Thursday, April 2, 2009


JavaSoft provides three JDBC product components as part of the Java Development Kit (JDK):

  • The JDBC driver manager,
  • The JDBC driver test suite, and
  • The JDBC-ODBC bridge.
The JDBC driver manager is the backbone of the JDBC architecture. It actually is quite small and simple; its primary function is to connect Java applications to the correct JDBC driver and then get out of the way.

The JDBC driver test suite provides some confidence that JDBC drivers will run your program. Only drivers that pass the JDBC driver test suite can be designated JDBC COMPLIANTTM.

The JDBC-ODBC bridge allows ODBC drivers to be used as JDBC drivers. It was implemented as a way to get JDBC off the ground quickly, and long term will provide a way to access some of the less popular DBMSs if JDBC drivers are not implemented for them.

JDBC Driver Types : The JDBC drivers that we are aware of at this time fit into one of four categories:

1.JDBC-ODBC bridge plus ODBC driver: The JavaSoft bridge product provides JDBC access via ODBC drivers. Note that ODBC binary code, and in many cases database client code, must be loaded on each client machine that uses this driver. As a result, this kind of driver is most appropriate on a corporate network where client installations are not a major problem, or for application server code written in Java in a three-tier architecture.

2.Native-API partly-Java driver: This kind of driver converts JDBC calls into calls on the client API for Oracle, Sybase, Informix, DB2, or other DBMS. Note that, like the bridge driver, this style of driver requires that some binary code be loaded on each client machine.

3.JDBC-Net pure Java driver: This driver translates JDBC calls into a DBMS- independent net protocol which is then translated to a DBMS protocol by a server. This net server middleware is able to connect its pure Java clients to many different databases. The specific protocol used depends on the vendor. In general, this is the most flexible JDBC alternative. It is likely that all vendors of this solution will provide products suitable for Intranet use. In order for these products to also support Internet access, they must handle the additional requirements for security, access through firewalls, and so on, that the Web imposes. Several vendors are adding JDBC drivers to their existing database middle ware products.

4.Native-protocol pure Java driver: This kind of driver converts JDBC calls into the network protcol used by DBMSs directly. This allows a direct call from the client machine to the DBMS server and is a practical solution for Intranet access. Since many of these protocols are proprietary, the database vendors themselves will be the primary source, and several database vendors have these in progress.

Eventually, we expect that driver categories 3 and 4 will be the preferred way to access databases from JDBC. Driver categories 1 and 2 are interim solutions where direct pure Java drivers are not yet available. There are possible variations on categories 1 and 2 (not shown in the table below) that require a connector, but these are generally less desirable solutions. Categories 3 and 4 offer all the advantages of Java, including automatic installation (for example, downloading the JDBC driver with an applet that uses it).


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