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Java DB in the JDK, and SQL in desktop applications

Posted by robogeek on July 18, 2006 at 1:27 PM PDT

There was a little "discussion" about the inclusion of Java DB into the JDK. I was on vacation and didn't read it too deeply.

At least a) it's only in the JDK, and it's the JRE download size that's more of an issue than is the JDK download size ... b) it's not in rt.jar but instead a separate directory in the JDK ...

What struck me, though, is the idea that a database is only suitable for server side applications. And that a database is only suitable for Java EE usage. Well...

Generally I think that's a very limited viewpoint. A database is a general data storage system, and it's suitable to a wide array of applications.

For example .. an email client (e.g. Columba) might want to include a full text search engine (e.g. Lucene). Lucene, for example, uses an SQL database to store its indexing. Hence, Columba, if it used Lucene, would need an SQL database. The general form of that use case is .. any application that deals with a large set of text files might well want to store full text indexing of those text files.

There's many other kinds of applications where a database might be a good idea. For example iPhoto doesn't necessarily require a database, but one could be useful. An MP3 player might store its association of playlists to songs using a database.

What triggered writing this posting is the announcement here: Meta Tracker is a powerful desktop-neutral first class object database, tag/metadata database, search tool and indexer.

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