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Toolbox for Java -- advantages and disadvantages

I've been using the JDBC delivered by IBM to connect my Linux Web Server to our iSeries databases. I've heard there's a faster way, record level access. How much faster is this, and what are the advantages and disadvantages.

The Toolbox for Java provides direct record-level access to the iSeries database for Java applications.

Advantages:

Performance - When the iSeries Toolbox for Java was introduced, I believe that the database access was several times faster that JDBC. However, database access times are typically a small component of the overall application performance and JDBC performance has improved. If the main function of your application is database access, you will want to test the performance differences between the two access methods.

Familiarity:

Most iSeries applications used direct reads and writes. The Toolbox for Java provided that capability for Java applications.

Disadvantages:

The greatest advantage that Java has over others is its portability and its e-business strengths. When you start employing database access methods that are unique to the platform, you have compromised the portability of your application. This may make porting to another platform extremely difficult in the future. If you chose to use direct database access, you should keep a log of every instance where you use this in case you want to port to another platform in the future.

I'm happy with the results I've gotten so far, twice the speed of NT's ASP.

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This was first published in January 2002

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