JDBC drivers fit into one of four categories:
A JDBC-ODBC bridge provides JDBC API access via one or more ODBC drivers. Note that some ODBC native code and in many cases native database client code must be loaded on each client machine that uses this type of driver. Hence, this kind of driver is generally most appropriate when automatic installation and downloading of a Java technology application is not important. JDBC-ODBC bridge driver provided by Sun.
A native-API partly Java technology-enabled 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.
A net-protocol fully Java technology-enabled driver translates JDBC API 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 all of its Java technology-based clients to many different databases. The specific protocol used depends on the vendor. In general, this is the most flexible JDBC API 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, etc., that the Web imposes. Several vendors are adding JDBC technology-based drivers to their existing database middleware products.
A native-protocol fully Java technology-enabled driver converts JDBC technology calls into the network protocol 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 for this style of driver. Several database vendors have these in progress.
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