client API#

The API that an application uses to interact with a database. May abstract over the underlying wire protocol and other details. For example, ADBC, JDBC, ODBC.


A library that implements a client API using a wire protocol. For example, the ADBC PostgreSQL driver exposes the ADBC client API and interacts with a PostgreSQL database via the PostgreSQL wire protocol. The JDBC PostgreSQL driver uses the same wire protocol, but exposes the JDBC client API instead.

driver manager#

A library that helps manage multiple drivers for a given client API. For example, the JDBC driver manager can find a appropriate driver implementation for a database URI.

The ADBC driver manager in each language is similar. In C/C++, it can dynamically load drivers so that applications do not have to directly link to them. (Since all drivers expose the same API, their symbols would collide otherwise.) In Python, it loads drivers and provides Python bindings on top.

wire protocol#

The protocol that a database driver uses to interact with a database. For example, Arrow Flight SQL, the PostgreSQL wire protocol, or Tabular Data Stream (Microsoft SQL Server). Generally not directly used by an application.