BEA Open-Sources Java Persistence Technology

The company will open-source a portion of BEA Kodo that supports Enterprise JavaBeans 3.0, under the name Open JPA.

BEA Systems announced that it will open-source a significant portion of BEA Kodo, its persistence engine, under the name Open JPA.

BEA, which acquired Kodo as part of its purchase of SolarMetric in November 2005, will open-source the portion of Kodo that supports EJB3 (Enterprise JavaBeans 3.0).

Kodo also supports the JDO (Java Data Objects) API.

Open JPA is a set of Java persistence APIs that are based on the upcoming EJB3 standard. A key element of the draft EJB 3.0 specification focuses on persisting in-memory objects in relational databases, BEA officials said.

This means that transient objects like the contents of an online shoppers cart or airline ticket reservations can be stored permanently in a relational database and retrieved, the company said.

"The plan is to have it [Open JPA] governed by an Apache license," said Neelan Choksi, former president of SolarMetric, now senior director of product marketing at BEA.

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Choksi said BEA is holding two pieces of Kodo back. The tooling, which includes a profiler, query editor, management console and workbench, will be going into BEAs Workshop tool set, he said. The JDO implementation of Kodo will also be handled separately.

"Well still sell it to customers who prefer the JDO APIs and itll be a stand-alone product," Choksi said.

This open-source move is in line with BEAs "blended" strategy for software development, which the San Jose, Calif., company bolstered when it acquired M7, a privately owned maker of Eclipse-based development tools, last year.

"Open JPA is a valuable intellectual property that the community has been asking to be made open source," Patrick Linskey, EJB Technical Lead at BEA Systems and BEAs representative on the EJB 3 specification team, said in a statement.

"We want the community to know that we are listening to them and are delivering on their needs. By donating Open JPA to the open-source community, BEA extends its leadership role in the enterprise Java and open-source communities."

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With the emphasis on simplified programming models, corporate-friendly licensing models, and open standards, Open JPA will allow for collaboration, adoption and innovation on a popular element of Java technology, the company said. BEA will offer a commercial implementation and tooling as well as mission-critical support for those who require it, company officials said.

"Im excited this is going to get a piece of Kodo into the hands of the entire Java community, and the Apache license is enterprise-friendly," Choksi said.

"We had considered open-sourcing it as SolarMetric," he said, noting that a few open-source communities had approached the company about open-sourcing the Kodo EJB3 implementation. However, he said, the decision that was made "makes a ton of sense within BEA, especially with the blended model BEA is executing right now."

BEA has a history of open-sourcing key technologies, from XMLBeans to Beehive, to becoming a strategic developer in the Eclipse Foundation and basing core technologies around the Eclipse IDE (integrated development environment).

BEA also has pursued integration of its application server platform with lightweight Java development frameworks as the open-source Spring project.

Marge Breya, BEAs chief marketing officer, said BEA passed on a possible deal to acquire JBoss, which pursues a professional open-source model of providing support, services and subscriptions around the open-source JBoss application server.

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