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AutoPatch is an automated Java patching system. Among other things, it allows a Java application to easily do things like keep a database schema in sync with what new application versions require, thus radically lowering the cost of database maintenance.
Thought of abstractly, you can think of a "patch" as any change that must be applied to any system external to your Java application. AutoPatch is a system that automates the application of these patches.
That allows you to use rapid methodologies (e.g. XP, spiral development model) all the way down to the alteration of external systems, without needing an army of DBAs or similar to go around and patch your databases when you release new code requiring schema changes.
For historical reasons (circa 2004) you will find uses of the word "migrate" or "migration" everywhere. Please consider the words "migrate" and "migration" as synonyms for "patch".