8 Best Free and Open Source Java Object-Relational Mapping Software

Object–relational mapping (ORM) is a programming technique for converting data between incompatible type systems using object-oriented programming languages. This creates, in effect, a “virtual object database” that can be used from within the programming language.

In essence, ORM is a design pattern for converting (wrapping) that data stored within a relational database into an object that can be used within an object oriented language. It creates a layer between the language and the database, helping programmers work with data without the OOP paradigm.

Compared to traditional techniques of exchange between an object-oriented language and a relational database, ORM often reduces the amount of code that needs to be written. It standardizes interfaces reducing boilerplate and speeding development time. Advocates of ORMs claim they increase productivity, improve application design, reuse code and maintain the application over time. On the other hand, ORM suffers the disadvantage of the abstraction obscuring what’s happening in the code. And over-use of ORM software can produce poorly designed databases.

There are a good range of ORM software available. Here’s our recommendations summarised in a legendary ratings chart.

Best Free and Open Source Java ORM

Let’s explore the 8 Java ORM tools. For each program we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.

Java Object-Relational Mapping Software
MyBatis Persistence framework with custom SQL and stored procedures
Hibernate ORM Idiomatic persistence for Java and relational databases
Apache Cayenne Provides object-relational mapping (ORM) and remoting services
DataNucleus Supports JDO and JPA API’s for persistence
Apache OpenJPA Java persistence project
Ebean Designed to be simpler to use and understand than JPA or JDO products
jOOQ jOOQ Object Oriented Querying
EclipseLink Persistence solution addressing relational, XML, and database web services

Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There’s tons of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Corel, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.

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