jTDS is an open source 100% pure Java (type 4) JDBC 3.0 driver for
Microsoft SQL Server (6.5, 7, 2000, 2005, 2008 and 2012) and Sybase
Adaptive Server Enterprise (10, 11, 12 and 15). jTDS is based on FreeTDS
and is currently the fastest production-ready JDBC driver for SQL Server
and Sybase ASE. jTDS is 100% JDBC 3.0 compatible, supporting forward-only
Quite a few of the commercial JDBC drivers out there are based on jTDS (or FreeTDS), even if they no longer acknowledge this. jTDS has been tested with virtually all JDBC-based database management tools and is the driver of choice for most of these (recommended for DbVisualizer and SQuirreL SQL, distributed with Aqua Data Studio and DataDino). jTDS is also becoming a common choice for enterprise-level applications: it passes both the J2EE 1.3 certification and Hibernate test suites, and is recommended for JBoss, Hibernate, Atlassian JIRA and Confluence and Compiere.
Being a type 4 driver, jTDS does not need any special installation.
Just drop the jar file into your application's classpath and you're
done. All you need to know is the name of the
Why use jTDS?
jTDS is free software. jTDS is released under the terms of the GNU LGPL, giving you not only the posibility to debug and tweak it to your own liking but also to use it in and distribute it with your free or commercial applications.
The other "free" choices, the JDBC-ODBC bridge and Microsoft's own JDBC driver are not actually free. If you encounter an issue with any of them you won't be able to fix it yourself and response times from both Microsoft and Oracle are anything but short.
jTDS is also the most performant JDBC driver for both SQL Server and Sybase. We have an older benchmark result but we strongly encourage you to download any benchmark published by commercial JDBC driver vendors and see for yourself. Here are a couple of benchmarks you could use: JNetDirect's JDBC Performance Benchmark and i-net Software's BenchTest 2.1 for MS SQL Server.
Anyway, just give it a spin. Get the latest one from here and see whether you like it or not.