Mainstream Java solutions such as JDBC, JPA and JDO were designed simply to give Java programmers access to existing database functionality. They address the "storage" problem, but leave many other important issues that are inherent to persistence programming poorly addressed, or not addressed at all.
Permazen is a completely different way of looking at persistence programming. Instead of starting from the storage technology side, it starts from the programming language side, asking the simple question, "What are the issues that are inherent to persistence programming, regardless of programming language or database storage technology, and how can they be addressed at the language level in the simplest, most correct, and most language-natural way?"
With Permazen, not only are many issues inherent to persistence programming solved more easily and naturally than before, but also many issues that traditional solutions don't address at all are solved, and some entirely new, useful functionality is added.