Many moons ago I worked for MetaMatrix, an innovative company that did metadata modeling and database federation. A few years ago they were bought by JBoss and have resurfaced as the Teiid (pronounced: tee-id) open source project.
Teiid has the ability to plug in new data sources as “connectors”. Connectors provide connectivity to a data source, metadata access, query capabilities, etc. Very similar conceptually to a jdbc driver but more flexible.
Anyhow, back when MetaMatrix was a closed-source startup we never had the resources to really build a connector developer tool. We wrote most of the connectors internally and we just didn’t have the resources for something like that. Now though, Teiid is open source and they are looking for contributors willing to write a connector developer Eclipse plugin. Connectors are also the most obvious point to plug external stuff into Teiid so the project sits in a potentially important spot.
This is a nicely sized project as there are well-defined APIs to write against, some fairly clear ideas of what functionality is needed, and enough interesting problems to make it fun. If you’re interested, check out the mailing list and get involved.
To be clear, I have nothing to do with Teiid, I’m just an interested bystander with some history in the project. :)