After chatting with some folks after my Derby presentation, I came to a realization that Derby, the Apache database, is still woefully misunderstood within the ColdFusion community. As Charlie Arehart describes, “Derby is the ColdFusion of the database world.” What he means by that is that Derby is misunderstood and underutilized. In this post, I am going to address some recurring ‘myths’ I have heard people discuss about Derby.
Myth #1 – Derby is just like SQLite
Derby is NOT SQLite. SQLite its the ‘lightweight’ database that is included as part of Adobe Integrated Runtime, Derby is the full featured database included with ColdFusion. To put it in terms that might make a bit more sense, Derby is SQL Server, SQLite is an Excel spreadsheet. I know that is not a true comparison, but in terms of functionality, its pretty close.
Myth #2 – Derby has limited functionality
With Derby you have a database that can go toe to toe with the big databse systems in terms of functionality. Derby supports user defined functions, stored procedures, triggers, views and constraints. To get a better idea of what Derby is capable of, take a look at the online documentation.
Myth #3 – You can only use Derby with ColdFusion 8
You can connect to Derby using JDBC drivers, so you can easily use Derby databases with ColdFusion going back to ColdFusion MX.
While there are other topics I have discussed with people, these are pretty much the “big 3” that I hear most frequently.
I plan to offer other posts that will shed somemore light on Derby and show it is a viable option for most web applications.