We also believe many types of persistency layers commonly in use today are again too much geared towards handcoded SQL and stored procedures. jZeno tries to take away many of these details by using ORM.
Besides presenting you with a comprehensive high-level programming model jZeno insists on providing ways to selectively bypass the abstraction layers it adds. We fully recognize that there will be cases where you want more control on the low-level details, but we hope that we cover 95% of the common tasks effectively.
Early web application development techniques (simple dynamic web pages) were centered around the idea that you could basically take an HTML file, and process it before sending it to the client, hence the plethora of scriptlets/templating languages, etc... Nowadays we are trying to build full-blown enterprise applications in this same model. In essence we never departed from the early model. We believe a pure java code based approach is much better for these complex business applications.
The Presentation Layer
jZeno comes with a fairly large number of built-in components that can be composed to form new custom components, screens, dialogs, etc.. This composite structure allows for reuse of reoccuring parts of your presentation layer. Other abstraction techniques can be used like expressing variations on a common theme through traditional subclassing, other design patterns, AOP, generics, etc..
The Business Layer
jZeno comes with a stack of built-in aspects that provide services to your business facades (transaction management, logging, etc..). Among other things it is capable of automatically synchronizing changes to domain model objects you make on the presentation layer, or the business layer, to the database transparently. In effect the perspective you have inside of the business layer is that you have domain model objects that are somehow automatically persisted. This reduces your learning curve for ORM significantly (You do not need to learn the details on how to use Hibernate's session correctly).
Obviously you still need a query mechanism to retrieve a subset of all persistent domain model objects quickly. jZeno applications use Hibernate's HQL language to do this.
No need to write hand-coded SQL for most of the application, although Hibernate's Native SQL Query mechanism allows you to bypass this if needed. Alternatively it is possible to obtain a pure JDBC connection inside of a business facade and execute hand-coded SQL, or call stored procedures, etc.. (If necessary).
The Domain Model
All persistent data in jZeno are represented as objects, which can again have rich behaviour and be used in any standard design pattern, or other abstraction technique.