How can I use the JDBC API to access a desktop database like Microsoft Access over the network?
Most desktop databases currently require a JDBC solution that uses ODBC underneath. This is because the vendors of these database products haven't implemented all-Java JDBC drivers.
The best approach is to use a commercial JDBC driver that supports ODBC and the database you want to use. See the JDBC drivers page for a list of available JDBC drivers.
The JDBC-ODBC bridge from Sun's Java Software does not provide network access to desktop databases by itself. The JDBC-ODBC bridge loads ODBC as a local DLL, and typical ODBC drivers for desktop databases like Access aren't networked. The JDBC-ODBC bridge can be used together with the RMI-JDBC bridge, however, to access a desktop database like Access over the net. This RMI-JDBC-ODBC solution is free.