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