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Using the JDBC Driver

This section provides quick start instructions for making a simple connection to a SQL Server database by using the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 JDBC Driver. Before you connect to a SQL Server database, SQL Server must first be installed on either your local computer or a server, and the JDBC driver must be installed on your local computer.

Setting the Classpath

The JDBC driver is not part of the Java SDK. Therefore, you must set the classpath to include the sqljdbc.jar file if you want to use it. If the classpath is missing an entry for sqljdbc.jar, your application will throw the common "Class not found" exception.

The sqljdbc.jar file is installed in the following location:

<installation directory>\sqljdbc_<version>\<language>\sqljdbc.jar

The following is an example of the CLASSPATH statement that is used for a Windows application:

CLASSPATH =.;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server 2005 JDBC Driver\sqljdbc_1.2\enu\sqljdbc.jar

The following is an example of the CLASSPATH statement that is used for a Unix/Linux application:

CLASSPATH =.:/home/usr1/mssqlserver2005jdbc/Driver/sqljdbc_1.2/enu/sqljdbc.jar


On Window systems, directory names longer than 8.3 or folder names with spaces may cause problems with classpaths. If you suspect these types of issues, you should temporarily move the sqljdbc.jar file into a simple directory name such as C:\Temp, change the classpath, and determine whether that addresses the problem.

Applications that are run directly at the command prompt

The classpath is configured in the operating system. Append sqljdbc.jar to the classpath of the system. Alternatively, you can specify the classpath on the Java command line that runs the application by using the java -classpath option.

Applications that run in an IDE

Each IDE vendor provides a different method for setting the classpath in its IDE. Just setting the classpath in the operating system will not work. You must add sqljdbc.jar to the IDE classpath.

Servlets and JSPs

Servlets and JSPs are run in a servlet/JSP engine such as Tomcat. The classpath must be set according to the servlet/JSP engine documentation. Just setting the classpath in the operating system will not work. Some servlet/JSP engines provide setup screens that you can use to set the classpath of the engine. In that situation, you must append the correct JDBC Driver JAR file to the existing engine classpath and restart the engine. In other situations, you can deploy the driver by copying sqljdbc.jar to a specific directory, such as lib, during engine installation. The engine driver classpath can also be specified in an engine specific configuration file.

Enterprise Java Beans

Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) are run in an EJB container. EJB containers are sourced from various vendors. Java applets run in a browser but are downloaded from a Web server. Copy sqljdbc.jar to the Web server root and specify the name of the JAR file in the HTML archive tab of the applet, for example, <applet ... archive=sqljdbc.jar>.

Making a Simple Connection to a Database

To connect to a database by using the DriverManager class, you must first register the driver as follows:


When the driver is loaded, you can establish a connection by using a connection URL:

String connectionUrl = "jdbc:sqlserver://localhost:1433;" +
Connection con = DriverManager.getConnection(connectionUrl);

For more information about how to connect with data sources and use a connection URL, see Building the Connection URL and Setting the Connection Properties.

See Also

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