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Thursday, March 08, 2007

What is EclipseLink?

Hopefully by now most of you know that Oracle has been actively contributing resources and IP to the Eclipse community. Oracle has been an active member of the Eclipse community since its inception and a leading participant in both the Eclipse Web Tools Platform (WTP) and the Technology project. Oracle currently leads the JavaServer Faces tooling, Dali JPA tools and BPEL tools projects. Before diving into to the announcement, I would like to personally thank all the developers they know who they are who spontaneously stopped by the Oracle booth at EclipseCon'07 to tell me how much they thought Oracle is doing a better job of working with the OSS community and how much their perception of Oracle had changed.

So what’s new?

- First, Oracle is now a board member of the Eclipse Foundation.
- Second, Oracle steps up its involvement from simple membership to “Strategic Developer” status. Based on the size of our latest donation (see below) and the level of involvement required for this project and Oracle’s interest in the success of the Eclipse platform we decided to upgrade our status.
- Third, Oracle is donating its award winning Java persistence framework, Oracle TopLink, to the open source community. What’s the big deal TopLink was already donated to the JCP and project Glassfish as well as Spring 2.0? That was TopLink Essentials (TLE) not TopLink. I will post another blog entry soon explaining the difference between TLE and TopLink. Basically Oracle TopLink which has been around for 13 years is hands down the industry's most advanced persistence product with object-to-relational, object-to-XML, and Enterprise Information System data access through all of the major standards, including the Java Persistence API, Java API for XML Binding, Service Data Objects, and the Java Connector Architecture. TopLink supports most databases and most application servers and most development tools.
- Last but not least, based on this major contribution (TopLink source code and test cases), Oracle proposed an Eclipse project to deliver a comprehensive persistence platform. The project’s name is Eclipse Persistence Platform (EclipseLink). EclipseLink will be led by Oracle.

Can you provide more details about EclipseLink? (from the EclipseLink FAQ)

EclipseLink will deliver a number of components (listed below) which together will constitute a solid framework with support for a number of persistence standards. Here is a list of some planned components:
- EclipseLink-ORM will provide an extensible Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) framework with support for the Java Persistence API (JPA). It will provide persistence access through JPA as well as having extended persistence capabilities configured through custom annotations and XML. These extended persistence features include powerful caching (including clustered support), usage of advanced database specific capabilities, and many performance tuning and management options.
- EclipseLink-OXM will provide an extensible Object-XML Mapping (OXM) framework with support for the Java API for XML Binding (JAXB). It will provide serialization services through JAXB along with extended functionality to support meet in the middle mapping, advanced mappings, and critical performance optimizations.
- EclipseLink -SDO will provide a Service Data Object (SDO) implementation as well as the ability to represent any Java object as an SDO and leverage all of its XML binding and change tracking capabilities.
- EclipseLink -DAS will provide an SDO Data Access Service (DAS) that brings together SDO and JPA.
- EclipseLink -DBWS will provide a web services capability for developers to easily and efficiently expose their underlying relational database (stored procedures, packages, tables, and ad-hoc SQL) as web services. The metadata driven configuration will provide flexibility as well as allow default XML binding for simplicity.
- EclipseLink -XR will deliver key infrastructure for situations where XML is required from a relational database. The metadata driven mapping capabilities EclipseLink-ORM and EclipseLink-OXM are both leveraged for the greatest flexibility. Using this approach to XML-Relational access enables greater transformation optimizations as well as the ability to leverage the Eclipse Persistence Platform’s shared caching functionality.
- EclipseLink -EIS provides support for mapping Java POJOs onto non-relational data stores using the Java Connector Architecture (JCA) API.

Oracle's love story with Eclipse seems to be getting stronger, is JDeveloper dead?
I keep getting this question over and over. So before anybody posts it in the comments I will address it. At Oracle we believe in "Productivity with Choice". Oracle remains fully committed to JDeveloper as the IDE of choice for Java and service-oriented architecture development. That said, we are also committed to helping our customers who for whatever reason choose Eclipse for their development. So the answer is crystal clear, JDeveloper is stronger than ever and Oracle will continue to invest in making it better.

These Eclipse-related announcements are yet another proof that Oracle continues to deploy significant efforts to initiate, lead, and contribute technology and resources to the OSS community. Stay tuned for more on Oracle and OSS!

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