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InfoQ Homepage News Open JPA: A real competitor to Hibernate emerging

Open JPA: A real competitor to Hibernate emerging

The open source persistence world may be facing some major competition this year as BEA is open sourcing a large part of the Kodo JPA container into the Apache OpenJPA project.  Over the next 2-6 weeks they'll be getting a full TCK compliant OpenJPA implementation into the incubated project.

Patrick Linskey, who was a co-founder of SolarMetric and is an EJB expert group member will be the lead on the new project and BEA will commit about 10 people part time to it's development.

OpenJPA will be an enterprise grade JPA implementaiton suitable for production use. In addition to the JPA API it will also extend the JPA with features from Kodo including custom lock groups, dynamic fetch group configuration, custom mapping capabilities, Kodo save point capabilities, DB level save points, programmatic access to introspection of named queries, caching and even Kodo's built-in distributed cache implementation with hooks to plug in Tangosol's Coherence.

Some Kodo IP will be reserved for use in WebLogic Server and the commercial Kodo product, such as management and monitoring tools, more aggressive caching and scalability algorithms, deploy time and runtime features.

Going forward, Kodo 4.1 and WebLogic's JPA support will be built on top of Open JPA, not in parallel, as they don't want two separate code bases.  One beneficial side effect of this is that OpenJPA will be be put through the same QA & documentation teams as any other commercial BEA product.

BEA's strategy is clearly aimed at Hibernate and JBoss.  By open sourcing the proven and trusted Kodo project under Apache license with major ongoing support from BEA, OpenJPA will present the a viable alternative to Hibernate for mainstream adoption and users of OpenJPA will have an easy path to upgrade to Kodo, especially if they begin using the extension points.

It should be interesting to see the impact of this on the Geronimo project, which will almost certainly use OpenJPA to provide JPA for Geronimo (infact there are Geronimo committers on the initial commit list.  Another side effect may be the addition of TopLink to the race, which already has a portion open sourced as part of Glassfish but is not being pushed by Oracle as a viable standalone project yet.    Hibernate has earned a virtual monopoly for itself and now the rest of the industry is trying to catch up.

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