JDBC Introduction

The Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) API is the industry standard for database-independent connectivity between the Java programming language and a wide range of databases– SQL databases and other tabular data sources, such as spreadsheets or flat files. The JDBC API provides a call-level API for SQL-based database access. JDBC technology also provides a common base on which tools and alternate interfaces can be built.

JDBC Architecture

Two-tier and Three-tier Processing Models

The JDBC API supports both two-tier and three-tier processing models for database access.

In the two-tier model, a Java applet or application talks directly to the data source. This requires a JDBC driver that can communicate with the particular data source being accessed. A user’s commands are delivered to the database or other data source, and the results of those statements are sent back to the user. The data source may be located on another machine to which the user is connected via a network. This is referred to as a client/server configuration, with the user’s machine as the client, and the machine housing the data source as the server. The network can be an intranet, which, for example, connects employees within a corporation, or it can be the Internet.

In the three-tier model, commands are sent to a “middle tier” of services, which then sends the commands to the data source. The data source processes the commands and sends the results back to the middle tier, which then sends them to the user. MIS directors find the three-tier model very attractive because the middle tier makes it possible to maintain control over access and the kinds of updates that can be made to corporate data. Another advantage is that it simplifies the deployment of applications. Finally, in many cases, the three-tier architecture can provide performance advantages.


The JDBC API is comprised of two packages:

The JDBC API provides the following interfaces and classes:


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