Distributing the Oracle Thin JDBC Driver

Distributing the Oracle Thin JDBC Driver

Posted on May 09, 2017 0 Comments
Distributing the Oracle Thin JDBC Driver_870x220

Oracle is the most popular database in use—so I've written an FAQ to help ISVs connect to Oracle quickly and easily.

As the head of Product Management for Progress DataDirect, I regularly have the opportunity to work with our Partners on planning their roadmaps and I hear about the challenges they face with data connectivity.

With Oracle consistently ranked as the most popular database in use, we commonly get questions about supporting the vast Oracle landscape of databases and applications. And beyond simply claiming support, you have to deliver a top-notch experience accessing Oracle data.

Leading up to the release of Hybrid Data Pipeline last year, I got engaged with product managers at several cloud ISVs looking to support Oracle along with many other business data sources.

In response, I decided to write-up an FAQ to help ISVs get connected to Oracle.

ISVs: How to Connect to Oracle Databases

Can third party vendors distribute Oracle's JDBC drivers along with their own software?

Per Oracle, “If you are a third party software company (and Oracle partner) then please check out Oracle's licensing terms spelled out at Oracle Licensing Agreement.  Please contact your local Oracle sales rep for more details.”

Are you an Oracle partner?

Oracle’s Licensing Agreement requires distributors to be an Oracle partner. Depending on your business objectives, it may or may not make sense to become an Oracle partner.

If it’s not feasible for your company to establish a partnership with Oracle, you’ll need to consider alternatives to the Oracle Thin JDBC driver.

Of course, licensing requirements like this aren’t unique to Oracle. SAP HANA, for example, has a similar requirement, as do most database vendors. 

What version(s) of Oracle will be supported?

For the Oracle Thin driver, the best practice is that the specific driver version must support your database version. This alignment ensures that your driver can leverage the newest database features and be supported by Oracle.

From the perspective of a Product Manager, this can provide challenges in ensuring that the versions match up. Ideally, one driver would support the full range of database versions since Oracle business applications are mission critical and engineered to run forever.

For example, it’s not uncommon for enterprises to continue running their business on older versions of Oracle ERP or CRM applications dating all the way back to 8i through 10g databases—which are no longer supported by Oracle in the latest Thin Client JDBC 12c client.

Do you need to support other databases in addition to Oracle?

Obviously, the Oracle Thin JDBC driver is tied to Oracle’s database release cycle and proprietary features. For Oracle-only shops, this can be a huge advantage. However, if your application supports open standard access to a variety of databases, it may present problems to highly couple your code to the Oracle-specific JDBC classes and proprietary implementations.

Making the Decision

The Oracle Thin JDBC driver offers some advantages as a vendor-native driver and it makes sense for Oracle-centric applications who are Oracle partners.

However, I recommend the DataDirect Oracle JDBC driver for ISVs looking for:

✔ Flexible licensing and distribution terms, including white-labeling

✔ Breadth of support across many database versions from 8i to 12c with one JAR file

✔ Supporting open standard access to multiple JDBC data sources

✔ Connectivity engineered for distribution that delivers fast performance with a minimal footprint through efficient usage of memory and CPU.

Connect to Oracle More Effectively with DataDirect

Want to learn more about our OEM program to provide frictionless access to Oracle? Read more to discover what we do for technology vendors.

Learn More



The Progress Team

View all posts from The Progress Team on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.


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