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Java + SQL Server – a viable solution?

I’m going to start a new project – rewriting an existing system (PHP + SQL Server) from scratch because of some very serious limitations by design.

We have some quite good knowledge of SQL Server (currently we’re using SQL Server 2000 in existing system) and we would like to employ its newer version (2008 I guess) in our new project.

I am really fond of technologies that Java offers – particularly Spring Framework and Wicket and I am quite familiar with Java from others projects and assignments before.
Therefore, we consider using Java and Microsoft SQL Server.

There are two JDBC drivers for SQL Server – jTDS and Microsoft’s one – http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/data/aa937724.aspx. I think we should test both of them.

Are there any limitations in such solution I should know of? Has someone experience with such a technology combination?

Answer

I’ve worked on a project using MSQL Server in conjunction with a Java Stack. It works very well and as long, since JDBC shouldn’t really care about your database. We used ehcache together with Hibernate and had problems with the MS JDBC Driver, so we switched to jtds and it works really good.

It’s quite a while ago, so you still might wanna give the MS driver a chance…

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discuss

Are there any decent free Java data plotting libraries out there? [closed]

On a recent Java project, we needed a free Java based real-time data plotting utility. After much searching, we found this tool called the Scientific Graphics Toolkit or SGT from NOAA. It seemed pretty robust, but we found out that it wasn’t terribly configurable. Or at least not configurable enough to meet our needs. We ended up digging very deeply into the Java code and reverse engineering the code and changing it all around to make the plot tool look and act the way we wanted it to look and act. Of course, this killed any chance for future upgrades from NOAA.

So what free or cheap Java based data plotting tools or libraries do you use?

Followup: Thanks for the JFreeChart suggestions. I checked out their website and it looks like a very nice data charting and plotting utility. I should have made it clear in my original question that I was looking specifically to plot real-time data. I corrected my question above to make that point clear. It appears that JFreeChart support for live data is marginal at best, though. Any other suggestions out there?

Answer

I’ve had success using JFreeChart on multiple projects. It is very configurable. JFreeChart is open source, but they charge for the developer guide. If you’re doing something simple, the sample code is probably good enough. Otherwise, $50 for the developer guide is a pretty good bargain.

With respect to “real-time” data, I’ve also used JFreeChart for these sorts of applications. Unfortunately, I had to create some custom data models with appropriate synchronization mechanisms to avoid race conditions. However, it wasn’t terribly difficult and JFreeChart would still be my first choice. However, as the FAQ suggests, JFreeChart might not give you the best performance if that is a big concern.

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