Java Database Connectivity (JDBC)

Contributor(s): Susan Adams, Tory Jackson, and Patrick Lok

Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) is an application program interface (API) specification for connecting programs written in Java to the data in popular databases. The application program interface lets you encode access request statements in Structured Query Language (SQL) that are then passed to the program that manages the database. It returns the results through a similar interface. JDBC is very similar to the SQL Access Group's Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) and, with a small "bridge" program, you can use the JDBC interface to access databases through the ODBC interface. For example, you could write a program designed to access many popular database products on a number of operating system platforms. When accessing a database on a PC running Microsoft's Windows 2000 and, for example, a Microsoft Access database, your program with JDBC statements would be able to access the Microsoft Access database.

JDBC actually has two levels of interface. In addition to the main interface, there is also an API from a JDBC "manager" that in turn communicates with individual database product "drivers," the JDBC-ODBC bridge if necessary, and a JDBC network driver when the Java program is running in a network environment (that is, accessing a remote database).

When accessing a remote database, JDBC takes advantage of the Internet's file addressing scheme and a file name looks much like a Web page address (or Uniform Resource Locator). For example, a Java SQL statement might identify the database as:


JDBC specifies a set of object-oriented classes for the programmer to use in building SQL requests. An additional set of classes describes the JDBC driver API. The most common SQL data types, mapped to Java data types, are supported. The API provides for implementation-specific support for Microsoft Transaction Server requests and the ability to commit or roll back to the beginning of a transaction.

This was last updated in September 2005

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