Java Projects Under Way

Versant, Oracle contribute mapping tools to eclipse.

Two Java solution vendors have proposed open-source object- relational mapping projects to the Eclipse Foundation in the past two weeks.

Last week Versant Corp. announced that it will open-source its object-relational mapping and data persistence platform and head an Eclipse Foundation project to help simplify J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) development.

Versant, of Fremont, Calif., announced that it will contribute its commercial mapping tools and run-times for EJB (Enterprise JavaBeans) 3.0 persistence and JDO (Java Data Objects) 2.0 for object-relational mapping to the open-source community.

Robert Greene, vice president of product strategy at Versant, said that in addition to heading an Eclipse project based on the JSR (Java Specification Request) 220 Object-Relational Mapping standard, Versant will build a services business to help enterprises "bridge the gap between traditional J2EE persistence and new ORM architectures."

Greene said Versant has been participating in both the EJB and JDO expert groups in the JCP (Java Community Process). He added that IBM has retained Versant as a partner for IBMs J2EE practice.

Meanwhile, Oracle Corp., of Redwood Shores, Calif., also announced earlier this month that it will head an Eclipse project to support EJB 3.0. Oracle said its project will build on the companys TopLink Java object-relational tool and deployment platform. The Oracle-led project will build an open-source EJB 3.0 ORM tool under the Eclipse Public License, said Dennis Leung, vice president of development at Oracle.

Versants project is targeting the Eclipse Data Tools Project, and Oracles will target the Eclipse Web Tools Platform project, said Greene. Leung said Oracle will be leveraging TopLink and offering the design-time portion of TopLink to the project. "The run-time is not a part of it," he said.

Greene said Versant is hoping its competitors "would come together with us under this community process and bring this effort to fruition. Were trying to bring a standards-based ORM solution to the Eclipse community, so itll work with anybody who provides a compliant run-time."

"It should be interesting to see how this plays out," said Neelan Choksi, president of SolarMetric Inc., in Austin, Texas, which markets its own object-relational mapping and data persistence tools.

"Between the recently announced Oracle-led EJB 3.0 O/R Mapping Tools project and [Versants] announcement, it would seem that the Eclipse team is starting to enter another area that Sun [Microsystems Inc.] has historically been in control of—the standards body. This initiative is a bit different, though, than the Oracle project, since its really a single-vendor solution rather than something that multiple vendors will be likely to collaborate on," said Choksi.