Object Relational Mapping (ORM) is the process of mapping entity classes to underlying database tables, and using those entities to work with data, rather than direct SQL. Many developers have adopted ORM solutions over the years, and a variety of different ORM technologies have emerged due to the uptake. The Java EE platform contains the Java Persistence API (JPA), which is the standard ORM technology for Java enterprise development. Over the years, JPA has changed significantly, making development easier and opening more options to developers with each release. The latest release, JPA 2.1, is no exception, as it brings forth many incremental updates to the API, allowing developers more flexibility and ease of development than ever before.