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What is ODB?

ODB (Observation DataBase) is a file-based database-like system developed at ECMWF to store and retrieve large volumes of meteorological observational and feedback data efficiently for use within the IFS.

Currently, ODB files come in two flavours:

  • ODB-1 (the original hierarchical table format capable of running in a parallel environment within IFS)
  • ODB-2 (a flat format with a modern API used for archiving in MARS).

Data from ODB can be extracted using the ODB/SQL query language, which is generally a small subset of SQL with some useful extensions.

The home of the ODB software is ODB API Home.

The ODB icon

Metview automatically recognizes both ODB-1 and ODB-2 formats and assigns the same icon to both types of file in the user interface:

Examining ODB contents

The meta-data and data contents of an ODB can be inspected with the ODB Examiner, which can be started up from the user interface (right-click examine on the icon).

Filtering ODB

Filtering ODB data is performed with the ODB Filter icon, which can perform an ODB/SQL query resulting in a new ODB:

Visualising ODB

The ODB Visualiser icon is used to visualise (and optionally filter) ODB data using various techniques and plot types:

Script language support

Metview provides full support for ODB from its Macro and Python interfaces. The full list of available functions can be found on the ODB Functions page. For elaborated examples please study the tutorials and see the Gallery.

Other resources