Oracle 9i Application Server - TopLink
TopLink Value Add Over EJB 1.1 and 2.0

Oracle9i Application Server TopLink offers a Data Integration architecture that facilitates rapid development, deployment, and execution of e-business applications with various data sources. It accelerates time-to-market for applications by providing your persistence infrastructure at the onset of development. TopLink supports any architecture including EJB (CMP and BMP), regular Java Objects, Servlets, JSP, Session Beans, Message Driven Beans, etc. With TopLink, you are not locked into any particular application design. You can make use of Java Objects, EJBs, or a combination of the two.

Oracle9i Application Server TopLink greatly improves the way you build applications, making your applications portable across databases, schema, and servers. The object-relational features described in the EJB specifications only address basic issues related to storing Entity Beans in relational databases. Solid O/R mapping and runtime features are required to build enterprise-quality applications. The tables below list some of the key features available in TopLink.

TopLink is a market proven product that reduces development and maintenance costs by facilitating application quality and reuse. Its comprehensive features have evolved from extensive use by thousands of developers with diverse architectures in various vertical markets.


EJB and TopLink Features and Benefits Chart

Be Free to Meet Business Needs
TopLink mapping features provide you with the flexibility to map beans and objects to a database with little impact on your ideal application design. You are free to design your application to business needs rather than forced by a particular approach to satisfy persistence needs.
Mapping Options EJB 1.1 Spec EJB 2.0 Spec TopLink Description
Multiple Table No No Yes Map attributes of a bean or class to more than one table
Map Collections No No Yes 1-n and n-m relationships through a Map instead of Collection
Aggregate Collections No Yes Yes 1-n relationship with no required back reference in object model
Aggregates No No Yes Map 1-1 related classes to a common table
Direct Collections No No Yes Map collections of basic data including Strings, Numbers, and Dates
Type Conversion No No Yes Convert from types between the object and the database. For example, store a String in the database but a number in the object
Object Type No No Yes Convert finite keys and values between object and database. For example, 'male' and 'female' in object but 'M' and 'F' in database
Serialization No Yes Yes Serialize objects to BLOBS and CLOBS. TopLink supports several database representations of binary data
Transformation No No Yes User provided rules for transformation of data between database and object
Object Relational No No Yes Support for advanced Oracle 8i relational structures including VArray and Nested Tables
Variable 1-1 No No Yes 1-1 relationship through interfaces
Variable 1-n No No Yes 1-n relationship with heterogeneous collections
Custom SQL No No Yes Specify your own custom SQL or let TopLink automatically generate for you
Indirection No Yes* Yes Fault data from database "just in time". *Indirection is optional but not required to be EJB 2.0 compliant

Achieve Code-Free Integration
TopLink supports the same kinds of bean-to-bean and bean-to-object and object-to-object relationships as EJB 2.0. However, TopLink provides complete flexibility in the schema design and allows relationships to be supported directly in a natural fashion without the need for code generation or special classes to represent the relationships.
Supported Relationships EJB 1.1 Spec EJB 2.0 Spec TopLink Description
1-1 bean-bean No Yes Yes  
1-n bean-bean No Yes Yes  
NM bean-bean No Yes Yes  
1-1 bean-object No No Yes TopLink supports mapping and querying across beans and regular Java objects.
1-n bean-object No No Yes  
1-1 object-object No No Yes  
1-n object-object No No Yes  
NM object-object No No Yes  
Dependent Values No Yes Yes Support for relationships to regular Java objects that are passed between client and server by value TopLink allows EJB QL queries to query across dependent values

Cut Development Time
TopLink allows you to control how beans and objects are mapped to a schema graphically with a tool called the Mapping Workbench. When there are changes to the schema or object model, the mappings can be easily updated with tools that automatically generate a schema and map beans and objects.
Persistence Manager Tools EJB 1.1 Spec EJB 2.0 Spec TopLink Description
Map beans and objects using graphical mapping tool No No Yes Ability to graphically map and maintain persistence information
Support for importing beans No No Yes Ability to import beans into tools
Import Schema No No Yes Ability to import schema information from any database reachable through JDBC
Generate Schema No No Yes Ability to generate a schema automatically from an business model, beans and/or regular Java objects
Auto-map No No Yes Given a business model and schema, TopLink can automatically generate a lot of the mapping information

Leverage Current Developer Skills
TopLink provides maximum flexibility for specifying queries. SQL and stored procedures can be used if the developer is comfortable with that technology. Java developers will find the TOP Expression framework easy to use and an object oriented alternative to specifying queries. By providing several querying options, your developers can use whichever skills they are more experienced in with no impact to performance.
Finders and Queries EJB 1.1 Spec EJB 2.0 Spec TopLink  
EJB-QL No Yes Yes TopLink supports EJBQL with Java objects and BMP, as well as CMP
Refreshing NA NA Yes  
In memory queries No No Yes Run queries in memory, against the cache, rather than performing a round-trip to the database
TOP Expressions No No Yes Flexible and advanced OO based query language
SQL & Stored Proc No No Yes Call stored procedures or custom SQL instead of using EJB QL or TOP Expressions
Parameterized SQL No No Yes Specify SQL to take arguments at runtime
Dynamic Querying No No Yes Generate OO queries, ad hoc, at runtime

Increase Performance as Much as 5000%
TopLink allows you to performance tune your application and the interaction with the relational database for maximum performance. Applications can be sped up 5000% by using TopLink to reduce the number of round trips to a database and retrieve data from cache.
Optimization EJB 1.1 Spec EJB 2.0 Spec TopLink Description
Cursored Streams No No Yes Ability to read large sets of data in small batches
Batched Reading No No Yes Read related data through joining in a single round trip to the database
Partial Attribute No No Yes Read only required parts of a bean or object
Batched Writing No No Yes Execute several update statements in a single network round-trip
TopLink Events No No Yes Plug into all persistence lifecycle messages for your bean or class
Caching Options No No Yes Six kinds of caches, controllable on a per-bean and per-class basis

Avoid Writing Infrastructure Code
TopLink provides several locking strategies as well as sequence number management strategies. Having these features in place means you can focus on your application instead of building infrastructure. Advanced features for performance tuning, logging, distribution and support for non-CMP architectures are also available. These are all tools that can be used to avoid writing infrastructure and help write faster applications.
Other Options EJB 1.1 Spec EJB 2.0 Spec TopLink Description
Table Sequences No No Yes Manage sequences using a sequence table portable across any relational database
Native Sequences No No Yes Manage sequences using the native sequencing functionality of Oracle, Sybase, or Informix
Optimistic Version Locking No No Yes Optimistic locking using a timestamp or reference count in the database
Other Optimistic Locking No No Yes Optimistic locking using any combination of fields for a bean or object
Pessimistic Locking No No Yes Pessimistic locking using "SELECT FOR UPDATE …" semantics
Logging options No No Yes Log all lifecycle events, SQL generations, and interactions with the database to a console or file
Profiler No No Yes Analyze and chart performance aspects of persistence and identify sources for optimizations
Inheritance No No Yes Ability to organize beans and object into hierarchies with support for various schema representations
XML SDK No No Yes Ability to read and write XML instead of SQL
EIS SDK No No Yes Ability to access legacy data is currently supported through the TopLink SDK. WebGain is currently working on TopLink support for J2EE Connectors
Clustering - Refresh No No Yes Ability to refresh cached beans and objects between nodes of a cluster of application servers
Clustering - Synchronization No No Yes TopLink contains support for synchronous or asynchronous cache synchronization between nodes in a cluster
TopLink for Java support for non EJB deployment No No Yes Ability to use TopLink in any Java application using regular Java objects
Bean-managed persistence Yes Yes Yes Ability to use TopLink in any Java application using BMP Entity Beans


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