Apache Derby is very often used opensource Java database. It is also known as Cloudscape or JavaDB. There are several branches available, but 10.3 is most used Derby branch today. It can be found in Websphere 7, Rational Software Team Concert/Foundation, Websphere CE 2.1 and probably in many many others. 10.1 and 10.2 branches are considered obsolete and 10.4 and 10.5 are considered too new and too risky for deployement.

First Derby release from branch usually contains lot of bugs which can include data corruption. Problem is that Derby team is making only 2 releases from each branch and not very often. Bugfixes are still backported to older branches (such as 10.3) but no releases are made. For example latest release from 10.3 branch is (May 12, 2008 / SVN 652961) and there are 77 commits in 10.3 branch since that release with many bugfixes.

Put it simple: If you want to get latest bugfixes, which is very desirable especially if you plan to embed derby and ship it with your application which is not expected to be often updated, you need to compile Derby yourself.

Compiling Derby 10.3

Compiling Derby, especially older editions like 10.3, can be tricky. For information about building Derby see these two pages: Building Derby in wiki and BUILDING.txt in source tree. Because this information is not very accurate, some parts are too old or too new for 10.3, i will summarize building procedure:

  1. Install JDK on your system. I used 1.5, but 1.4 can probably work too.
  2. Get subversion client - such as svn or Subclipse plugin for Eclipse
  3. Checkout 10.3 branch - svn co derby-10.3
  4. Download and install Apache ant. Tested with 1.7.1
  5. Unpack JDK1.4 somewhere on your system. For compiling Derby only libraries are needed. You can use Windows JDK for compiling on Linux machine without problem because .jar files are portable. I used Linux JDK1.4 on FreeBSD 7.2 (without Linux emulation loaded).
  6. create file in your home directory:
  7. Download Junit 3.8.2
  8. Extract junit.jar from downloaded file and place it into tools/java subdirectory of derby-10.3
  9. Clean build directory: ant clean
  10. Build Derby: ant
  11. Run Junit tests: ant testing
  12. Make jars: ant buildjars

Thats all. Finished Jars are in jars/insane subdirectory. Enjoy!

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