Oracle: EclipseLink links JCP, Eclipse

Sun opts for Eclipse-backed technology but still won’t join the Eclipse Foundation

The Oracle-led Eclipse Persistence Services Project (EclipseLink) is serving to unite the disparate worlds of the JCP (Java Community Process) and the Eclipse Foundation, an Oracle executive said Tuesday.

Sun, which has led development of Java and the JCP, has not participated in Eclipse. But Sun has selected EclipseLink to serve as the reference implementation of Java Persistence API 2.0, which is now before the JCP, said Dennis Leung, vice president of development for Oracle products and middleware. EclipseLink is based on Oracle TopLink.

"This is the first Java EE (Enterprise Edition) reference implementation to ever be done at Eclipse," said Leung, interviewed at the EclipseCon 2008 conference in the US. The move represents JCP and Eclipse communities coming together, Leung said.

EclipseLink provides an open-source runtime framework for persistence. Developers can use the technology to provide object-to-relational mapping, object-XML binding, and access to other legacy data sources.

Providing persistence and object-relational mapping for Java standard and enterprise environments, JPA 2.0 is the subject of Java Specification Request 317. "[JPA 2.0] allows [developers] to work at an object level rather than dealing with the raw data," Leung said.

Sun is using EclipseLink within GlassFish version 3, an open-source application server acting as a reference implementation of the Java EE 6 standard, a Sun representative acknowledged. But Sun previously has accommodated Eclipse, working with Genuitec to provide a Matisse GUI builder for the MyEclipse platform, the representative said.

Despite Sun's acceptance of Eclipse technology as part of GlassFish, Sun still has no plans to join the foundation. Instead, Sun has been backing the rival NetBeans open-source platform and is even hosting a "NetBeans Party" within walking distance of EclipseCon on Tuesday evening.

EclipseLink also is part of the Eclipse RT top-level project.

Also at the conference, Embarcadero is debuting its PowerSQL development tool, which the company said is an IDE that simplifies SQL application development. It offers such features as SQL Code Assist to ensure object name accuracy; Project Insight, providing project-level SQL file cataloging and search; Migration Wizard to import data sources; and Data Source Explorer for navigation.

Built on the Eclipse framework, the IDE can be installed as a standalone application or as an eclipse plugin. It supports such databases as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase, MySQL, and IBM DB2 for Linux, Unix, and Windows.

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