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SQL Server JDBC Driver 3.0 Community Technology Preview (CTP)

Microsoft has made another step forward when it comes down to the interoperability of its data platform with JAVA-based applications. A preview of the upcoming Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) driver is currently up for grabs via the Microsoft Download Center. SQL Server JDBC Driver 3.0 Community Technology Preview (CTP) is essentially a Type 4 JDBC driver designed to bridge multiple SQL Server releases with JAVA apps. Amina Saify, program manager – JDBC, revealed that the third version of the SQL Server JDBC Driver was based on the v2.0 release in the first half of 2009, and incorporated feedback from customers that had leveraged the driver.

Offered through the Microsoft Download Center completely for free, SQL Server JDBC Driver 3.0 CTP brings to the table changes generated by customer input. In this regard, Saify underlines that efforts have been made to accommodate a number of “must-have” requests, and that the latest iteration embraces SQL Server 2008 even more. Customers already taking advantage of the driver will find that the CTP release of version 3.0 offers support for such SQL Server 2008 features as Time and Date Data Types, Sparse Columns, MERGE (Transact-SQL) statement, and Large User-Defined Types (UDTs). The promise from Microsoft is that, already, with the CTP of SQL Server JDBC Driver 3.0, customers will notice a boost in performance, as well as in stability and reliability because of the bugs fixed.

Companies building or relying on Java applications, application servers, or Java-enabled applets can turn to the SQL Server JDBC Driver in order to access SQL Server 2000, SQL Server 2005, and SQL Server 2008 databases. Microsoft indicates that the driver is a free download for all SQL Server customers. Database connectivity is provided via the standard JDBC application program interfaces (APIs) in Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 5.

In order to access the SQL Server JDBC Driver, customers must, first of all, agree with the End-User License Agreement (EULA). Only after that will Microsoft allow users to actually download the driver. Microsoft is offering detailed instructions on the installation of the Windows version of the JDBC Driver and the UNIX version of the JDBC Driver at the bottom of this webpage.

Saify offered an overview of what’s new in this release:

1. Time and Date Data Types - We have added support for the following SQL Server data types – time, date, datetime2 and datetimeoffset.

2. Sparse Columns - Sparse columns are ordinary columns that have an optimized storage for null values at the cost of more overhead to retrieve non-null values. Consider using sparse columns when the space saved is at least 20 percent to 40 percent.
The DatabaseMetaData methods: getColumns, getFunctionColumns, and getProcedureColumns now return information about whether a column is sparse as well as information about the column set column.

3. Large User-Defined Types (UDTs) - This release supports handling CLR User-Defined Types (UDTs) that are larger than 8000 bytes as binary data.

4. MERGE (Transact-SQL) Statement - We have added support for the MERGE (Transact-SQL) statement. The executeUpdate and getUpdateCount methods now return the correct number of rows updated for a MERGE statement.

5. Metadata Enhancements - We have extended the metadata support to include the new data types introduced in SQL Server 2008.

a) Sparse columns information has been added to include sparse column;
b) New date time metadata.
Furthermore there are some minor changes from the 2.0 driver in the way some data types are reported.

6. Wrapper Interface Support - We have introduced interfaces that you can use with the unwrap and isWrapperFor methods of the Wrapper interface to implement classes that can proxy driver extensions to your applications.

News source: Softpedia.com