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Java database spec proposed

Oracle teams with IBM and Tandem to propose a Java standard for corporate data retrieval.

Oracle (ORCL) is teaming up with IBM (IBM) and Tandem (TDM) to propose a Java standard for retrieving information from corporate databases.

As previously reported by CNET's NEWS.COM, the three companies today proposed JSQL, a language specification for accessing databases from Java applications. Oracle first began discussing such a standard last December but is now ready to put the plan on paper.

The companies hope the specification will be widely adopted by Java developers as an industry standard for linking the new breed of intranet applications with more traditional relational databases. All three companies also plan to develop products that include JSQL support.

With the focus in Java development turning increasingly towards intranets and server-based applications, the need for standard ways of accessing existing corporate applications and data is becoming more acute. Without such standards, Java developers are handicapped in their ability to build practical applications.

Sun Microsystems' JavaSoft division will also endorse the effort, according to Steve Levine, director of product marketing at Oracle.

JSQL is intended to make it easier for Java developers to access corporate data through a widely used database language called Structured Query Language (SQL). The JSQL language can understand both SQL and Java commands.

Levine said JSQL complements JDBC, a Java-based data access technology proposed by JavaSoft and now being adopted by vendors. A draft specification of the JSQL language is posted to JavaSoft's Web site.

JSQL is designed for applications that use static SQL, or SQL commands that have been embedded into application code. The reference implementation of JSQL includes a precompiler that turns static SQL into standard Java code with JDBC calls.

Levine acknowledged that competitive proposals may be forthcoming from other vendors, but added that the three vendors backing JSQL plan to submit their specification to a standards body for adoption as an industry standard. Exactly which standards body, however, has also not been determined, he said.

A likely candidate may be the International Standards Organization or the International Electrotechnical Commission, which JavaSoft has chosen to be the keeper of the Java spec.

Another candidate may be the American National Standards Institute, which is in charge of administering the SQL standard.

While the JSQL troika has sent a draft of the spec to other database makers, including Sybase, Informix, and Microsoft, none of the vendors has so far responded, said Levine.