Types of Jdbc Driver

Posted: May 4, 2012 in JDBC

A JDBC driver is a set of Java classes that implement the JDBC interfaces, targeting a specific database. The JDBC interfaces comes with standard Java, but the implementation of these interfaces is specific to the database you need to connect to. Such an implementation is called a JDBC driver.

There are 4 different types of JDBC drivers:

  • Type 1: JDBC-ODBC bridge driver
  • Type 2: Java + Native code driver
  • Type 3: All Java + Middleware translation driver
  • Type 4: All Java driver.

Today, most drivers are type 4 drivers. Nevertheless, I will just discuss the 4 types of drivers shortly.

Type 1 JDBC Driver

A type 1 JDBC driver consists of a Java part that translates the JDBC interface calls to ODBC calls. An ODBC bridge then calls the ODBC driver of the given database. Type 1 drivers are (were) mostly intended to be used in the beginning, when there were no type 4 drivers (all Java drivers). Here is an illustration of how a type 1 JDBC driver is organized


The JDBC-ODBC Bridge allows access to almost any database, since the database’s ODBC drivers are already available.


1. Since the Bridge driver is not written fully in Java, Type 1 drivers are not portable.
2. A performance issue is seen as a JDBC call goes through the bridge to the ODBC driver, then to the database, and this applies even in the reverse process. They are the slowest of all driver types.
3. The client system requires the ODBC Installation to use the driver.
4. Not good for the Web.

Type 2 JDBC Driver

A type 2 JDBC driver is like a type 2 driver, except the ODBC part is replaced with a native code part instead. The native code part is targeted at a specific database product. Here is an illustration of a type 2 JDBC driver:


Type 2: Native api/ Partly Java Driver


The distinctive characteristic of type 2 jdbc drivers are that they are typically offer better performance than the JDBC-ODBC Bridge as the layers of communication (tiers) are less than that of Type
1 and also it uses Native api which is Database specific.


1. Native API must be installed in the Client System and hence type 2 drivers cannot be used for the Internet.
2. Like Type 1 drivers, it’s not written in Java Language which forms a portability issue.
3. If we change the Database we have to change the native api as it is specific to a database
4. Mostly obsolete now
5. Usually not thread safe.

Type 3 JDBC Driver

A type 3 JDBC driver is an all Java driver that sends the JDBC interface calls to an intermediate server. The intermediate server then connects to the database on behalf of the JDBC driver. Here is an illustration of a type 3 JDBC driver:

Type 3: All Java/ Net-Protocol Driver


1. This driver is server-based, so there is no need for any vendor database library to be present on client machines.
2. This driver is fully written in Java and hence Portable. It is suitable for the web.
3. There are many opportunities to optimize portability, performance, and scalability.
4. The net protocol can be designed to make the client JDBC driver very small and fast to load.
5. The type 3 driver typically provides support for features such as caching (connections, query results, and so on), load balancing, and advanced
system administration such as logging and auditing.
6. This driver is very flexible allows access to multiple databases using one driver.
7. They are the most efficient amongst all driver types.


It requires another server application to install and maintain. Traversing the recordset may take longer, since the data comes through the backend server.

Type 4 JDBC Driver

A type 4 JDBC driver is an all Java driver which connects directly to the database. It is implemented for a specific database product. Today, most JDBC drivers are type 4 drivers. Here is an illustration of how a type 4 JDBC driver is organized:

Type 4: Native-protocol/all-Java driver


1. The major benefit of using a type 4 jdbc drivers are that they are completely written in Java to achieve platform independence and eliminate deployment administration issues. It is most suitable for the web.
2. Number of translation layers is very less i.e. type 4 JDBC drivers don’t have to translate database requests to ODBC or a native connectivity interface or to pass the request on to another server, performance is typically quite good.
3. You don’t need to install special software on the client or server. Further, these drivers can be downloaded dynamically.


With type 4 drivers, the user needs a different driver for each database.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s