Now that the ink has dried on its acquisition of SolarMetric last fall, BEA Systems Inc is open sourcing some of the technology.
Specifically, it is open sourcing Kodo, the object/relational mapping technology for Java Data Objects (JDO), also known as data persistence, that is part of the Enterprise Java beans (EJB) 3.0 spec.
The new open-source branding for the Kodo technology will be ‘Open JPA.’
It’s a full circle for BEA, whose claim to fame began in the late 1990s on its WebLogic acquisition that made an early bet on EJB standards. The drawback of EJB, like the rest of J2EE, was its very complexity. In recent years, alternative frameworks such as Hibernate and spring have spring as kinder, gentler and, most importantly, simpler responses.
JDO was part of the grab bag of technologies in EJB 3, which itself is part of J2EE 1.5 that was rebranded last summer as Java EE 5. When BEA acquired SolarMetric in November, it was grabbing one of the first providers of tooling to support JDO.
With the announcement this week, BEA is open sourcing the JDO mechanism, but not the tooling. The tooling will become part of BEA Workshop Studio, which represents the blending of WebLogic Workshop with the more advanced M7 tools that the company also acquired last fall.
BEA’s motivations are twofold. The obvious, but unspoken, motivation is to drive adoption of JDO, which indirectly could generate demand for BEA’s acquired tools. The official line from BEA is that open sourcing Kodo is the latest example of its blended source strategy, where it supports official and unofficial open source frameworks in its tooling.
BEA’s plan is to submit Open JPA to the apache Foundation, and make it available with the Apache 2.0 license, which it claims is more enterprise friendly than the well-known LGPL open-source alternative. It is expected to become available in the first half of this year.