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Just Java book: What DB server is used for JDBC chapters?

Mikalai Zaikin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 3278

I see some "Mckoi" is mentioned. Is that what I think ?
Something like Cloudscape - pure Java Relational DB ?


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Peter van der Linden
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 46
Hi Mikalai,

Yes! Your induction is absolutely right.

When I was developing the chapters on JDBC - Java Database Connectivity - I wanted to
include real code, real examples that people could run with a real database. I gave some
careful consideration to how to do that.

I could have used Oracle as my example. It is the leading brand database, available
for several platforms commercially. But it is a serious industrial-strength database that
takes time and space to install. A lot of people wouldn't have it at home and it might be
hard for them to get it.

I decided a freely-available open source product would be the best bet. There are several
available - I list a few of the contenders in Just Java. But I worried about people
who were using platforms that these databases did not have a version for. And I did
a web search to see if there were other options.

To my great joy and delight, I found the McKoi database. This was an open source database,
relational database with full support for the industry standard SQL query language, AND
written in Java! Hooray! No platform problems, it runs everywhere! I immediately got in
touch with the author Toby Downer. Toby is a very talented programmer with a generous
nature, and devoted a lot of his time to implementing McKoi and making it available -
freely available to everyone from the McKoi website at

Not only that, McKoi comes with source code too! So when you are interested you can
start to review the code and see how a real database is implemented. Toby keeps McKoi
current (a new release came out in August) and makes it available under the GPL license.
I cannot say enough good things about Toby's work and generosity -- he has made it
possible for a lot of people to have a GREAT learning experience with JDBC, and much more
besides. I hope everyone will follow his example, and write great open source software
and share it with others in the years to come.

So to learn Java and databases, you basically get the free download from,
install it on your system by putting the jar files in your class path, and get going!
(I walk through this in detail in the text).

The hardest part about learning JDBC is actually learning SQL - the database programming
language used throughout the industry. SQL is a wordy, sometimes quirky language, but
it is a real industry standard. McKoi comes with a free visual tool and a sample database!
You can use the two together to walk through SQL and see the results immediately on
your screen. This is a fabulous learning experience! The best possible way to master SQL,
and I walk you through it step-by-step in Just Java chapters 23 and 24.



Author of <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Just Java(TM) 2 (6th Edition)</a>
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24189

Peter, just curious: I've never heard of Mckoi. Why not hsqldb, which surely has a larger user base?

[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Just Java book: What DB server is used for JDBC chapters?