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Developer(s) Oracle Corporation
Stable release 11g Release 1 ( / June 1, 2011 (2011-06-01)
Development status Active
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.

TopLink Essentials [1] is a reference implementation of the EJB 3.0 Java Persistence API (JPA) and a product of Oracle.


The Object People (that's the "Top" in the Name) originally developed TopLink in Smalltalk in the 1990s. In 1996-1998 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[2]

In 2002 Oracle Corporation acquired TopLink, which continues to be developed in the 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, TopLink source code was donated to the Eclipse Foundation and the EclipseLink project was born.[3]

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. [4]


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).[5]
  • Editor's Choice JavaWorld 2003 Award for Best Java Data Access Tool (2003).[6]

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