3 JDBC Standards Support

Oracle Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) drivers support different versions of the JDBC standard features. In Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1), Oracle JDBC drivers have been enhanced to provide support for the JDBC 4.1 standards. These features are provided through the oracle.jdbc and oracle.sql packages. These packages support Java Development Kit (JDK) releases 6 and 7. This chapter discusses the JDBC standards support in Oracle JDBC drivers. It contains the following sections:

Support for JDBC 2.0 Standard

JDK 1.2 and later versions provide support for JDBC 2.0 features. There are three areas to consider:

  • Support for data types, such as objects, arrays, and large objects (LOBs), which is handled through the java.sql package.

  • Support for standard features, such as result set enhancements and update batching, which is handled through standard objects, such as Connection, ResultSet, and PreparedStatement, under JDK 1.2.x and later.

  • Support for extended features, such as features of the JDBC 2.0 optional package, also known as the standard extension application programming interface (API), including data sources, connection pooling, and distributed transactions.

This section covers the following topics:


Versions of JDK earlier than 5.0 are no longer supported. The package oracle.jdbc2 has been removed.

Data Type Support

Oracle JDBC fully supports JDK 6 and JDK 7, which includes standard JDBC 2.0 functionality through implementation of interfaces in the standard java.sql package. These interfaces are implemented as appropriate by classes in the oracle.sql and oracle.jdbc packages.

Standard Feature Support

In a JDK 6.0 environment, using the JDBC classes in ojdbc6.jar, JDBC 2.0 features, such as scrollable result sets, updatable result sets, and update batching, are supported through methods specified by standard JDBC 2.0 interfaces.

Extended Feature Support

Features of the JDBC 2.0 optional package, including data sources, connection pooling, and distributed transactions, are supported in a JDK 1.2.x or later environment.

The standard javax.sql package and classes that implement its interfaces are included in the Java Archive (JAR) files packaged with Oracle Database.

Standard versus Oracle Performance Enhancement APIs

The following performance enhancements are available under JDBC 2.0, which had previously been available only as Oracle extensions:


Starting from Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1), Oracle update batching is deprecated. Oracle recommends that you use standard JDBC batching instead of Oracle update batching.
  • Update batching

  • Fetch size or row prefetching

In each case, you have the option of using the standard model or the Oracle model. Oracle recommends that you use the JDBC standard model whenever possible. Do not, however, try to mix usage of the standard model and Oracle model within a single application for either of these features.

Support for JDBC 3.0 Standard

Standard JDBC 3.0 features are supported by JDK 1.4 and later versions. Table 3-1 lists the JDBC 3.0 features supported by Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) and gives references to a detailed discussion of each feature.

Table 3-1 Key Areas of JDBC 3.0 Functionality

Feature Comments and References

Transaction savepoints

See "Transaction Savepoints" for information.

Statement caching

Reuse of prepared statements by connection pools. See Chapter 20, "Statement and Result Set Caching".

Switching between local and global transactions

See "Switching Between Global and Local Transactions".

LOB modification

See "JDBC 3.0 LOB Interface Methods" .

Named SQL parameters

See "Interface oracle.jdbc.OracleCallableStatement" and "Interface oracle.jdbc.OraclePreparedStatement" .


See Chapter 18, "JDBC RowSets"

Retrieving auto-generated keys

See "Retrieval of Auto-Generated Keys"

Result set holdability

See "Result Set Holdability"

The following JDBC 3.0 features supported by Oracle JDBC drivers are covered in this section:

Transaction Savepoints

The JDBC 3.0 specification supports savepoints, which offer finer demarcation within transactions. Applications can set a savepoint within a transaction and then roll back all work done after the savepoint. Savepoints relax the atomicity property of transactions. A transaction with a savepoint is atomic in the sense that it appears to be a single unit outside the context of the transaction, but code operating within the transaction can preserve partial states.


Savepoints are supported for local transactions only. Specifying a savepoint within a global transaction causes a SQLException exception to be thrown.

Creating a Savepoint

You create a savepoint using the Connection.setSavepoint method, which returns a java.sql.Savepoint instance.

A savepoint is either named or unnamed. You specify the name of a savepoint by supplying a string to the setSavepoint method. If you do not specify a name, then the savepoint is assigned an integer ID. You retrieve a name using the getSavepointName method. You retrieve an ID using the getSavepointId method.


Attempting to retrieve a name from an unnamed savepoint or attempting to retrieve an ID from a named savepoint throws a SQLException exception.

Rolling Back to a Savepoint

You roll back to a savepoint using the Connection.rollback(Savepoint svpt) method. If you try to roll back to a savepoint that has been released, then a SQLException exception is thrown.

Releasing a Savepoint

You remove a savepoint using the Connection.releaseSavepoint(Savepoint svpt) method.

Checking Savepoint Support

You query if savepoints are supported by your database by calling the oracle.jdbc.OracleDatabaseMetaData.supportsSavepoints method, which returns true if savepoints are available, false otherwise.

Savepoint Notes

When using savepoints, you must consider the following:

  • After a savepoint has been released, attempting to reference it in a rollback operation will cause a SQLException exception to be thrown.

  • When a transaction is committed or rolled back, all savepoints created in that transaction are automatically released and become invalid.

  • Rolling a transaction back to a savepoint automatically releases and makes invalid any savepoints created after the savepoint in question.

Retrieval of Auto-Generated Keys

Many database systems automatically generate a unique key field when a row is inserted. Oracle Database provides the same functionality with the help of sequences and triggers. JDBC 3.0 introduces the retrieval of auto-generated keys feature that enables you to retrieve such generated values. In JDBC 3.0, the following interfaces are enhanced to support the retrieval of auto-generated keys feature:

  • java.sql.DatabaseMetaData

  • java.sql.Connection

  • java.sql.Statement

These interfaces provide methods that support retrieval of auto-generated keys. However, this feature is supported only when INSERT statements are processed. Other data manipulation language (DML) statements are processed, but without retrieving auto-generated keys.


The Oracle server-side internal driver does not support the retrieval of auto-generated keys feature.


If key columns are not explicitly indicated, then Oracle JDBC drivers cannot identify which columns need to be retrieved. When a column name or column index array is used, Oracle JDBC drivers can identify which columns contain auto-generated keys that you want to retrieve. However, when the Statement.RETURN_GENERATED_KEYS integer flag is used, Oracle JDBC drivers cannot identify these columns. When the integer flag is used to indicate that auto-generated keys are to be returned, the ROWID pseudo column is returned as key. The ROWID can be then fetched from the ResultSet object and can be used to retrieve other columns.

Sample Code

The following code illustrates retrieval of auto-generated keys:

/** SQL statements for creating an ORDERS table and a sequence for generating the

String cols[] = {"ORDER_ID", "DESCRIPTION"};

// Create a PreparedStatement for inserting a row into the ORDERS table.
OraclePreparedStatement pstmt = (OraclePreparedStatement)
 966431502, ?)", cols);
char c[] = {'a', '\u5185', 'b'};
String s = new String(c);
pstmt.setNString(1, s);
ResultSet rset = pstmt.getGeneratedKeys();

In the preceding example, a sequence, SEQ01, is created to generate values for the ORDER_ID column starting from 1000 and incrementing by 1 each time the sequence is processed to generate the next value. An OraclePreparedStatement object is created to insert a row in to the ORDERS table.


Auto-generated keys are implemented using the DML returning clause. So, they are subjected to the following limitations:

  • You cannot combine auto-generated keys with batch update.

  • You need to access the ResultSet object returned from getGeneratedKeys method by position only and no bind variable names should be used as columns in the ResultSet object.

JDBC 3.0 LOB Interface Methods

Table 3-2 and Table 3-3 show the conversions between Oracle proprietary methods and JDBC 3.0 standard methods.

Table 3-2 BLOB Method Equivalents

Oracle Proprietary Method JDBC 3.0 Standard Method

putBytes(long pos, byte [] bytes)

setBytes(long pos, byte[] bytes)

putBytes(long pos, byte [] bytes, int length)

setBytes(long pos, byte[] bytes, int offset, int len)

getBinaryOutputStream(long pos)

setBinaryStream(long pos)

trim (long len)

truncate(long len)

Table 3-3 CLOB Method Equivalents

Oracle Proprietary Method JDBC 3.0 Standard Method

putString(long pos, String str)

setString(long pos, String str)

not applicable

setString(long pos, String str, int offset, int len)

getAsciiOutputStream(long pos)

setAsciiStream(long pos)

getCharacterOutputStream(long pos)

setCharacterStream(long pos)

trim (long len)

truncate(long len)

Result Set Holdability

Result set holdability was introduced since JDBC 3.0. This feature enables applications to decide whether the ResultSet objects should be open or closed, when a commit operation is performed. The commit operation could be either implicit or explicit.

Oracle Database supports only HOLD_CURSORS_OVER_COMMIT. Therefore, it is the default value for Oracle JDBC drivers. Any attempt to change holdability will throw a SQLFeatureNotSupportedException exception.

Support for JDBC 4.0 Standard

The JDBC 4.0 standard support is provided by JDK 6 and later versions. Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) JDBC drivers provide support for the JDBC 4.0 standard.


  • You need to have the ojdbc6.jar and ojdbc7.jar in your classpath environment variable in order to have JDBC 4.0 standard support with JDK 6 and JDK 7 respectively.

  • The JDBC 4.0 specification defines the java.sql.Connection.createArrayOf factory method to create java.sql.Array objects. The createArrayOf method accepts the name of the array element type as one of the arguments, where the array type is anonymous. Oracle database supports only named array types, not anonymous array types. So, the current release of Oracle JDBC drivers do not and cannot support the createArrayOf method. You must use the Oracle specific createARRAY method to create an array type. For more information about the createArrayOf method, refer to "Creating ARRAY Objects".

  • This document provides only an overview of these new features. For detailed information about these features, see "Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (JSE) 6.0 specification" at


Some of the features available in Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) JDBC drivers are the following:

Wrapper Pattern Support

Wrapper pattern is a common coding pattern used in Java applications to provide extensions beyond the traditional JDBC API that are specific to a data source. You may need to use these extensions to access the resources that are wrapped as proxy class instances representing the actual resources. JDBC 4.0 introduces the Wrapper interface that describes a standard mechanism to access these wrapped resources represented by their proxy, to permit direct access to the resource delegates.

The Wrapper interface provides the following two methods:

  • public boolean isWrapperFor(Class<?> iface) throws SQLException;

  • public <T> T unwrap(Class<T> iface) throws SQLException;

The other JDBC 4.0 interfaces, except those that represent SQL data, all implement this interface. These include Connection, Statement and its subtypes, ResultSet, and the metadata interfaces.


One of the most important updates in JDBC 4.0 standard is the support for the XML data type, defined by the SQL 2003 standard. Now JDBC offers a mapping interface to support the SQL/XML database data type, that is, java.sql.SQLXML. This new JDBC interface defines Java native bindings for XML, thus making handling of any database XML data easier and more efficient.


  • You also need to include the xdb6.jar and xmlparserv2.jar files in the classpath environment variable to use SQLXML type data, if they are not already present in the classpath.

  • SQLXML is not supported in CachedRowset objects.

You can create an instance of XML by calling the createSQLXML method in java.sql.Connection interface. This method returns an empty XML object.

The PreparedStatement, CallableStatement, and ResultSet interfaces have been extended with the appropriate getter and setter methods in the following way:

  • PreparedStatement: The method setSQLXML have been added

  • CallableStatement: The methods getSQLXML and setSQLXML have been added

  • ResultSet: The method getSQLXML have been added


In Oracle Database 10g and earlier versions of Oracle Database 11g, Oracle JDBC drivers supported the Oracle SQL XML type (XMLType) through an Oracle proprietary extension, which did not conform to the JDBC standard.

The Oracle JDBC drivers conformed to the JDBC standard with the introduction of a new connection property, oracle.jdbc.getObjectReturnsXMLType. If you set this property to false, then the getObject method returns an instance of java.sql.SQLXML type and if you depend on the existing Oracle proprietary support for SQL XMLType using oracle.xdb.XMLType, then you can change the value of this property back to true.

However, setting of the getObjectReturnsXMLType property is not required for the current version of Oracle JDBC drivers.


Example 3-1 Accessing SQLXML Data

The following example shows how to create an instance of XML from a String, write the XML data into the Database, and then retrieve the XML data from the Database.

import java.sql.*;
import java.util.Properties;
import oracle.jdbc.pool.OracleDataSource;
public class SQLXMLTest
  public static void main(String[] args) 
  Connection conn = null;
  Statement stmt = null;
  ResultSet rs = null;
  PreparedStatement ps = null;
  String xml = "<?xml version=\"1.0\"?>\n" +
    "<oldjoke>\n" +
    "<burns>Say <quote>goodnight</quote>, Gracie.</burns>\n" +
    "<allen><quote>Goodnight, Gracie.</quote></allen>\n" +
    "<applause/>\n" +
     OracleDataSource ods = new OracleDataSource();
     conn = ods.getConnection();
     ps = conn.prepareStatement("insert into x values (?, ?)");
     ps.setString(1, "string to string");
     SQLXML x = conn.createSQLXML();
     ps.setSQLXML(2, x);
     stmt = conn.createStatement();
     rs = stmt.executeQuery("select * from x");
     while (rs.next()) 
       x = rs.getSQLXML(2);
       System.out.println(rs.getString(1) + "\n" + rs.getSQLXML(2).getString());
  catch (SQLException e){e.printStackTrace ();}


Calling a setter method with an empty XML throws SQLException. The getter methods never return an empty XML.

See Also:

JSR 173: Streaming API for XML at:


Enhanced Exception Hierarchy and SQLException

JDBC 3.0 defines only a single exception, SQLException. However, there are large categories of errors and it is useful to distinguish them. This feature provides subclasses of the SQLException class to identify the different categories of errors. The primary distinction is between permanent errors and transient errors. Permanent errors are a result of the correct operation of the system and will always occur. Transient errors are the result of failures, including timeouts, of some part of the system and may not reoccur.

JDBC 4.0 adds additional exceptions to represent transient and permanent errors and the different categories of these errors.

Also, the SQLException class and its subclasses are enhanced to provide support for the J2SE chained exception functionality.

The RowId Data Type

JDBC 4.0 provides the java.sql.RowId data type to represent SQL ROWID values. You can retrieve a RowId value using the getter methods defined in the ResultSet and CallableStatement interfaces. You can also use a RowId value in a parameterized PreparedStatement to set a parameter with a RowId object or in an updatable result set to update a column with a specific RowId value.

A RowId object is valid until the identified row is not deleted. A RowId object may also be valid for the following:

  • The duration of the transaction in which it is created

  • The duration of the session in which it is created

  • An undefined duration where by it is valid forever

The lifetime of the RowId object can be determined by calling the DatabaseMetaData.getRowIdLifetime method.

LOB Creation

In JDBC 4.0, the Connection interface has been enhanced to provide support for the creation of BLOB, CLOB, and NCLOB objects. The interface provides the createBlob, createClob, and createNClob methods that enable you to create Blob, Clob, and NClob objects.

The created large objects (LOBs) do not contain any data. You can add or retrieve data to or from these objects by calling the APIs available in the java.sql.Blob, java.sql.Clob, and java.sql.NClob interfaces. You can either retrieve the entire content or a part of the content from these objects. The following code snippet illustrates how to retrieve 100 bytes of data from a BLOB object starting at offset 200:

Connection con = DriverManager.getConnection(url, props);
Blob aBlob = con.createBlob();
// Add data to the BLOB object.
// Retrieve part of the data from the BLOB object.
InputStream is = aBlob.getBinaryStream(200, 100);

You can also pass LOBs as input parameters to a PreparedStatement object by using the setBlob, setClob, and setNClob methods. You can use the updateBlob, updateClob, and updateNClob methods to update a column value in an updatable result set.

These LOBs are temporary LOBs and can be used for any purpose for which temporary LOBs should be used. To make the storage permanent in the database, these LOBs must be written to a table.

Temporary LOBs remain valid for at least the duration of the transaction in which they are created. This may result in unwarranted use of memory during a long running transaction. You can release LOBs by calling their free method, as follows:

Clob aClob = con.createClob();
int numWritten = aClob.setString(1, val);

National Language Character Set Support

JDBC 4.0 introduces the NCHAR, NVARCHAR, LONGNVARCHAR, and NCLOB JDBC types to access the national character set types. These types are similar to the CHAR, VARCHAR, LONGVARCHAR, and CLOB types, except that the values are encoded using the national character set.

Support for JDBC 4.1 Standard

Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) JDBC drivers provide support for JDBC 4.1 standard through JDK 7. This section describes the following methods that are supported in this release:

setClientInfo Method

The setClientInfo method sets the value of the property providing client information. This method accepts keys of the form <namespace>.<keyname>. The JDBC driver supports any <namespace>.<keyname> combination.


The setClientInfo method supports the OCSID namespace among other namespaces. But, there are differences between using the OCSID namespace and any other namespace. With the OCSID namespace, the setClientInfo method supports only the following keys:


  • ECID



  • DBOP

Also, the information associated with any other namespace is communicated through the network using a single protocol, while information associated with the OCSID namespace is communicated using a different protocol. The protocol used for the OCSID namespace is also used by the OCI C Library and the 10g thin driver to send end-to-end metrics values.

The setClientInfo method checks the Java permission oracle.jdbc.clientInfo and if the security check fails, then it throws a SecurityException. It supports permission name patterns of the form <namespace>.*. The setClientInfo method either sets or clears all pairs, so it requires that the permission name must be set to an asterisk (*).

The setClientInfo method is backward compatible with the setEndToEndMetrics and the setClientIdentifier methods, and can use DMS to set client tags.


Starting from Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1), the setEndToEndMetrics method is deprecated.

See Also:

Chapter 33, "JDBC DMS Metrics" for more information about end-to-end metrics and DMS metrics.

Monitoring Database Operations

Many Java applications do not have a database connection, but they need to track database activities on behalf of their functionalities. For such applications, Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) introduces the DBOP tag that can be associated with a thread in the application when the application does not have explicit access to a database. The DBOP tag is associated with a thread through the invocation of DMS APIs, without requiring an active connection to the database. When the thread sends the next database call, then DMS propagates these tags through the connection along with the database call, without requiring an extra round trip. In this way, applications can associate their activity with database operations while factorizing the code in the Application layer.The DBOP tag composes of the following:

  • Database operation name

  • The execution ID

  • Operation attributes

The setClientInfo method supports the DBOP tag. The setClientInfo method sets the value of the tag to monitor the database operations. When the JDBC application connects to the database and a database round-trip is made, the database activities can be tracked. For example, you can set the value of the DBOP tag to foo in the following way:

Connection conn = DriverManager.getConnection(myUrl, myUsername, myPassword);
conn.setClientInfo("E2E_CONTEXT.DBOP", "foo");
Statement stmt = conn.createStatement();
stmt.execute("select 1 from dual");  // DBOP tag is set after this

getObject Method

The getObject method retrieves an object, based on the parameters passed. Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) supports the following two new getObject methods:

Method 1

<T> T getObject(int parameterIndex,
                java.lang.Class<T> type)
            throws SQLException

Method 2

<T> T getObject(java.lang.String parameterName,
                java.lang.Class<T> type)
            throws SQLException

These methods support the conversions listed in the JDBC specification and also the additional conversions listed in Table A-1. The Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) drivers also support conversions to some additional classes, which implement one or more static valueOf methods, if any of the following criteria is met:

  • No other conversion is specified in JDBC specification or Table A-1

  • The type argument defines one or more public static single argument methods named valueOf

  • One or more of the valueOf methods take an argument that is a value of a type supported because of JDBC specification or Table A-1

This release of JDBC drivers convert the value to a type specified in the JDBC specification, or in Table A-1 and then call the corresponding valueOf method with the converted value as the argument. If there is more than one appropriate valueOf method, then the JDBC driver chooses one valueOf method in an unspecified way.


ResultSet rs = . . . ;
Character c = rs.getObject(1, java.lang.Character.class);

The Character class defines the following valueOf method:

public static Character valueOf(char c);

Table A-1 specifies that NUMBER can be converted to char. So, if the first column of the ResultSet is a NUMBER, then the getObject method converts that NUMBER value to a char and passes the char value to the valueOf(char) method and returns the resulting Character object.