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Oracle throws weight behind open source

Oracle renewed its commitment to open source at JavaOne by taking the lead development role in a key Java spec and donating several of its own implementations to the open source community.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Oracle Corp. made significant strides in the Java and open source communities at JavaOne this week, taking a leadership role for a key Java specification and announcing that it will spearhead several projects to further the Eclipse open source development effort.

We're giving away lots to the open source community.
Thomas Kurian
Senior Vice President of DevelopmentOracle

The Redwood City, Calif.-based vendor announced that it will become co-specification lead for the Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) 3.0 specification and that Oracle TopLink, a platform that lets developers map Java objects to relational databases, will form the basis for the persistence engine in the Java Enterprise Edition (EE) platform 5.

"Sun has never been willing to share the co-spec lead role in any of the [Java 2 Enterprise Edition] technology," said Anne Thomas Manes, vice president and research director at the Midvale, Utah-based research firm Burton Group. The fact that Sun Microsystems Inc. is sharing this position in the Java Community Process means that Oracle will play a key role in shaping the EJB 3.0 persistence model, "which includes delivering the reference implementation," she said.

But the JCP is only one area where the company is focusing its development efforts. Oracle also announced that it will donate its EJB 3.0 and JavaServer Faces (JSF) implementations to the open source community.

JSF, a standard that both Oracle and Sun are working on, simplifies the development of user interfaces for J2EE applications by encapsulating event and state management in the component itself, making them reusable.

"We're making our JSF technology available to all application developers by contributing it to the MyFaces open source effort," Thomas Kurian, senior vice president of development at Oracle, said in a keynote presentation. "We're also taking the visual environment we're using in JDeveloper and building it in the Eclipse community."

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Learn more about Sun's foray into open source

On Wednesday, Oracle offered to lead a third project that would develop a Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) tool under the Eclipse Public License. The tool would be based on Oracle's BPEL Process Manager and BPEL Designer.

BPEL, which allows Web services to be orchestrated and aligned with business processes in a service-oriented architecture (SOA), would make a key addition to the rapidly growing gallery of Eclipse plug-ins.

"We're giving away lots to the open source community," Kurian said.

Kurian also announced during his keynote that Oracle will contribute its EJB 3.0 reference implementation to project GlassFish, Sun's open source implementation of the Sun Java System Application Server 9.

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