Welcome to Java! Normally people use data transfer objects (DTO) in this case, although this gets a bit beyond a beginner question. Basically, a DTO allows you to load a bunch of related data from the database all at once. After it's loaded, the DTO can be accessed directly by the JTable code or whatever else through its getters (and possibly setters) without hitting the database again. Of course, you have to worry about things like stale data, how to handle updates, etc. In many situations, simple DTO objects are sufficient. In others, you might need to use entity EJBs hosted on a J2EE application server.