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What is Java® Database Connectivity?

By Troy Holmes
Updated May 16, 2024
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The Java® programming language is a software suite that offers many modules for most types of development. Among the most important modules are the Java® database connectivity (JDBC) programming interfaces. These interfaces provide access to databases from Java® programs. The JDBC interfaces work with several commercial databases including Oracle® and Microsoft®.

Most software applications require a database to store the information that is captured from the computer keyboard. This data must be saved into the computer program and retained in a database. Java® uses JDBC to convert data from the programming language into a database. This conversion happens each time the application modifies data.

A database is a special computer file system that is designed to store data for a company. The Java® database connectivity interface is the software that enables the manipulation of this data from a Java® program. JDBC provides specific interfaces to add, delete, and modify data within a database.

Structured query language (SQL) is the scripting language specifically designed for databases. This SQL language enables the extraction of data from a database onto a computer screen. The Java® database connectivity interface uses SQL as the method of updating data. This SQL script is passed into the JDBC interface as parameters to execute on the database.

Open database connectivity (ODBC) is another interface that is also designed for accessing databases. This software is used by most software that requires database connectivity. The primary difference between ODBC and JDBC is that the Java® database connectivity interface is specific designed for Java® software programs. It is not typically used as a generic database connection.

The Java® database connectivity interface requires vendor-specific database drivers to function properly. These drivers are typically developed by database companies and are considered proprietary programs that interpret Java®-specific requests into a specific database format. Each driver provides the formats necessary to interact with the specific databases.

There are multiple methods available for accessing data from databases. JDBC requires developers to write special SQL scripts. Many frameworks have been created to streamline the data access process. These frameworks hide the JDBC functionality from Java® developers in an attempt to increase productivity. Some examples of these frameworks include Hibernate and Enterprise Java® Beans (EJB).

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