
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David ToddSenior DBACommented:
Hi QPR,

One idea, if Mapinfo has a number of flat text files, would be to do a bulk insert or the like overnight for just the 5% of data you require ...

Your other ideas look like they'll work if there is an OBDC driver for mapinfo.

Cheers
  David
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QPRAuthor Commented:
Thanks David,
If I had the driver had would I then connect?
Ultimately I would be showing this data (together with the other 95% from the SQL DB) on an aspx page.
Perhaps I could create a connection via the driver from the page... but would I be able to use this functionailty in a stored procedure?
I've only ever used sql tools to retrieve sql data (local or remote)

select stuff
from mysqldb
inner join tabFiles (via odbc)
on 1 = 1
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QPRAuthor Commented:
I should also add that I am not 100% sure how the mapping data is stored.
I've been brought into this project late in the day and can only find scratchy details as half the pages are down on their product info pages. To my knowledge the back end is mapinfo and the web front end is called Exponare. Exponare talks of data in tab files but this could be (a guess) extracted data from a db that resides on the web server. If any other GIS-types out there know then I'd be grateful for the info.
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David ToddSenior DBACommented:
Hi,

If you have an odbc driver, then you can set up a linked server from SQL. Maybe the distributed query thing (ie select * from server1.db1.dbo.table1 t1 join server2.db2.dbo.table2 t2 on t1.something = t2.somethingelse) might not work, but openquery is a possiblity ...

Cheers
  David
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QPRAuthor Commented:
Ahhh thanks, I mistakenly assumed that linked servers were (only) other sql servers.
That's the only way I've used them anyways.
The consultant will be here next week and he may be able to shed some light on things. Just thought it would be nice to do a bit of spadework so I could cut through the inevitable sales pitch!
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QPRAuthor Commented:
Although why I thought that when I've previoyusly connected to Active Directory via linked servers I don't know!
Just had a quick revisit of Linked Servers and saw the drop down list of drivers. Should have looked there first.
Bob Geldof was right, Mondays suck!  :)
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David ToddSenior DBACommented:
Hi QPR,

And doing releases or promising anything late on a friday is also dangerous ...

Cheers
  David
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