JBoss awakens Hibernate with persistence API

In the tedious world of middleware, the complexities of technologies can be difficult to grasp for the layman. But open source middleware vendor JBoss has put forth a straightforward description of what its new Hibernate 3.2 object/relational mapping software does: It makes its easier for developers take Java objects stored in memory, such as a customer object, and maintain them in a database.

Specifically, Hibernate saves developers from having to grasp the nuances of different databases. "It provides the ability for developers to take objects that are in memory in Java and persist them back into a relational database, into a data store of some sort," said Ram Venkataraman, director of product management at JBoss. Objects in this case are identified as POJOs (Plain Old Java Objects).

With Version 3.2, which is being released Monday, Hibernate is touting its certified support for the JPA (Java Persistence API) introduced in Java EE (Enterprise Edition) 5. This API is featured as a way to simplify development of Java EE applications that use data persistence. Hibernate now can be used as a portable Java Persistence provider for any Java EE 5 application server.

With Version 3.2, JBoss has simplified Hibernate packages to support popular development frameworks. Developers have a persistence offering to work with native Hibernate, Java Developer Kit 5.0 annotations, the Java Persistence API, or EJB (Enterprise JavaBeans) 3.0.

Hibernate will square off with products such as BEA Systems's Kodo solution for persistence, Venkataraman acknowledged. But he charged that Kodo relies on a specification, Java Data Objects, which did not catch fire with the marketplace.

"Kodo is based on a standard that did not take off," Venkataraman said. JPA is the more standard mechanism now, he added.