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Developer(s) Oracle Corporation
Stable release
12c (12.1.3) / June 1, 2014 (2014-06-01)
Written in Java
Operating system Cross-platform
Platform Java Virtual Machine
Type Object-relational mapping
License Oracle Licence

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

EclipseLink (which is based on work made for TopLink) is the reference implementation of the EJB 3.0 Java Persistence API (JPA) and a product of Oracle.


The Object People company (that's the "TOP" in the Name) originally developed TopLink in Smalltalk in the 1990s. Between 1996 and 1998 a Java version of the product was created named TopLink for Java.

After the joint acquisition of The Object People in April 2000 by BEA Systems and WebGain, the TopLink product-line became the property of WebGain.[1]

In 2002 Oracle Corporation acquired TopLink from BEA Systems, in order to merge it with its Oracle Fusion Middleware product.

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

In 2007, part of the TopLink source code was donated to the Eclipse Foundation and the EclipseLink project was born.[2]

In March 2008 the Eclipse Foundation announced that Sun Microsystems had selected the EclipseLink project as the reference implementation for the JPA 2.0, JSR 317 standard. [3]


As well as functioning as an object-relational mapping tool, TopLink has other features including:

  • query framework that supports an object-oriented expression framework, Query by Example (QBE), EJB QL, SQL, and stored procedures
  • an object-level transaction framework
  • caching to ensure object identity
  • a 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


  • Java Pro Readers' Choice Award for Best Java Data Access Tool or Driver (July 2003).[4]
  • Editor's Choice JavaWorld 2003 Award for Best Java Data Access Tool (2003).[5]
  • 4th-best Java persistence architecture (as voted by Java Developer's Journalreaders in 2004).[6]

See also


  1. ^ A Brief History of TopLink by Donald Smith
  2. ^ "Eclipse Announces EclipseLink Project to Deliver JPA 2.0 Reference Implementation". Eclipse Foundation. March 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  3. ^ Best Java Data Access Tool or Driver by Java Pro
  4. ^ Best Java Data Access Tool by JavaWorld
  5. ^ 4th best Java persistence architecture[permanent dead link] by Java Developer's Journal

External links