Oracle Grants Eclipse TCKs, But Too Late
Last month, Oracle granted Eclipse the rights to test their JPA implementations against the Java EE Technology Compatibility Kits (TCKs). In a corresponding press release, Oracle confirmed that it had awarded the EclipseLink and Virgo projects a Compatibility Testing Scholarship, awarded to open-source implementations of Java EE specifications.
Eclipse Virgo has not passed the Web Profile on its own, but is used by SAP's NetWeaver Cloud offering which has been certified against the Java EE Web Profile. The new TCK allows future versions of EclipseLink and Eclipse Virgo to test against their products.
EclipseLink was the result of a donation by Oracle of their TopLink product, and became the default specification for the JPA 2.0 standard in 2008. Having full access to the TCKs for the Java EE platform now allows the product to be certified from Eclipse, rather than providing a provisional interface for the mapping.
Eclipse Virgo was the result of a donation by SpringSource of their dmServer codebase, subsequently sponsored by VMWare. Although used by companies such as SAP, the project lead of Eclipse Virgo has had to step down shortly after the release of Virgo 3.6.0, and as yet no-one has stepped up to take the lead. What this means for the future of the Virgo project is not clear, but it is unlikely to be certified soon.
Access to the TCKs was a contended point with Apache in the past, with Apache Harmony unable to access the TCKs necessary to call itself a Java runtime. When Oracle stated that it would never offer the TCK to Apache Harmony without a 'fields of use' restriction, Apache Harmony walked away and closed down its project.
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