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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

JDBC is an API for the Java programming language that defines how a client may access a database. It provides methods for querying and updating data in a database. JDBC is oriented towards relational databases.

JDBC was first introduced in the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition, version 1.1 (J2SE), together with a reference implementation JDBC-to-ODBC bridge, enabling connections to any ODBC-accessible data source in the JVM host environment.



JDBC has been part of the Java Standard Edition since the release of JDK 1.1. The JDBC classes are contained in the Java package java.sql. Starting with version 3.0, JDBC has been developed under the Java Community Process. JSR 54 specifies JDBC 3.0 (included in J2SE 1.4), JSR 114 specifies the JDBC Rowset additions, and JSR 221 is the specification of JDBC 4.0 (included in Java SE 6).[1]

JDBC allows multiple implementations to exist and be used by the same application. The API provides a mechanism for dynamically loading the correct Java packages and registering them with the JDBC Driver Manager. The Driver Manager is used as a connection factory for creating JDBC connections.

JDBC connections support creating and executing statements. These may be update statements such as SQL's CREATE, INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE, or they may be query statements such as SELECT. Additionally, stored procedures may be invoked through a JDBC connection. JDBC represents statements using one of the following classes:

  • Statement – the statement is sent to the database server each and every time.
  • PreparedStatement – the statement is cached and then the execution path is pre determined on the database server allowing it to be executed multiple times in an efficient manner.
  • CallableStatement – used for executing stored procedures on the database.

Update statements such as INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE return an update count that indicates how many rows were affected in the database. These statements do not return any other information.

Query statements return a JDBC row result set. The row result set is used to walk over the result set. Individual columns in a row are retrieved either by name or by column number. There may be any number of rows in the result set. The row result set has metadata that describes the names of the columns and their types.

There is an extension to the basic JDBC API in the javax.sql.

JDBC connections are often managed via a connection pool rather than obtained directly from the driver. Examples of connection pools include BoneCP, C3P0 and DBCP


The method Class.forName(String) is used to load the JDBC driver class. The line below causes the JDBC driver from some jdbc vendor to be loaded into the application. (Some JVMs also require the class to be instantiated with .newInstance().)

Class.forName( "com.somejdbcvendor.TheirJdbcDriver" );

In JDBC 4.0, it's no longer necessary to explicitly load JDBC drivers using Class.forName(). See JDBC 4.0 Enhancements in Java SE 6.

When a Driver class is loaded, it creates an instance of itself and registers it with the DriverManager. This can be done by including the needed code in the driver class's static block. e.g. DriverManager.registerDriver(Driver driver)

Now when a connection is needed, one of the DriverManager.getConnection() methods is used to create a JDBC connection.

Connection conn = DriverManager.getConnection(
     "jdbc:somejdbcvendor:other data needed by some jdbc vendor",
     "myPassword" );

The URL used is dependent upon the particular JDBC driver. It will always begin with the "jdbc:" protocol, but the rest is up to the particular vendor. Once a connection is established, a statement must be created.

Statement stmt = conn.createStatement();
try {
    stmt.executeUpdate( "INSERT INTO MyTable( name ) VALUES ( 'my name' ) " );
} finally {
    //It's important to close the statement when you are done with it

Note that Connections, Statements, and ResultSets often tie up operating system resources such as sockets or file descriptors. In the case of Connections to remote database servers, further resources are tied up on the server, e.g., cursors for currently open ResultSets. It is vital to close() any JDBC object as soon as it has played its part; garbage collection should not be relied upon. Forgetting to close() things properly results in spurious errors and misbehaviour. The above try-finally construct is a recommended code pattern to use with JDBC objects.

Data is retrieved from the database using a database query mechanism. The example below shows creating a statement and executing a query.

Statement stmt = conn.createStatement();
try {
    ResultSet rs = stmt.executeQuery( "SELECT * FROM MyTable" );
    try {
        while ( ) {
            int numColumns = rs.getMetaData().getColumnCount();
            for ( int i = 1 ; i <= numColumns ; i++ ) {
               // Column numbers start at 1.
               // Also there are many methods on the result set to return
               //  the column as a particular type. Refer to the Sun documentation
               //  for the list of valid conversions.
               System.out.println( "COLUMN " + i + " = " + rs.getObject(i) );
    } finally {
} finally {

Typically, however, it would be rare for a seasoned Java programmer to code in such a fashion. The usual practice would be to abstract the database logic into an entirely different class and to pass preprocessed strings (perhaps derived themselves from a further abstracted class) containing SQL statements and the connection to the required methods. Abstracting the data model from the application code makes it more likely that changes to the application and data model can be made independently.

An example of a PreparedStatement query, using conn and class from first example.

PreparedStatement ps = conn.prepareStatement( "SELECT i.*, j.* FROM Omega i, Zappa j WHERE = ? AND j.num = ?" );
try {
    // In the SQL statement being prepared, each question mark is a placeholder
    // that must be replaced with a value you provide through a "set" method invocation.
    // The following two method calls replace the two placeholders; the first is
    // replaced by a string value, and the second by an integer value.
    ps.setString(1, "Poor Yorick");
    ps.setInt(2, 8008);
    // The ResultSet, rs, conveys the result of executing the SQL statement.
    // Each time you call, an internal row pointer, or cursor,
    // is advanced to the next row of the result.  The cursor initially is
    // positioned before the first row.
    ResultSet rs = ps.executeQuery();
    try {
        while ( ) {
            int numColumns = rs.getMetaData().getColumnCount();
            for ( int i = 1 ; i <= numColumns ; i++ ) {
                // Column numbers start at 1.
                // Also there are many methods on the result set to return
                // the column as a particular type. Refer to the Sun documentation
                // for the list of valid conversions.
                System.out.println( "COLUMN " + i + " = " + rs.getObject(i) );
            } // for
        } // while
    } finally {
} finally {
} // try

When a database operation fails, an SQLException is raised. There is typically very little one can do to recover from such an error, apart from logging it with as much detail as possible. It is recommended that the SQLException be translated into an application domain exception (an unchecked one) that eventually results in a transaction rollback and a notification to the user.

Here are examples of host database types which Java can convert to with a function.

setXXX() Methods
Oracle Datatype setXXX()
CHAR setString()
VARCHAR2 setString()
NUMBER setBigDecimal()
INTEGER setInt()
FLOAT setDouble()
CLOB setClob()
BLOB setBlob()
RAW setBytes()
LONGRAW setBytes()
DATE setDate()

For an example of a CallableStatement (to call stored procedures in the database), see the JDBC API Guide.

JDBC Drivers

JDBC Drivers are client-side adaptors (they are installed on the client machine, not on the server) that convert requests from Java programs to a protocol that the DBMS can understand.



There are commercial and free drivers available for most relational database servers. These drivers fall into one of the following types:

  • Type 1 that calls native code of the locally available ODBC driver.
  • Type 2 that calls database vendor native library on a client side. This code then talks to database over network.
  • Type 3, the pure-java driver that talks with the server-side middleware that then talks to database
  • Type 4, the pure-java driver that uses database native protocol

Internal JDBC driver, driver embedded with JRE in Java-enabled SQL databases. Used for Java stored procedures. This does not belong to the above classification, although it would likely be either a type 2 or type 4 driver (depending on whether the database itself is implemented in Java or not). An example of this is the KPRB driver supplied with Oracle RDBMS. "jdbc:default:connection" is a relatively standard way of referring making such a connection (at least Oracle and Apache Derby support it). The distinction here is that the JDBC client is actually running as part of the database being accessed, so access can be made directly rather than through network protocols.


  • publishes list of drivers, including JDBC drivers and vendors
  • Sun Microsystems provides a list of some JDBC drivers and vendors
  • Simba Technologies ships an SDK for building custom JDBC Drivers for any custom/proprietary relational data source
  • DataDirect Technologies provides a comprehensive suite of fast Type 4 JDBC drivers for all major database
  • IDS Software provides a Type 3 JDBC driver for concurrent access to all major databases. Supported features include resultset caching, SSL encryption, custom data source, dbShield.
  • OpenLink Software ships JDBC Drivers for a variety of databases, including Bridges to other data access mechanisms (e.g., ODBC, JDBC) which can provide more functionality than the targeted mechanism
  • JDBaccess is a Java persistence library for MySQL and Oracle which defines major database access operations in an easy usable API above JDBC
  • JNetDirect provides a suite of fully Sun J2EE certified high performance JDBC drivers.
  • HSQL is a RDBMS with a JDBC driver and is available under a BSD license.
  • SchemaCrawler[2] is an open source API that leverages JDBC, and makes database metadata available as plain old Java objects (POJOs)


External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary





  1. Java database connectivity


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