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Oracle, BEA Talk Is Persistence

JavaOne has been the stomping ground for many a developer announcement in recent years, including Sun's continued open sourcing of its Java software portfolio during yesterday's keynote.

Oracle and BEA also chipped in news regarding the popular programming language, championing persistence technologies as the fuel to accelerate the processing of applications, such as RSS feeds and blogs.

Oracle today announced the availability of Oracle Berkeley DB Java Edition Release 3.0.

Berkeley DB Java 3.0, which Oracle got with its SleepyCat Software purchase in February, is an embeddable database designed to store data in high-performance Java applications.

This means that instead of running on a server or operating system, the database runs in memory on the application it supports, said Rex Wang, vice president of embedded systems at Oracle.

Berkeley DB Java Edition Release 3.0 includes a new persistence application programming interface (API) to make applications run faster.

The API adds a Plain Old Java Object (POJO)-style object storage model, which provides support for complex object models without degrading performance.

This persistence tool helps developers circumvent development, runtime and administrative lags associated with storing Java objects and relational databases with object-relational mapping tools.

"The advantage of using an embeddable, non-SQL database is that you avoid the overhead of the SQL query and you don't have that client-server communication latency going back and forth, so it's a lot faster than relational products," Wang said.

The new Java version of Berkeley also includes a deferred-write database mode to allow in-memory operation for temporary databases or batch updates. A new backup function speeds the backup of large database environments.

Like MySQL, Berkeley DB is licensed under a dual-license. Developers can license it for free under the General Public License and pay for it using the software in production.

Along the persistence theme, Oracle also issued its own implementation of the Java Persistence API (JPA), TopLink Essentials.

TopLink Essentials is the open source reference implementation for the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 5 Software Development Kit (Java EE 5 SDK)

The JPA is the standard for object-relational persistence introduced in the Enterprise JavaBeans 3.0 (EJB) specification, which provides a map of persistent software components.

JPA focuses on persisting in-memory objects in relational databases, meaning developers can save themselves time and effort storing objects, such as the contents of an online shopping cart or online airline ticket reservations, in a relational database.

TopLink Essentials integrates with third-party frameworks, such as Spring, so that programmers may choose their development environments and tools.

Not to be outdone, Oracle rival BEA Systems unveiled Kodo 4.0 with EJB3, and said that the Java Persistence API (Open JPA) has been approved into the incubator of the Apache Software Foundation.

The move is a follow-up to BEA's plans to donate a substantial portion of its Kodo product, acquired in its purchase of SolarMetric, to the open source community under the name Open JPA.

Kodo 4.0 provides EJB3 tooling and support for Java Data Objects. A portion of the code has already been delivered to the community, and BEA is actively working on subsequent code drops.

In non-persistence news, Oracle said it is contributing its Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) user-interface software to the open source community.

The company also plans to support open source scripting movements, such as Groovy and Grails, an open source Web application framework that leverages Groovy, and the new JSR-223 specification.

Scripting communities such as Groovy and Grails have become key tools in helping programmers make Web application development easier at a time when companies are craving dynamic Web 2.0 applications, said Ted Farrell, chief architect and vice president of tools and middleware at Oracle.