Since I spent essentially two full days figuring out how to access a corporate MS SQL database pythonicly, I figured I should leave some notes, for future reference and to aid other souls looking to do the same.
These instructions and the commands that follow, were executed on a MAC OS 10.8.3 system. Additionally, I found this blog [post] especially helpful during the debugging process.
On mac os, there is a default ODBC manager, iODBC. Other Unix based systems tend to use [unixODBC]. Look elsewhere for a discussion about the differences between these driver managers. The only feature we care about is being able to connect to SQL databases through [pyodbc], and at the time of this writing [pyodbc] requires iODBC as its manager.
Start by installing freeTDS libraries. FreeTDS allows unix programs to talk natively with MS SQL and SyBase databases.
brew intsall freetds