Oracle8i Java Developer's Guide
Release 3 (8.1.7)

Part Number A83728-01





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Invoking Java Methods

The way your client calls a Java method depends on the type of Java application. The following sections discuss each of the Java APIs available for creating a Java class that can be loaded into the database and accessed by your client:

Utilizing Java Stored Procedures

You execute Java stored procedures similarly to PL/SQL. Normally, calling a Java stored procedure is a by-product of database manipulation in that it is usually the result of a trigger or DML call.

To invoke a Java stored procedure, you must publish it through a call specification. The following example shows how to create, resolve, load, and publish a simple Java stored procedure that echoes "Hello world".

  1. Write the Java class.

    Define a class, Hello, with one method,, that returns the string "Hello world".

    public class Hello
       public static String world ()
          return "Hello world";
  2. Compile the class on your client system. Using Sun Microsystem's JDK, for example, you invoke the Java compiler, javac, as follows:


    Normally, it is a good idea to specify your CLASSPATH on the javac command line, especially when writing shell scripts or make files. The Java compiler produces a Java binary file--in this case, Hello.class.

    Keep in mind where this Java code will execute. If you execute Hello.class on your client system, it searches the CLASSPATH for all supporting core classes it must execute. This search should result in locating the dependent class in one of the following:

    • as an individual file in a directory, where the directory is specified in the CLASSPATH

    • within a .jar or .zip file, where the directory is specified in the CLASSPATH

  3. Decide on the resolver for your class.

    In this case, you load Hello.class in the server, where it is stored in the database as a Java schema object. When you execute the world() method of the Hello.class on the server, it finds the necessary supporting classes, such as String, using a resolver--in this case, the default resolver. The default resolver looks for classes in the current schema first and then in PUBLIC. All core class libraries, including the java.lang package, are found in PUBLIC. You may need to specify different resolvers, and you can force resolution to occur when you use loadjava, to determine if there are any problems earlier, rather than at runtime. Refer to "Resolving Class Dependencies" or the Oracle8i Java Tools Reference for more details on resolvers and loadjava.

  4. Load the class on the Oracle8i server using loadjava. You must specify the username and password.

    loadjava -user scott/tiger Hello.class
  5. Publish the stored procedure through a call specification

    To invoke a Java static method with a SQL CALL, you must publish it with a call specification. A call specification defines for SQL which arguments the method takes and the SQL types it returns.

    In SQL*Plus, connect to the database and define a top-level call specification for

    SQL> connect scott/tiger
    SQL> create or replace function HELLOWORLD return VARCHAR2 as
      2  language java name ' () return java.lang.String';
      3  /
    Function created.
  6. Invoke the stored procedure

    SQL> variable myString varchar2[20];
    SQL> call HELLOWORLD() into :myString;
    Call completed.
    SQL> print myString;
    Hello world

    The call HELLOWORLD() into :myString statement performs a top-level call in Oracle8i. The Oracle-specific select HELLOWORLD from DUAL also works. Note that SQL and PL/SQL see no difference between a stored procedure written in Java, PL/SQL, or any other language. The call specification provides a means to tie inter-language calls together in a consistent manner. Call specifications are necessary only for entry points invoked with triggers or SQL and PL/SQL calls. Furthermore, JDeveloper can automate the task of writing call specifications.

    For more information on Java stored procedures, using Java in triggers, call specifications, rights models, and inter-language calls, refer to the Oracle8i Java Stored Procedures Developer's Guide.

Utilizing Distributed Objects With CORBA and EJB

In a program whose logic is distributed, the architecture of choice has three tiers--the client, the middle tier, and the database server.

Client tier  

Typically limited to display of information provided by the middle tier.  

Middle tier  

Facilitates the communication between client and server. Typically manages the server objects. Marshals and unmarshals the parameters and return values.  

Server tier  

Performs the business or application logic.  

The server object within the three-tier model does the business logic. This may or may not include accessing a database for SQL queries. Oracle8i removes the need for a physical middle tier for distributed applications where the server object requires access to a database. Oracle8i still maintains a three-tier logical architecture, but by combining the middle tier and the database server, the physical architecture is two-tier. The flexibility inherent in this architecture is ideally suited to Internet applications where the client presents information in a Web browser, interacting with servers across the network. Those servers, in turn, can be federated and cooperate in their own client-server interactions to provide information to Web-based clients in an intranet or Internet application.

To use the two-tier distributed object approach for your application, you can use either the CORBA or EJB APIs.

CORBA and EJB are complementary. The JServer implementation of the Enterprise JavaBeans 1.1 specification builds on the underlying support and services of CORBA.

IIOP Transport

Unlike a session in which the client communicates through Net8, you access CORBA and EJB sessions through IIOP, which is capable of servicing multiple client connections. Although scalable applications generally provide one session per client-server interaction, the ability to service multiple clients extends the flexibility of the session. IIOP enables callouts, callbacks, and loopbacks in your distributed communications.


You can access components through a name service, which forms a tree, similar to a file system, where you can store objects by name. When you put a CORBA or EJB object into the namespace, you are publishing it.

There are two supported naming protocols within Oracle8i:

Creating and Deploying Enterprise JavaBeans

CORBA and EJB application development are complicated topics covered in the Oracle8i Enterprise JavaBeans Developer's Guide and Reference and the Oracle8i CORBA Developer's Guide and Reference. This section gives an example of how to create an EJB component. This example creates an EmployeeBean to look up an employee record in the Oracle RDBMS.

  1. Create the home interface. The home interface will reside in the server, enabling you to create instances of your EJB on the server. A home interface is a Java interface that extends EJBHome. The home interface is the only object published in the namespace to be visible to clients. The client can access the component through JNDI.

  2. Create the remote interface. The remote interface specifies the methods you implement in the EJB, such as instance methods you can invoke from a client. A remote interface is a Java interface that extends EJBObject. As an interface, you use it to specify the methods implemented in the bean.

  3. Implement the bean class and the methods that the remote interface defines. In the EmployeeBean example, the only method is getEmployee(). You write a bean by creating a class that implements the SessionBean interface.

  4. Create the deployment descriptor. The deployment descriptor specifies attributes of the bean, including its transactional properties and security treatment. You specify the attributes, and the deployejb tool ensures that the server enforces them.

  5. Deploy the EJB. When you deploy the EJB, the deployejb tool does the following:

    • Places your home interface and the EJB on the server.

    • Publishes the home interface in the namespace.

    • Generates the Java code on the server side to manage transactions and security specified in the deployment descriptor.

    • Generates and returns the stub interfaces that provide the client access to the remote functionality of the bean.

Using an EJB

Once you create and deploy an EJB, you will want to use it from a client program. You can use EJBs between servers in n-tier applications also, in which case the client for one server can also be the server for other clients. In your client code, you must perform the following steps:

  1. Locate the home interface object that resides on the server. You will locate the object using Java-standard JNDI lookup facilities.

  2. Authenticate the client to the server. EJB and CORBA clients use database sessions, just as with any other Oracle client. To initiate a session, you must let the server know you are a valid user. You can use several different approaches to accomplish authentication in a secure manner.

  3. Activate an instance of the bean. Because the object you locate with JNDI is the home interface, you will use one of its create() methods to return an activated instance of the EJB.

  4. Invoke methods on the bean. When you invoke a method on the bean, the method is actually executed in the server, and the appropriate parameter and return objects are transparently transported (by copy) across the underlying IIOP connection. All objects the EJBs return must be serializable--they must implement

The Oracle8i Enterprise JavaBeans Developer's Guide and Reference and the Oracle8i CORBA Developer's Guide and Reference books discuss the details of these steps. Java IDEs, as with Oracle's JDeveloper, can automate and simplify the deployment and descriptor process.

Session Shell

Session shell is an example of a tool written completely in Java using Java stored procedures and CORBA. It interacts with server-resident objects that are visible through CORBA within your session by using UNIX shell commands. For more information, see the The Oracle8i Enterprise JavaBeans Developer's Guide and Reference and the Oracle8i CORBA Developer's Guide and Reference books. This tool demonstrates how you can use CORBA to build tools that make life simpler for developers and end users.

The session shell provides a shell-like interface to the server. This shell allows users to manipulate the session namespace with familiar UNIX commands, such as mkdir, ls, and rm. In addition, the session shell furnishes a convenient way to run Java programs in the server, using the java command. The session shell java command takes the name of a class and any arguments the user types in. The session shell calls the static main(String[]) method on the class, running the Java program in the server. System.out and System.err are captured and transparently redirected back to the user's console.

Utilizing Remote Method Invocation (RMI)

JServer fully supports Java Remote Method Invocation (RMI). All RMI classes and support are in place. In general, RMI is not useful or scalable in JServer applications. CORBA and EJB are the preferred APIs for invoking methods of remote objects. The RMI Server that Sun Microsystem supplies does function on the JServer platform. Because Sun Microsystem's RMI Server uses operating system sockets and is not accessible through a presentation, it is useful only within the context of a single call. It relies heavily on Java language level threads. By contrast, the Oracle8i ORB and EJB rely on the database server to gain scalability. You can efficiently implement an RMI server as a presentation; however, CORBA and EJB currently serves this purpose.


A presentation is an object that accepts either a Net8 or IIOP incoming connection into the database. See "Configuring JServer" for more information.  

Utilizing Java Native Interface (JNI) Support

The Java Native Interface (JNI) is a standard programming interface for writing Java native methods and embedding the Java virtual machine into native applications. The primary goal of JNI is to provide binary compatibility of Java applications that use platform-specific native libraries.

Oracle does not support the use of JNI in JServer applications. If you use JNI, your application is not 100% pure Java, and the native methods require porting between platforms. Native methods have the potential for crashing the server, violating security, and corrupting data.

Utilizing SQLJ and JDBC for Querying Database

You can use one of two protocols for querying the database from a Java client. Both protocols establish a session with a given username/password to the database and execute SQL queries against the database.


Use this protocol for more complex or dynamic SQL queries. JDBC requires you to establish the session, construct the query, and so on.  


Use this protocol for static, easy SQL queries. SQLJ is typically a one-liner that executes against a known table with known column names.  


JDBC is an industry-standard API developed by Sun Microsystems that allows you to embed SQL statements as Java method arguments. JDBC is based on the X/Open SQL Call Level Interface and complies with the SQL92 Entry Level standard. Each vendor, such as Oracle, creates its JDBC implementation by implementing the interfaces of the Sun Microsystems java.sql package. Oracle offers three JDBC drivers that implement these standard interfaces:

  1. The JDBC Thin driver, a 100% pure Java solution you can use for either client-side applications or applets and requires no Oracle client installation.

  2. The JDBC OCI drivers (OCI 8 or OCI 7), which you use for client-side applications and requires an Oracle client installation.

  3. The server-side JDBC driver embedded in the Oracle8i server.

For the developer, using JDBC is a step-by-step process of creating a statement object of some type for your desired SQL operation, assigning any local variables that you want to bind to the SQL operation, and then executing the operation. This process is sufficient for many applications but becomes cumbersome for any complicated statements. Dynamic SQL operations, where the operations are not known until runtime, require JDBC. In typical applications, however, this represents a minority of the SQL operations.


SQLJ offers an industry-standard way to embed any static SQL operation directly into Java source code in one simple step, without requiring the individual steps of JDBC. Oracle SQLJ complies with ANSI standard X3H2-98-320.

SQLJ consists of a translator--a precompiler that supports standard SQLJ programming syntax--and a runtime component. After creating your SQLJ source code in a .sqlj file, you process it with the translator, which translates your SQLJ source code to standard Java source code, with SQL operations converted to calls to the SQLJ runtime. In the Oracle SQLJ implementation, the translator invokes a Java compiler to compile the Java source. When your Oracle SQLJ application runs, the SQLJ runtime calls JDBC to communicate with the database.

SQLJ also allows you to catch errors in your SQL statements before runtime. JDBC code, being pure Java, is compiled directly. The compiler has no knowledge of SQL, so it is unaware of any SQL errors. By contrast, when you translate SQLJ code, the translator analyzes the embedded SQL statements semantically and syntactically, catching SQL errors during development, instead of allowing an end-user to catch them when running the application.

An Example Comparing JDBC and SQLJ

The following is an example of a simple operation, first in JDBC code and then SQLJ code.


// (Presume you already have a JDBC Connection object conn)
// Define Java variables
String name;
int id=37115;
float salary=20000;

// Set up JDBC prepared statement.
PreparedStatement pstmt = conn.prepareStatement
   ("select ename from emp where empno=? and sal>?");
pstmt.setInt(1, id);
pstmt.setFloat(2, salary);

// Execute query; retrieve name and assign it to Java variable.
ResultSet rs = pstmt.executeQuery();
while ( {
   System.out.println("Name is: " + name);

// Close result set and statement objects.

  1. Define the Java variables name, id, and salary.

  2. Define a prepared statement (this presumes you have already established a connection to the database so that you can use the prepareStatement() method of the connection object).

    You can use a prepared statement whenever values within the SQL statement must be dynamically set (you can use the same prepared statement repeatedly with different variable values). The question marks in the prepared statement are placeholders for Java variables and are given values in the pstmt.setInt() and pstmt.setFloat() lines of code. The first "?" is set to the int variable id (with a value of 37115). The second "?" is set to the float variable salary (with a value of 20000).

  3. Execute the query and return the data into a JDBC result set object. (You can use result sets to gather query data.)

  4. Retrieve the data of interest (the name) from the result set and print it. A result set usually contains multiple rows of data, although this example has only one row.

By comparison, here is some SQLJ code that performs the same task. Note that all SQLJ statements, both declarations and executable statements, start with the #sql token.


String name;
int id=37115;
float salary=20000;
#sql {select ename into :name from emp where empno=:id and sal>:salary};
System.out.println("Name is: " + name);

SQLJ, in addition to allowing SQL statements to be directly embedded in Java code, supports Java host expressions (also known as bind expressions) to be used directly in the SQL statements. In the simplest case, a host expression is a simple variable as in this example, but more complex expressions are allowed as well. Each host expression is preceded by ":" (colon). This example uses Java host expressions name, id, and salary. In SQLJ, because of its host expression support, you do not need a result set or equivalent when you are returning only a single row of data.

Complete SQLJ Example

This section presents a complete example of a simple SQLJ program:

import java.sql.*;
import sqlj.runtime.ref.DefaultContext;
import oracle.sqlj.runtime.Oracle;
#sql iterator MyIter (String ename, int empno, float sal);

public class MyExample 
   public static void main (String args[]) throws SQLException 
         ("jdbc:oracle:thin:@oow11:5521:sol2", "scott", "tiger");

      #sql { insert into emp (ename, empno, sal)
         values ('SALMAN', 32, 20000) };
      MyIter iter;

      #sql iter={ select ename, empno, sal from emp };
      while ( {
            (iter.ename()+" "+iter.empno()+" "+iter.sal());

  1. Declare your iterators. SQLJ uses a strongly typed version of JDBC result sets, known as iterators. The main difference between the two is that an iterator has a specific number of columns of specific datatypes. You must define your iterator types beforehand, as in this example:

    #sql iterator MyIter (String ename, int empno, float sal);

    This declaration results in SQLJ creating an iterator class MyIter. Iterators of type MyIter can store results whose first column maps to a Java String, whose second column maps to a Java int, and whose third column maps to a Java float. This definition also names the three columns--ename, empno, and sal, respectively--to match the table column names in the database. MyIter is a named iterator. See Chapter 3 of the Oracle8i SQLJ Developer's Guide and Reference to learn about positional iterators, which do not require column names.

  2. Connect to the database.

    Oracle.connect("jdbc:oracle:thin:@oow11:5521:sol2","scott", "tiger");

    Oracle SQLJ furnishes the Oracle class, and its connect() method accomplishes three important things:

    1. Registers the Oracle JDBC drivers SQLJ uses to access the database.

    2. Opens a database connection for the specified schema (user scott, password tiger) at the specified URL (host oow11, port 5521, SID so12, "thin" JDBC driver).

    3. Establishes this connection as the default connection for your SQLJ statements. Although each JDBC statement must explicitly specify a connection object, a SQLJ statement can either implicitly use a default connection or optionally specify a different connection.

  3. Execute a SQL statement.

    1. Insert a row into the emp table:

      #sql {insert into emp (ename, empno, sal) values ('SALMAN', 32, 20000)};
    2. Instantiate and populate the iterator:

      MyIter iter;
      #sql iter={select ename, empno, sal from emp};
  4. Access the data that was populated within the iterator.

    while ({
       System.out.println(iter.ename()+" "+iter.empno()+" "+iter.sal());

    The next() method is common to all iterators and plays the same role as the next() method of a JDBC result set, returning true and moving to the next row of data if any rows remain. You access the data in each row by calling iterator accessor methods whose names match the column names (this is a characteristic of all named iterators). In this example, you access the data using the methods ename(), empno(), and sal().

SQLJ Strong Typing Paradigm

SQLJ uses strong typing--such as iterators--instead of result sets, which allows your SQL instructions to be checked against the database during translation. For example, SQLJ can connect to a database and check your iterators against the database tables that will be queried. The translator will verify that they match, allowing you to catch SQL errors during translation that would otherwise not be caught until a user runs your application. Furthermore, if changes are subsequently made to the schema, you can determine if this affects the application simply by re-running the translator.

Translating a SQLJ Program

Integrated development environments such as Oracle JDeveloper, a Windows-based visual development environment for Java programming, can translate, compile, and customize your SQLJ program for you as you build it. If you are not using an IDE, then you can use the front-end SQLJ utility, sqlj. You can run it as follows:

%sqlj MyExample.sqlj

The SQLJ translator checks the syntax and semantics of your SQL operations. You can enable online checking to check your operations against the database. If you choose to do this, you must specify an example database schema in your translator option settings. It is not necessary for the schema to have identical data to the one the program will eventually run against; however, the tables should have columns with corresponding names and datatypes. Use the user option to enable online checking and specify the username, password, and URL of your schema, as in the following example:

%sqlj -user=scott/tiger@jdbc:oracle:thin:@oow11:5521:sol2 MyExample.sqlj

Running a SQLJ Program in the Server

Many SQLJ applications run on a client; however, SQLJ offers an advantage in programming stored procedures--which are usually SQL-intensive--to run in the server.

There is almost no difference between coding for a client-side SQLJ program and a server-side SQLJ program. The SQLJ runtime packages are automatically available on the server, and there are just the following few considerations:

To run a SQLJ program in the server, presuming you developed the code on a client, you have two options:

In either case, you can use the Oracle loadjava utility to load the file or files to the server. See the Oracle8i SQLJ Developer's Guide and Reference for more information.

Converting a Client Application to Run in the Server

The steps in converting an existing SQLJ client-side application to run in the server are as follows. Assume this is an application that has already been translated on the client:

  1. Create a .jar file for your application components.

  2. Use the loadjava utility to load the .jar file to the server.

  3. Create a SQL wrapper in the server for your application. For example, to run the preceding MyExample application in the server:

    create or replace procedure SQLJ_MYEXAMPLE as language java
          name `MyExample.main(java.lang.String[])';

You can then execute SQLJ_MYEXAMPLE as with any other stored procedure.

Interacting with PL/SQL

All the Oracle JDBC drivers communicate seamlessly with Oracle SQL and PL/SQL, and it is important to note that SQLJ interoperates with PL/SQL. You can start using SQLJ without having to rewrite any PL/SQL stored procedures. Oracle SQLJ includes syntax for calling PL/SQL stored procedures and also allows PL/SQL anonymous blocks to be embedded in SQLJ executable statements, just as with SQL operations.

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