Oracle Contributes TopLink ORM Open Source to Eclipse

| by Floyd Marinescu Follow 38 Followers on Mar 08, 2007. Estimated reading time: 3 minutes |
At EclipseCon, Oracle announced it will contribute TopLink (one of the first production object persistence engines first launched in 1994), to Eclipse as an open source project. Additionally, Oracle will become an Eclipse Board Member and Strategic Developer (meaning that Oracle is committing real money and resources to develop Eclipse projects and is considered among the stewards of Eclipse).  

Oracle is proposing that TopLink become the The Eclipse Persistence Platform (tentatively named EclipseLink). Going forward, all production features of TopLink will be available in EclipseLink and Oracle's commercially supported TopLink will only contain an additional thin proprietary integration code layer necessary for some Oracle AppServer and SOA Suite features.

According to the FAQ, the Eclipse Persistence Platform will have the following features:
  • EclipseLink-ORM will support Java Persistence API (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).
  • 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 expose their underlying RDBMS (stored procedures, packages, tables, and ad-hoc SQL) as web services.
  • EclipseLink -XR will deliver infrastructure for situations where XML is required from a relational database. 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 nonrelational data stores using the Java Connector Architecture (JCA) API.
Oracle also intends to make TopLink work well within an OSGi environment. Oracle's Ralf Dossmann told InfoQ:
We will be working with the OSGi expert group to help the OSGi framework infrastructure meet the requirements of standardized persistence. This is not expected to require any formal standardization beyond the creation of a set of documented and proven patterns and design strategies that describe and recommend how such integration may occur.
Oracle does not have any plans to also port JDeveloper. According to Ralf Dossmann:
Oracle has no current plans to port JDeveloper to the Eclipse platform. JDeveloper will remain strategic for Oracle, it provides a comprehensive standards-based environment for Java EE, Spring apps and SOA development. It is available free of charge. So why Eclipse? Oracle has over 250,000 customers, many use JDeveloper and many other Oracle Fusion Middleware and database customers use Eclipse. We want to provide the best possible user (meaning developer) experience for Eclipse users when developing apps for the Oracle platform. The best way to do that is to actively engage in relevant open source projects and to contribute.
Oracle will continue to participate in the GlassFish community as the lead for the TopLink Essentials project. Ralf Dossman added that "Oracle is already leading 3 Eclipse projects (Dali JPA, JSF tooling, BPEL tooling), based on today's annoucement we are proposing a forth one. In other words, engaging in Eclipse is not new to Oracle at all, in fact Oracle has supported Eclipse from the beginning."

TopLink is the last major production persistence engine to go open source. BEA's Kodo engine is also being built off of their contribution of Kodo to the Apache OpenJPA project.  Hibernate now has two open source competitors, each with signficant install bases and years of commercial investment.  

TopLink architect  & EJB 3 co-spec lead Mike Keith, as well as Hibernate's Gavin King and OpenJPA lead Patrick Linksey (from BEA) will be speaking at QCon next week.

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ironic... by Matt Giacomini

I use JDeveloper as my primary IDE. I find this announcement very ironic. If I use Toplink in any of my Jdeveloper projects I have to pay the cost of a OracleAS Standard edition license to publish my app (to any application server). We have enterprise servers at work so no big deal, but I would like to also use it on my person projects.

But now they are going to offer Eclipseish verion of toplink to eclipse users for free. Maybe I'm missing something, but where is the love for us JDeveloper users!!!! ;(

WTF Oracle!

Re: ironic... by Doug Clarke

This new project will offer the same benefits to developers using any IDE. It is in no way tied to the Eclipse IDE but is instead a framework/runtime that will be developed within the Eclipse community and usable in and Java architecture or IDE.

When the initial version of this project is available our (Oracle'a) plan is to use it with Oracle TopLink and thus within JDeveloper. JDeveloper users will be able to develop and deploy applications using 'EclipseLink' as per the Eclipse Public License.


Re: ironic... by Matt Giacomini

Thanks for the clarification Doug.

So I won't be able to use freely use the Toplink that is currently integrated into JDeveloper, but I will be able to use the EclipseLink in JDeveloper for free.

Does EclipseLink have the same API interface as the base Toplink product? Or will I have to rewrite my existing Toplink application?

Thanks for answering the questions, but I'm having a hard time finding technically documents on what will technically be under the hood of EclipseLink. Seems from the information I have found that EclipseLink is a more comprehensive version of Toplink the Toplink Essentials. Is this your feeling too?

Re: ironic... by Doug Clarke


Does EclipseLink have the same API interface as the base Toplink product? Or will I have to rewrite my existing Toplink application?

The proposed plan is to start from the full TopLink code base. This will mean that all of the classes you are currently using will still be available but will be in an eclipse package.

After being through a couple of acquisitions we have gone through this package rename process and already have a tool that can be used. This tool will process your source base doing a package rename from the oracle.toplink.* packages to the new org.eclipse.* packages. It is our goal as in previous transitions to make this as simple as possible.

Seems from the information I have found that EclipseLink is a more comprehensive version of TopLink the Toplink Essentials. Is this your feeling too?

Yes. TopLink Essentials is a commercial quality object-relational product derived from Oracle TopLink for the purposes of delivering a competitive JPA reference implementation in GlassFish.

The full Oracle TopLink that we are proposing for contribution to Eclipse is much more as briefly outlined at the start of this thread and in the FAQ.


Oracle ORM by asava samuel

Here is an ORM that works with Oracle

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