JDBC Driver Guide

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JDBC Compared to ODBC

Generally speaking, JDBC is to Java what Microsoft’s Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) interface is to the C language. Both JDBC and ODBC:

  • Provide a vendor-independent API that allows the same application to connect to different vendors’ databases and retrieve and update data using standard SQL statements.
  • Adopt the architecture of imposing a driver manager between applications and vendor-supplied drivers that translate between the standard API and a vendor’s proprietary implementation.
  • Are based on the X/Open SQL call-level interface specification.

JDBC proponents cite these advantages of JDBC over ODBC:

  • JDBC applications enjoy the platform-independence of Java, which lends itself to Internet applications. ODBC applications must, at a minimum, be recompiled to run on a different operating-system/hardware combination.
  • JDBC does not require software on each client system, which lends itself well for Internet applications.
  • JDBC is simpler and easier to learn than ODBC.
  • JDBC is not primarily targeted for desktop application development, which makes for faster implementation outside the Windows environment and is frequently used in enterprise class applications.