Microsoft brings Java to SQL

Microsoft Corp. recently released a JDBC driver enabling Java developers to utilize Microsoft’s SQL Sever 2000 database as a data management system for Java applications.

The Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Driver for JDBC (Java Database Connectivity) is available at no extra cost to licensed SQL Server users, according to Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft. The driver saves developers from having to purchase a third-party connectivity driver or use a much slower ODBC bridge between the database and Java applications, Microsoft officials said.

“What we’re hearing from customers is that they had all this data in their SQL Server 2000 databases and they couldn’t make it work with their Java applications. We responded to that need by making this driver available,” said Cheryl Tullis, Microsoft product manager for SQL Server.

Recently in beta testing, the production release of the driver enables Java developers to enjoy the benefits of simplified database administration that can be enjoyed with SQL Server 2000, according to Microsoft.

An analyst said Microsoft was attempting to accommodate Java developers in recognition that the rival Java camp simply is not going to go away.

“I guess I’m not terribly surprised that Microsoft would want to support Java applications or allow them to access SQL Server databases,” said analyst Dwight Davis, vice president at Kirkland, Wash.-based Summit Strategies. “Microsoft would like it if Java went away, but clearly it’s not going to happen and [the company] wants to leverage the Java applications that are being built without necessarily blessing those applications themselves.”

“Allowing [developers] easy access to [Microsoft’s] underlying database is at least a way to get some benefit from the competition,” Davis said.

Microsoft has tested the driver to work with JDBC 2.0 and JDK (Java Development Kit) 1.3 and plans to continue testing it to verify that it will work with subsequent versions of the Java software.

The driver supports the JNDI (Java Naming Directory Interface) for naming data sources as well as pooling of database connections. Operating platforms supported include Windows XP, Windows 2000 with Service Pack 2 or higher, Sun Solaris, Hewlett-Packard HP-UX, IBM AIX and Linux.