For most databases, Advanced Query Tool reads the system tables to obtain the information about the objects in the system (the system tables are also called the dictionary or system catalog, depending on the terminology of your database). With such databases AQT can give you comprehensive information about your tables, and can report on objects other than tables (indexes, tablespaces etc).
Types of databases AQT can access lists the databases that this feature is available for.
For other databases, AQT gets its information on system objects by using the ODBC API calls. These generally work fine; however the amount of information available is very limited – all that you will see are tables, and within these you will just see the table column list, primary key and the table access rights for some databases.
Even for databases for which the system-table query feature is available, you can switch off this feature and run in ODBC table-info mode. You might do this if you are getting messages indicating a problem with the system queries. This setting is controlled by Options > Table Info > Get Table Info From.
The system-table query feature is controlled by config files. Database Types and Config Files discusses how this works.
In order for the System-Table Query feature to work, you will need access to the System Tables. If security has been enabled in your database and you are not the Master user, then you may not have access to these tables. AQT will check for your access to these tables and will only use the System Table Feature if you can read these tables.