Choosing Between ODBC and JDBC Drivers

Defining Database Drivers

Database vendors, such as Microsoft® and Oracle®, implement their database systems using technologies that vary depending on customer needs, market demands, and other factors. Software applications written in popular programming languages, such as C, C++, and Java®, need a way to communicate with these databases. Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) and Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) are standards for drivers that enable programmers to write database-agnostic software applications. ODBC and JDBC provide a set of rules recommended for efficient communication with a database. The database vendor is responsible for implementing and providing drivers that follow these rules.

Deciding Between ODBC and JDBC Drivers

ODBC is a standard Microsoft Windows® interface that enables communication between database management systems and applications typically written in C or C++.

JDBC is a standard interface that enables communication between database management systems and applications written in Oracle Java.

Database Toolbox™ has a C++ library that connects natively to an ODBC driver. Database Toolbox has a Java library that connects directly to a pure JDBC driver.

Depending on your environment and what you want to accomplish, decide whether using an ODBC driver or a JDBC driver meets your needs.

Use native ODBC for:

  • Fastest performance for data imports and exports

  • Memory-intensive data imports and exports

  • All functionality except the runstoredprocedure function

Use JDBC for:

  • Platform independence, allowing you to work with any operating system (including Mac and Linux®), driver version, or bitness

  • Access to all Database Toolbox functions

The only limitation for these drivers is memory performance. MATLAB® memory restricts the native ODBC driver. However, both MATLAB and JVM™ heap memory restrict the JDBC driver.

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