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Most of the vendors see the opportunities of Java's portability and security as the prime reason to replace the current programming languages in their main development environment. However, it seems that the mass media concentrates only on the toys that you can make. The truth is that everything that you can do in C++, you can do in Java. And more. And even though currently there is a dearth of market-ready Java applications, this isn't surprising. Consider the large span of time that C++ has already had in the market.
Nevertheless, Java provides new means for communicating with databases through a system similar to that of C and C++ applications. In addition, the platform neutrality of Java cannot be stressed enough from the programmer's point of view.
Top commercial database product vendors like Oracle, IBM, Sybase, SAS, and Borland have been taking a careful look at the Java-DBMS integration methodology. A large number of third-party developers such as Gupta, Rogue Wave, Symantec, and Intersolv are also very interested in this new market. A small part of this interest stems from the need to keep a high-profile image. But in large part, these companies see a new opportunity that programmers everywhere will be taking advantage of in the near future. Starting now gives them a head start in this revolutionary market. Database and connectivity vendors can get a jump on what will be the next, truly distributed processing system.
The first standardized work on Java-DBMS connectivity appears in a draft specification known as the Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) Application Programming Interface (API) specification. Created with the help of the aforementioned database and database-tool vendors, it is intended to fill the current vacancy in this level of connectivity that has prompted companies like Weblogic to develop proprietary interfaces.
To avert a potential Tower of Babel in the future due to proprietary mechanisms, work on JDBC is progressing rapidly. The initial specification was released on March 8, 1996 as a draft for open analysis. Towards the end of summer when the beta stages will near completion, vendors will also be close to releasing their candidate products for JDBC compliance.
JDBC creates a programming-level interface for communicating with databases in a uniform manner similar in concept to Microsoft's Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) component which has become the standard for personal computers and LANs. The JDBC standard itself is based on the X/Open SQL Call Level Interface, the same basis as that of ODBC. This is one of the reasons why the initial development of JDBC is progressing so fast.