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< EclipseLink‎ | FAQ
Revision as of 05:16, 21 January 2010 by James.sutherland.oracle.com (Talk | contribs) (How is EclipseLink integrated with the Oracle database?)

What is Object-Relational Mapping

Object-relational mapping or ORM is the category of products that provide services to map objects to relational databases. The Java Persistence API (JPA) is the Java specification that provides a standard to ORM in Java. JPA provides both a standard mapping definition (through annotations or XML) and a standard runtime API and object-level query language (JPQL). JPA is part of the EJB specification and JEE platform, but can also be used in JSE.

EclipseLink provides sophisticated and high performance object-relational mapping services and complete support for the JPA specification. JPA objects are mapped through the package javax.persistence annotations and JPA persistence.xml and orm.xml. EclipseLink also provides extended annotations through the package org.eclipse.persistence.annotations. JPA provides a runtime API through the EntityManager class in the javax.persistence package. EclipseLink also provides extended runtime API through the package org.eclipse.persistence.jpa.

EclipseLink also provides a POJO ORM API and mapping model which its' JPA support is based on. The mapping model classes are in the org.eclipse.persistence.descriptors and org.eclipse.persistence.mappings packages, and sessions.xml and project.xml files. The runtime API is provided through the Session and UnitOfWork classes in the org.eclipse.persistence.sessions package.

What are the Best Practices for using EclipseLink JPA?

See EclipseLink JPA Best Practices.

Migrating to EclipseLink JPA

How do I migrate from using Oracle TopLink to EclipseLink?

See Oracle TopLink

How do I migrate from using TopLink Essentials to EclipseLink?

See TopLink Essentials

How do I migrate from another JPA provider to EclipseLink?

See JPA Migration

What databases are supported?

EclipseLink supports any relational database that is compliant with SQL and has a compliant JDBC driver. EclipseLink has extended support for several database platforms. The extended support mainly consists of providing native sequencing support, schema creation, and certain database functions. These platform classes can be found in the org.eclipse.persistence.platform.database and org.eclipse.persistence.platform.database.oracle packages.

These include:

  • Oracle
  • Oracle JDBC (8, 9, 10, 11)
  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • Derby
  • DB2
  • DB2 (mainframe)
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Sybase
  • Informix
  • SQL Anywhere
  • HSQL
  • H2
  • Firebird
  • Microsoft Access
  • Attunity
  • Cloudscape
  • DBase
  • PointBase
  • TimesTen

It also possible to extend EclipseLink to add extended support for additional platforms. There are also several user contributed platforms in the EclipseLink incubator project, see Platform Incubator.

EclipseLink has extended support for Oracle JDBC drivers. Including:

  • LOB's
  • NChar's
  • XMLType's
  • Native batch writing
  • Structured object-relational data-types
  • PLSQL data-types and stored procedures
  • VPD, RAC, proxy authentication
  • XDK XML parser

EclipseLink also has support for structure object-relational data-types and databases, and Enterprise Information Systems (EIS, legacy datasources and messaging platforms).

How is EclipseLink integrated with the Oracle database?

EclipseLink is completely independent from, but also tightly integrated with the Oracle database. EclipseLink has extended support for most Oracle SQL, JDBC and database extensions.

EclipseLink's extended support for the Oracle database includes:

  • LOB's
  • NChar's
  • XMLType's
  • Native batch writing
  • Structured object-relational data-types
  • PLSQL data-types and stored procedures
  • VPD, RAC, proxy authentication
  • XDK XML parser
  • Hierarchical selects (Select by prior)
  • Returning clause
  • Flashback history and queries
  • Stored procedures, output parameters and output cursors
  • Stored functions
  • Oracle AQ

How to access table, column and schema information at runtime?

EclipseLink stores the mapping metadata from the JPA annotations and orm.xml in its ClassDescriptor and DatabaseMapping objects. These objects can be accessed at runtime from the EntityManager or EntityManagerFactory by casting or unwrapping to the EclipseLink JPA interface.

EntityManager em = getEntityManager();
String table = em.unwrap(JpaEntityManager.class).getServerSession().getDescriptor(MyClass.class).getTables().get(0).getName();
String schema = em.unwrap(JpaEntityManager.class).getServerSession().getDescriptor(MyClass.class).getTables().get(0).getTableQualifier();
String column = em.unwrap(JpaEntityManager.class).getServerSession().getDescriptor(MyClass.class).getMappingForAttributeName("myAttribute").getField().getName();

If you use JPA annotations, you may also be able to access specified schema information using Java reflection to access your annotation objects.

The JPA 2.0 metamodel can also be used to provide information on how the attributes are mapped (but not their database schema information).

You can also use native SQL queries to query your database catalogs for schema information, or use the JDBC connection metadata APIs. EclipseLink also exposes the JDBC catalog APIs through its SchemaManager class.