RealTime IT News

SQL Server, Meet Java

Looking to get some love in advance of the JavaOne conference next week, Microsoft announced the public beta availability of the SQL Server 2005 JDBC Driver on Friday.

The new driver will let Java and Java SE (formerly J2EE) applications interoperate with SQL Server through the Java standard for Database Connectivity. The JDBC Driver is available as a free download to SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 users, and Microsoft asked the Java community to test and give feedback on the product.

The driver beta is part of Microsoft's ramp-up to the planned November release of SQL Server 2005. Redmond is positioning the technology as a top-tier enterprise database.

"The symbolic significance is that, typically, Java applications use JDBC drivers to access Oracle or Sybase or DB2," said IDC analyst Carl Olofson. With the announcement, he said, "Microsoft is saying SQL Server 2005 is an enterprise-class, transaction-oriented relational database management system just like those."

Tom Rizzo, director of product management for SQL Server, said the driver was part of Microsoft's efforts to ensure interoperability with non-Windows applications.

"Data access is important part of any database system," Rizzo said. "We want to support interoperability with both Microsoft developers and Java developers. With this driver, no matter what development tool you use, you can put data in and get it out of SQL Server 2005.

Such interoperability also could increase the market for Microsoft's database technology. "It extends the number of people and applications that can use [SQL Server 2005]," Rizzo said. "It makes our universe open to all developers, effectively."

Said Olofson, "They're emphasizing that it's a perfectly legitimate target for your Java applications as those others are. It's not isolated in a Microsoft-only world."

Microsoft will demo the Java driver at its booth at the JavaOne conference, being held next week in San Francisco. JavaOne is Sun Microsystems' annual Java developers conference. At the show, Sun is expected to release the final version of Java 2, Enterprise Edition 5.0 (J2EE 5.0), which builds on Java 2, Standard Edition 5.0 (J2SE 5.0).

The JDBC driver, which also works for SQL Server 2000, is redistributable, so that ISVs can plug it into their own applications, a feature Rizzo said hadn't been available with the release of the 2000 edition. The company added redistribution at the request of partners.