The Call Level Interface or CLI is a software de facto standard API for SQL-based database management systems created by The Open Group (formerly the X/Open Company). The API is defined for the C programming language and COBOL only.

The Call Level Interface defines how the C or COBOL program shall send SQL queries to the DBMS and how the returned recordsets shall be handled by the application in a consistent way.

The interface is part of something the Open Group calls "CAE", "Common Application Environment", which is supposed to be a wide standard for programming open applications, i.e. applications from different programming teams and different vendors that can interoperate in an efficient manner.

The work with the Call Level Interface began i USA-based SQL Access Group, but was transferred to the X/Open Company in the fourth quarter 1994. It has properties that makes it larger than the ISO SQL CLI which has never had any widespread use.

The standard has the book number ISBN 1-85912-081-4 and the internal document number is C451.

The most widespread use of the CLI standard is within the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) implementations of various vendors, as the CLI forms a basis for these.

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