in reply to
Sharing database handle
Here is another idea,
You are already spawning child processes so why not set up either a bidirectional pipe or a seperate IPC to allow the child to send requests to the parent. In this fashion the parent could have one main routine to poll the child processes for queries, test the connect (dbi->ping, dbi is just a great package) and then execute and return the information to the child.
In this model you would seem to accomplish your goal, you wuold allow all of your child processes to communicate through one ODBC connection, you'd have only one ODBC connection and for fun you'd have one place to check for improper data within queries.
Dave -- Saving the world one node at a time