Oracle on Wednesday said it is spearheading a project within the Eclipse open source community to boost the EJB (Enterprise JavaBeans) 3.0 specification.
Specifically, Oracle will help build an open source EJB object-relational mapping tool under the Eclipse public license that will focus on design-time tooling and support deployment to J2EE application servers. The tool will be based on Oracle's TopLink Java object-to-relational tool and deployment platform for enterprise applications.
In bringing EJB 3.0 support to Eclipse developers, Oracle will provide access from the Eclipse IDE to EJB 3.0, according to the company. EJB 3.0 will serve as a cornerstone of the planned J2EE 5.0 release and improve application development and developer productivity, Oracle said.
Citing the benefits of EJB 3.0, Dennis Leung, vice president of development at Oracle, emphasized that the company wants to drive adoption of the specification. "Developers have to write less code [with EJB 3.0], the model is much simpler, it's much more lightweight," Leung said.
Oracle in March shipped its Oracle Application Server EJB 3.0 Preview to enable Java developers to gain experience with the specification. A technology preview of Oracle's JDeveloper environment featuring EJB 3.0 also is planned.
Oracle's EJB 3.0 endeavor with Eclipse represents a departure for the company, according to analyst John R. Rymer, vice president of application development and integration at Forrester Research. "I think it's significant because Oracle in the past has really not taken a very active role in standards that impinged on the database," Rymer said. EJB 3.0 automates interactions between the database and Java programs structured as objects, he added.
In the past, Oracle apparently did not want to surrender the database as a point of user account control, but that obviously has changed, Rymer said. "They see [the EJB 3.0 standard] as something that gives them leverage and they basically have decided that they're really going to take the lead on developing tools to support it," Rymer said.
Oracle, with its EJB 3.0 strategy, is looking to boost its application server, which is likely to form the basis of the company's Project Fusion, Rymer said. Project Fusion purports to combine Oracle's applications with the J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft applications recently acquired in the PeopleSoft merger, Rymer said.
Rymer expressed concerns,however, about the lack of third-party involvement in the Eclipse EJB 3.0 project. "Where's IBM? Where's BEA? Where's SAP? This has to be broader," he said. Oracle's press statement on the project notes endorsements from JBoss, Sun Microsystems, and the Eclipse Foundation itself.
Oracle's EJB 3.0 effort is expected to become part of the Eclipse Web Tools Platform. The company expects the EJB 3.0 to be finalized by the Java Community Process in early 2006.