Java JDBC Driver

JDBC Driver is a software component that is used to interact with the java application with the database. The purpose of  JDBC driver is to convert java calls into database-specific calls and database specific calls into java calls.

  Types of JDBC Drivers:

  1. JDBC-ODBC bridge driver.
  2. Native API driver
  3. Network protocol driver.
  4. Pure java driver.
Here you can download JDBC drivers Click here to download

1) JDBC-ODBC bridge Driver :

  • This driver is also known as Type-1 Driver. Internally this Driver will take the support of ODBC Driver to communicate with the database.Type-1 Driver convert JDBC calls into ODBC calls and ODBC Driver convert ODBC calls into database-specific calls.
  • Using Type-1 Driver for prototyping only and not for production purposes.
  • This driver can be provided by Sun Microsystem as a part of JDK.
Type-1 Driver

Advantages :

  • Type-1 Driver is database independent driver.
  • it is very easy to use.
  • Not require to install this driver separately(By default in windows)

Disadvantages :

  • It is the slowest driver.
  • Type-1 driver internally depends upon ODBC driver so ODBC driver concept application only on window machine i.e. platform dependent driver.

2) Native API Driver :

  • Native API driver converts JDBC calls into database-specific native libraries calls and these calls are directly understood by the database engine.
  • Large database vendors, such as Oracle and IBM, use the Type-2 driver for their enterprise databases.
  • Type-2 Drivers aren't architecturally compatible.
  • Type-2 Drivers force developers to write platform-specific code.
jdbc driver types
Type-2 Driver

Advantages :

      • Good performance as compared to the type-1 driver.
      • No ODBC Driver require.
      • Type-2 Drivers are operating system specific and compiled.

Disadvantages :

  • It is a database dependent driver. 
  • It is a platform-dependent driver.
  • Only Oracle provides type-2 Driver

3) Network protocol driver:

  • For database middle-ware, Type-3 JDBC drivers are pure Java drivers.
  • java application communicates with Network Protocol driver. Network protocol driver converts JDBC calls into middle-wear specific calls, the middle-wear server communicates with database, middle-wear server convert middle-wear specific calls into database-specific calls.
jdbc driver types
Type-3 Driver

Advantages :

  • This driver does not directly communicate with the database. So it is database independent driver. For any database, this driver is the same.
  • It is fully written in Java. So it is platform independent driver.
  • No client-side libraries are required.


  • Network support is required on the client machine.
  • When we change the database, we need to change the middle-wear code.
  • Maintenance of Network Protocol driver becomes costly.

4) Pure Java Driver:

  • It is also known as the Thin driver. The thin driver converts JDBC calls into database-specific calls directly.
  • Thin driver directly communicates with the database by using database specific native protocol provided by the database vendor.
  • It is a platform, independent Driver.

jdbc driver types
Type-4 Driver


  • Better performance than all other drivers.
  • Platform independent Driver.
  • No software is required at the client side or server side.


  • Database dependent driver, because it is directly communicating with the database direct.

Which JDBC Drivers should be used :

In our application, if you are using only one type of database may be an oracle,
MySQL then we should go for the type-1 driver.
Example:Standalone application,Small scale web application.

In our application, if you are using multiple databases highly recommended, you should go for the type-3 driver. Because the type-3 driver is database independent driver.
Example: large scale web application,Enterprise application.

To connect to multiple databases, developers can use type-2 Driver.

if no driver is available then we should go for type-4 driver

Differentiate between Thick and Thin Driver:

jdbc driver

Thick Driver:  

if the database driver requires some extra component to communicate with database such type of driver is called the Thick driver.
Example: Type-1,Type-2,Type-3 Driver.

Thin Driver:

if the database driver does not require some extra component to communicate with database such type of driver is called the Thin driver.
Example: Type-4 Driver.

Comparison of all types of JDBC Drivers:

 JDBC Drivers
Difference between all types of JDBC Drivers

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