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3.10.1 JDBC Configuration

Java/STIL does not come with the facility to use any particular SQL database "out of the box"; some additional configuration must be done before it can work. This is standard JDBC practice, as explained in the documentation of the java.sql.DriverManager class. In short, what you need to do is define the "jdbc.drivers" system property to include the name(s) of the JDBC driver(s) which you wish to use. For instance to enable use of MySQL with the Connector/J database you might start up java with a command line like this:

    java -classpath /my/jars/mysql-connector-java-3.0.8-stable-bin.jar:myapp.jar
One gotcha to note is that an invocation like this will not work if you are using 'java -jar' to invoke your application; if the -jar flag is used then any class path set on the command line or in the CLASSPATH environment variable or elsewhere is completely ignored. This is a consequence of Java's security model.

For both the reader and the writer described below, the string passed to specify the database query/table may or may not require additional authentication before the read/write can be carried out. The general rule is that an attempt will be made to connect with the database without asking the user for authentication, but if this fails the user will be queried for username and password, following which a second attempt will be made. If username/password has already been solicited, this will be used on subsequent connection attempts. How the user is queried (e.g. whether it's done graphically or on the command line) is controlled by the JDBCHandler's JDBCAuthenticator object, which can be set by application code if required. If generic I/O is being used, you can use the get/setJDBCHandler methods of the StarTableFactory or StarTableOutput being used.

To the author's knowledge, STIL has so far been used with the RDBMSs and drivers listed below. Note however that this information is incomplete and out of date. If you have updates, feel free to pass them on and they may be incorporated here.

MySQL has been tested on Linux with the Connector/J driver and seems to work; tested versions are server 3.23.55 with driver 3.0.8 and server 4.1.20 with driver 5.0.4. Sometimes tables with very many (hundreds of) columns cannot be written owing to SQL statement length restrictions. Note there is known to be a column metadata bug in version 3.0.6 of the driver which can cause a ClassCastException error when tables are written.
PostgreSQL 7.4.1 apparently works with its own JDBC driver. Note the performance of this driver appears to be rather poor, at least for writing tables.
You can use Oracle with the JDBC driver that comes as part of its Basic Instant Client Package. URLs look something like "jdbc:oracle:thin:@//hostname:1521/database#SELECT ...".
SQL Server
There is more than one JDBC driver known to work with SQL Server, including jTDS and its own driver. Some evidence suggests that jTDS may be the better choice, but your mileage may vary.
Sybase ASE
There has been a successful use of Sybase 12.5.2 and jConnect (jconn3.jar) using a JDBC URL like "jdbc:sybase:Tds:hostname:port/dbname?user=XXX&password=XXX#SELECT...". An earlier attempt using Sybase ASE 11.9.2 failed.
It is probably possible to use other RDBMSs and drivers, but you may have to do some homework.

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STIL - Starlink Tables Infrastructure Library
Starlink User Note252
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