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Microsoft Releases JDBC Driver for SQL Server

Microsoft released a JDBC driver on Wednesday for its SQL Server 2000 database, and Redmond is submitting the driver for certification from Java/J2EE heavyweights like Sun, IBM and BEA.

The free driver for licensed SQL Server 2000 users is available at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/downloads.

The driver offers a way for Microsoft to reach out to developers writing applications with the Java language or in the J2EE development environment. Microsoft competes with Java with several of its own languages and presents its .NET Framework as an alternative to J2EE.

"This is Microsoft listening to customers," the company said in a statement. "Customers have asked us for JDBC support."

According to Microsoft, the SQL Server 2000 Driver for JDBC supports the JDBC 2.0 specification, and the driver is in final testing for the Sun J2EE Compatibility Test Suite. Microsoft has also submitted the driver for certification on IBM WebSphere and BEA WebLogic.

Traditionally, Microsoft's approach to JDBC, Java Database Connectivity, has been to encourage a third-party market for vendors to create and sell the drivers. In this case, Microsoft is licensing the technology from DataDirect Technologies, formerly a division of Merant.

An official Microsoft JDBC driver potentially widens the market for SQL Server, which has become a billion-dollar-a-year business for the company. However, the company has been reluctant in the past to promote its products for non-Windows-based systems, hoping instead to sell customers on 100-percent Microsoft solutions.

Developers can use the driver with applications running on Windows, Sun Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX or Linux to access SQL Server databases.

The driver was first announced in September, and Microsoft posted a Beta 2 version on its Web site in January. Localized German and Japanese versions are also available.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.