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Oracle Gets Persistent with Eclipse

Oracle is taking its open source commitment to new levels, this time with the open source Eclipse Foundation. The software giant is taking a seat on the foundation's board, and kick-starting a new java persistence project.

The persistence project would be based on the code contribution of Oracle's TopLink java persistence architecture, which is also a key part of Sun's GlassFish project. Glassfish is the open source effort driven by Sun behind its Java System Application Server Platform Edition 9.0.

Is the Oracle move a Sun snub? Not really.

Karen Tegan Padir, Vice President, Enterprise Java Platforms at Sun, explained that in June of 2006, Oracle contributed TopLink Essentials code to project GlassFish as the reference implementation for the Java Persistence API .

"This has been a successful collaboration between Sun and Oracle to benefit the users of the Java EE platform by providing a standard persistence implementation that the community could support," Padir told internetnews.com. "We are pleased to see Oracle open source the rest of TopLink. We look forward to working with Oracle on including additional features into project GlassFish and the Java EE platform."

Oracle's Dennis Leung, vp of software development for Oracle's Fusion middleware division, echoed the talking points regarding Sun's Glassfish effort and Oracle's java persistence program with Eclipse.

"What is in Glassfish is a focused subset of what we're putting into Eclipse," Leung told internetnews.com. "What is in Glassfish is focused on the EJB 3.0 java persistence reference implementation." The goal with EJB (enterprise java beans), he continued, was to contribute a commercial quality, rock solid reference implementation. With the new Eclipse effort, Oracle is expanding that work and getting more code out into the open source ecosystem.

Oracle still has some work to do before the project actually kicks off. Right now, the idea is a project proposal for Eclipse. What follows is a creation review audit by Eclipse as well as an intellectual property review to ensure that code is clean and all open source.

Oracle has been involved with Eclipse since its inception and currently leads the JavaServer Faces tooling, Dali JPA tools and BPEL tools projects. Plus, it comes to the Eclipse board with some roots already planted. Mike Milinkovich, the executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, is actually an ex-Oracle executive.