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Microsoft releases free Java driver for SQL Server

Microsoft has just released the Community Technology Preview (CTP) version of its latest Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) driver for SQL Server 2005. The CTP version of the upcoming 1.1 release is available now as a free download to all SQL Server users.

This is a Type 4 JDBC driver designed to provide database connectivity through the standard JDBC application program interfaces (APIs) available in Java Enterprise Edition (JEE). It provides access to SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 from any Java application, application server or Java-enabled applet.

This release of the JDBC Driver is JDBC 3.0 compliant, Microsoft says, and it runs on the Java Development Kit (JDK) version 1.4 and higher. The software giant says that it has been tested against all major application servers, including BEA WebLogic, IBM WebSphere, JBoss and Sun.

Microsoft has woven in all of the recent QFE rollup fixes into this 1.1 preview, as well as all of the CTP 1.0 changes (including Integrated Security) and a new Client Failover feature. Customer issues filed through the feedback center have also been addressed, the company says.

Deep integration with SQL Server 2005 was one of the most significant features of the Visual Studio 2005 integrated development environment (IDE), unveiled late last year. The company billed that integration as the key to a major productivity boost for its partners whose primary focus is developing customized applications using Visual Studio 2005, .NET, and SQL Server 2005 as a foundation. Most of the new features in the IDE focused on making it easier for developers to build .NET-connected applications.

The JDBC driver for SQL Server 2005 gives Microsoft a way to reach beyond strictly .NET shops and address the needs of heterogeneous enterprise environments by providing a means of connecting Java apps to data stored in the two latest version of the SQL Server database. And because the new JDBC driver has been designed specifically for SQL Server, it carries none of the redundant conditional handling typically implemented in JDBC drivers built to provide support for multiple databases.

Microsoft emphasized in its announcement of the CTP that this version should be used for general testing purposes only, and not deployed on production servers. It's a community tech preview, so of course Microsoft is seeking feedback from SQL users on both the functionality of the CTP and the documentation, which may be submitted to the Feedback Center. Peer-to-peer support for this CTP is available in the SQL Server 2005 forums.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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