Establishing a Connection
Trail: JDBC(TM) Database Access
Lesson: JDBC Basics

Establishing a Connection

First, you need to establish a connection with the data source you want to use. A data source can be a DBMS, a legacy file system, or some other source of data with a corresponding JDBC driver. Typically, a JDBC application connects to a target data source using one of two classes:

Note: The samples in this tutorial use the DriverManager class instead of the DataSource class because it is easier to use and the samples do not require the features of the DataSource class.

This page covers the following topics:

Using the DriverManager Class

Connecting to your DBMS with the DriverManager class involves calling the method DriverManager.getConnection. The following method, JDBCTutorialUtilities.getConnection, establishes a database connection:

public Connection getConnection() throws SQLException {

    Connection conn = null;
    Properties connectionProps = new Properties();
    connectionProps.put("user", this.userName);
    connectionProps.put("password", this.password);

    if (this.dbms.equals("mysql")) {
        conn = DriverManager.getConnection(
                   "jdbc:" + this.dbms + "://" +
                   this.serverName +
                   ":" + this.portNumber + "/",
    } else if (this.dbms.equals("derby")) {
        conn = DriverManager.getConnection(
                   "jdbc:" + this.dbms + ":" +
                   this.dbName +
    System.out.println("Connected to database");
    return conn;

The method DriverManager.getConnection establishes a database connection. This method requires a database URL, which varies depending on your DBMS. The following are some examples of database URLs:

  1. MySQL: jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/, where localhost is the name of the server hosting your database, and 3306 is the port number

  2. Java DB: jdbc:derby:testdb;create=true, where testdb is the name of the database to connect to, and create=true instructs the DBMS to create the database.

    Note: This URL establishes a database connection with the Java DB Embedded Driver. Java DB also includes a Network Client Driver, which uses a different URL.

This method specifies the user name and password required to access the DBMS with a Properties object.


The method returns a Connection object, which represents a connection with the DBMS or a specific database. Query the database through this object.

Specifying Database Connection URLs

A database connection URL is a string that your DBMS JDBC driver uses to connect to a database. It can contain information such as where to search for the database, the name of the database to connect to, and configuration properties. The exact syntax of a database connection URL is specified by your DBMS.

Java DB Database Connection URLs

The following is the database connection URL syntax for Java DB:


See Java DB Developer's Guide and Java DB Reference Manual from Java DB Technical Documentation for more information.

MySQL Connector/J Database URL

The following is the database connection URL syntax for MySQL Connector/J:


See MySQL Reference Manual for more information.

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