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Choosing the Appropriate Driver

You should consider some factors when choosing among the various drivers for your application or applet (refer to Table 2, which compares the JDBC thin driver and the JDBC OCI driver):

  • If you are writing an applet, you must use the JDBC thin driver because the JDBC OCI-based driver classes cannot be downloaded to a Web browser.

  • If you need to connect to your Oracle8i data server using an application or an applet, you should choose the JDBC thin driver.

  • If you desire maximum performance from your application, then you should use the JDBC OCI driver.

  • If your Java program is running in the Oracle database server using at least the Oracle 8.1.5 Java VM, you should choose the JDBC Server driver.

Table 1 shows the compatibilities between the different Oracle database versions and the JDBC drivers.

Table 1 Compatibility Between JDBC Drivers and Oracle Databases

Oracle Version

JDBC Thin Driver

JDBC OCI Driver

JDBC Server Driver

8.1.x

Yes

Yes

Yes

8.0.x

Yes

Yes

No

7.x

Yes

Yes

No

Notes:

  • When run against an 8.1.5 database, both client- and server-side drivers offer full object support.

  • When run against an 8.1.4 database, both client- and server-side drivers offer full object support.

  • When run against an 8.0.x database, the JDBC thin and OCI drivers do not support objects.

  • When run against an 7.x database, the JDBC thin and OCI drivers do not support objects. Also, the JDBC OCI driver does not support LOBs.

Table 2 JDBC OCI and JDBC Thin Drivers Comparison

Feature

JDBC/OCI Driver

JDBC Thin Driver

Applet support

No

Yes

Oracle-specific datatype support

Yes

Yes

National Language support

Yes

Yes

Firewall support

Works with any SQL*Net–certified firewall

Works with any SQL*Net–certified firewall

Support for SQL*Net

Supports all SQL*Net adapters, including IPC, named pipes, and TCP/IP

Supports only TCP/IP supported

Net8 connection manager support

Yes

Yes

Encryption

Yes, by using the Advanced Networking Option of Net8

No

Driver Type

Type 2 driver: implements JDBC interfaces that use OCI to interact with the Oracle database

Type 4 driver: Uses Java sockets to connect directly to the Oracle database

The only differences between the Oracle JDBC drivers are how they connect to the database and how they transfer data.

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