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Developer(s) Oracle Corporation
Stable release 10g
Preview release 11g preview / May 10, 2007
Written in Java
Operating system Cross-platform
Platform Java Virtual Machine
Type Object-relational mapping
License Oracle Licence

TopLink is an object-relational mapping (ORM) package for Java developers. It provides a powerful and flexible framework for storing Java objects in a relational database or for converting Java objects to XML documents.

TopLink Essentials [1] is the Reference implementation of the EJB 3.0 Java Persistence API (JPA) and the open-source community edition of Oracle's TopLink product. TopLink Essentials is a limited version of the proprietary product. For example, TopLink Essentials doesn't provide cache synchronization between clustered application, some cache invalidation policy, and query Cache.



TopLink was originally developed by The Object People in Smalltalk in the 1990s. The "TOP" in TopLink is an acronym for The Object People, and the name was originally capitalized as "TOPLink". In 1996-1998 a Java version of the product was added to the product line, named TopLink for Java. After the joint acquisition of The Object People in April 2000 by BEA Systems and WebGain, TopLink product line became the property of WebGain [2].

In 2002, TopLink was acquired by Oracle Corporation and continues to be developed as a member of the Oracle Fusion Middleware family of products.

TopLink continues to be a major player in its field, winning multiple awards including:

  • Java Pro Readers' Choice Award for Best Java Data Access Tool or Driver (July 2003) [3].
  • Editor's Choice JavaWorld 2003 Award for Best Java Data Access Tool (2003) [4].
  • Voted as the 4th best Java persistence architecture by Java Developer's Journal readers (2004) [5].

In 2006, Oracle donated source code from the TopLink product and development resources to the open source Sun Microsystems GlassFish project. This project was named TopLink Essentials and was the Java EE EJB 3.0 JPA reference implementation.

In 2007, Oracle donated the source code from the TopLink product and development resources to the open source Eclipse Foundation EclipseLink project [6].

In March 2008, The Eclipse Foundation, announced that Sun Microsystems has selected the EclipseLink project as the reference implementation for the JPA 2.0, JSR 317 standard to succeed TopLink Essentials [7].


Although widely known as an object-relational mapping tool, TopLink has a number of other key features including:

  • Rich query framework that supports an object-oriented expression framework, Query by Example (QBE), EJB QL, SQL, and stored procedures
  • An object-level transaction framework
  • Advanced caching to ensure object identity
  • Complete set of direct and relational mappings
  • Object-to-XML mappings, in addition to JAXB support
  • EIS/JCA Support for non-relational datasources
  • Visual mapping editor (Mapping Workbench)
  • Limited support for query in memory


See also

External links



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