Briefing: JNetDirect

Herndon, Virginia
(571) 203-7275

JNetDirect is the new name for a company you may know as NetDirect, now that they've been acquired by Juldi, Inc. They're in the business of providing JDBC drivers for access to non-Java databases, but based on a talk I recently had with them, they're also starting to move on a broader vision of making it possible to get at your data on both the J2EE and .NET platforms, regardless of where it started. It's a fact of life that most enterprises will have a mix of software from different vendors, so products that build bridges are very important.

Two of their products were released a while back: JSQLConnect and JDataConnect. JSQLConnect is a JDBC driver for access to Microsoft SQL Server 6.5, 7.0, or 2000 databases. Though Microsoft has a driver you can download, the JSQLConnect driver offers substantially more features and standards compliance, as well as better performance and scalability.

JDataConnect is a more wide-reaching switchboard piece. It's a server that runs on Windows, providing a type 3 JDBC driver so that Java applications can pull data from a wide variety of Windows databases, including Access, FoxPro, Oracle, Informix, Sybase, dBase, and more.

There are also a couple of new products in the works. Just announced is JSecureConnect, a JDBC driver that adds security, encryption, authentication, and firewall access features that aren't included in the base JDBC specification. With JSecureConnect, you can open up JDBC access to databases including SQL Server, Oracle, and Access via HTTPS and SSL. This offers you a way to do secure database access over the Internet, a requirement for more and more applications these days.

Finally, there's JSQLMapper. Not yet released, but being displayed at the PASS conference this month, JSQLMapper provides a user interface and a processing engine to map XML documents to SQL Server database tables. I'm looking forward to learning more about this one, given the increasing importance of building links between XML and relational databases.

Depending on what you purchase, JNetDirect's products are in the $500-$1500 range. For that price, you can get a little protection from being locked into a single vendor, as well as make your data more universally available no matter which platform you use for a particular project.


For more reviews and opinions from Mike Gunderloy, click here.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.


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