JDBC Developer's Resource

by Rob Wehrli
  • Author: Art Taylor

  • Publisher: Prentice Hall, Inc.

  • URL: http://www.prenhall.com/ — developers_resource_series/

  • Price: $49.95 US

  • ISBN: 0-13-842352-0

  • Reviewer: Rob Wehrli

Java is hot. Java with Java DataBase Connectivity (JDBC) is very hot. This Art Taylor book, published by Informix Press/Prentice Hall, is rich with content and worthy of more careful study by anyone but the most astute Java professional working with JDBC.

True to its cover, Taylor's book features:

  • A tutorial and reference in one volume

  • Examples of every key JDBC method

  • CD-ROM containing JDBC/ODBC drivers from Intersolv

JDBC Developer's Resource also comes very close to being “Everything a developer needs to build database-enabled Java applications.” Not reported on the cover, but inside, are examples of two and three-tiered applications. The JDBC tutorial offers a hands-on, step-by-step approach to implementing the power of JDBC, that is not for those afraid of getting their hands dirty in properly commented code. The one buzzword missing from the cover is “practical”--it is a practical book, and its “Quick Reference” enforces that impression.

Generally speaking, I like the book. In fact, I was asked to review it, because I am very involved in database design and am a systems and software engineer. Currently, about 90% of the code I write is for server-side Java applications for the Internet. About 99% of these applications use some kind of database back end. Of these, I'd guess that 75-85% use the JDBC-ODBC Bridge. While these relational database management systems (RDBMS) may not be as exciting to me as object-oriented database management systems (ODBMS) with native Java bindings, they are by far the largest contingent of installed systems. It is this portion of the database world addressed by JDBC.

The content of this book addresses the many issues surrounding implementation of JDBC in Java applications by providing many excellent, working examples through a logically structured presentation of information. It starts with basics and develops into a number of higher level concepts. It even has a brief SQL introduction for newcomers to RDBMS. I am not overly fond of the graphical layout of this manuscript, but I consider layout to be a matter of personal taste rather than a design flaw. Many code samples feature black ink on a rather dark gray background. The included CD-ROM features a number of cool goodies including a collection of drivers from Intersolv.

In a classroom grading scale, I'd give it a B+ for content and structure, and a C+ for presentation. I'd give the JDBC quick reference guide an A-. Would I buy this book? Based on the content, I'd certainly buy it, but while shopping for a book, I'd look at other books on the shelf for matching content with a better visual appeal to me. If you're new to JDBC and want a quality tutorial, buy this book.


Rob Wehrli is a systems engineer and longtime resident of Honolulu, Hawaii. He enjoys playing golf and chess. He can be reached via e-mail at rowehrli@pixi.com.
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