One technology that I picked up on in the last session of the Java In Action conference was Apache iBATIS. It is a really cool framework that maps SQL queries to Java objects. It provides the capability to do really AWESOME things with dynamic SQL, and eliminates the N+1 query problem. I've been playing with it on a project the last couple of days and I'm VERY satisfied with what I've seen so far. It has the potential to really help us out in some application hot spots and places w/ a great deal of dynamic SQL. You should definitely take a peek.