This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP 8 forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide and have Edward Finegan & Robert Liguori on-line! See this thread for details.
Yes, JDBC is in most cases used to access DBs that are *not* on the local machine, but somewhere on a server. As long as that server is reachable via TCP/IP (meaning, there's no firewall in between that blocks the DB port) it should work fine.