What do the terms catalog, schemaPattern, tableNamePattern, and types stand for in DatabaseMetaData.getTables()?

Alessandro A. Garbagnati

Let's start from the last one. TableName is the name of a Table; Schema is the name of the container of tables ( some DBMSes normally call it 'user' ) and Catalog is a collection of Schemas ( some DBMS normally refer to it as Database ).

The word 'pattern' is just added to underline that you can insert not just a fixed name, but a pattern to narrow your search.

For example, if I use "", I will get back all the tables for the given Schema, in the given Catalog, while if I use "TAB%" I'll get a list of all the tables whose name starts with "TAB".