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One of my tasks I am working on is an updated Statement of Direction for the public to better explain where TopLink is headed with respect to Oracle TopLink, EclipseLink, TopLink Essentials and related technologies.
I can however summarize some of where we are headed to help you out in the short term.
1. EclipseLink is the open sourcing of the full functionality of what we have developed and shipped in the 11gR1 technical previews of Oracle TopLink.
2. Oracle TopLink 11gR1 will include EclipseLink as its primary persistence implementation. It is unfortunate that we did not get EclipseLink included in 11gR1-TP4. JDeveloper releases in the future will include support for the various persistence services of EclipseLink.
3. Our default JPA solution as well as our JAXB and SDO will delivered through the EclipseLink implementations.
4. All of our developers have now migrated to working exclusively on EclipseLink for all new feature work. We also have a committer from Sun and contributors from a variety of organizations.
5. TopLink Essentials is our JPA implementation in OracleAS/TopLink 10.1.3.X but is replaced by EclipseLink JPA in 11gR1. EclipseLink is also the reference implementation of JPA 2.0 and is included in Sun's GlassFish replacing TopLink Essentials.
The short story is that all of TopLink development is converging on EclipseLink going forward. Oracle TopLink will be Oracle's distribution of EclipseLink included with support with all editions of our Application Server as well as for standalone usage for customers who want commercial support and maintenance. Alternatively users can choose to consume and contribute directly with the EclipseLink community.
I hope this clarifies things.