New Type 5 JDBC Driver Aimed at Data-Driven Java Apps

Progress Software has launched a new Type 5 JDBC driver, which the company is billing as an industry first. The new JDBC driver is designed "to enable Java applications to fully take advantage of the past decade's worth of database improvements and enhancements," the company said.

The Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) is a standard API specification for connecting Java applications to a database. The original Type 1 drivers were dependent on Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) drivers and native DB libraries on the client side. The modern Type 4 drivers, known as Direct to Database Pure Java Drivers, have been a standard of the industry since about 1998. They're platform independent, entirely Java-based and run inside the client JVM.

But the Type 4 drivers have some limitations, including slow or inconsistent performance, inaccessible functionality, poor resource efficiency and application deployment restrictions. Critics have argued that these drawbacks make the Type 4 JDBC driver impractical to use in modern Java apps. John Goodson, vice president and general manager of Enterprise Data Solutions at Progress, said that Type 4 JDBC drivers have "outlasted their ability to effectively support today's Java applications."

Progress's new Type 5 driver aims to overcome many of the limitations of the Type 4 drivers, the company said, by enabling Java apps to tap current innovations in database features, data access models and virtualization technologies, without requiring code changes. The new driver type supports the Type 4 architecture, but is designed to provide users with faster performance and a better use of memory footprint.

The Bedford, Mass.-based enterprise infrastructure software company calls its new JDBC driver "tomorrow's JDBC driver for today's Java applications." The company has been bemoaning the limits of Type 4 drivers for some time, even hosting a Webinar on the subject. The Type 5 drivers are designed to expand on the Type 4 features and capabilities by maximizing data throughput regardless of the runtime environment or data access model; allowing features and functionality "to be added, configured, or tuned for any application without changing the application code;" and using a "minimal amount" of runtime CPU and memory resources.

The Type 5 JDBC drivers also deploy as a single driver JAR file in all environments, and require no proprietary extensions to the JDBC spec.

The Progress DataDirect Connect for JDBC drivers are available now for Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, Sybase, MySQL and Informix.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].