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Enterprise Objects Framework

Enterprise Objects Framework (or more commonly, EOF) is an object-relational mapping product which is currently included in the WebObjects product sold by Apple, although it was originally created by NeXT for use on NeXTSTEP and OpenStep and sold as a separate product. It evolved from an earlier "low level" toolkit known as "DB Kit", and became a fairly widely used enterprise programming tool in the mid-1990s.

EOF provides a modeling tool, EOModeler, which allows one to describe object-based entities and their mapping to a relational database. With EOF, software developers work with and manipulate native objects (see Object Oriented Programming) whose changes can be saved automatically to the database without the developer writing SQL. This allows developers to focus on the high-level design and not on the database operations. Because of this, EOF provides a level of database transparency not seen in other tools and allows the same model to be used to access different vendor databases and even allows relationships across different vendor databases without changing source code.

In 2000, the framework underwent a port to the Java language from its native Objective C. Most of the power of the framework was in fact a side effect of Objective C, and EOF no longer has the beauty or simplicity it once had. Third-party tools, such as EOGenerator, help fill the deficiences introduced by Java (mainly due to the loss of categories).