JPA Development

JPA helps control the mapping of POJOs in database tables.  It’s a type of persistence specification that is now part of the Java EE 5 spec.  Here you will learn to:

  • Configure a JPA project
  • Reverse engineer entities and DAOS from database
  • Use advanced entity editing tools and Spring-JPA integration

This feature is available in MyEclipse.

1. JPA Project Configuration

JPA is a Hibernate-like persistence specification that became part of the Java EE 5 spec. JPA uses Java 5 annotations to control how plain Java classes (POJOs) get mapped to database tables.

You can create a JPA-enabled project by creating any of the supported types of base projects, like a Java or Web project, and then adding JPA facets to that project from the MyEclipse menu. To add JPA facets, right-click the project, and select MyEclipse>Project Facets>Install JPA Facet from the menu. You can also add multiple facets to a project simultaneously by opening the Project Facets propety of the project.


Adding facet via project properties

Persistence Providers

MyEclipse provides support for the OpenJPA, Hibernate, and EclipseLink JPA providers.


Adding JPA facets

Database Configuration

Associate your project with a database and schema for design-time tool support. The project in the image below is being associated with the database driver for the local MyEclipse Derby database.


Configuring the datasource

Instead of relying only on libraries shipped with MyEclipse, you can download libraries to include in your project. Click the Download icon  to add a user library.


Downloading a user library

You can change a JPA project’s database driver association at any time using the Java Persistence properties page. To open this page, right-click the project, and select Properties from the menu. Expand MyEclipse>Project Facets, and select Java Persistence.


Java Persistence properties page

2. Reverse Engineering Entities and DAOs from Database

Right-click a JPA project, and select Generate Entities & DAOs from the menu. You are given an option to use either the MyEclipse reverse-engineering tools or the DALI entity generator. Making a select launches the respective JPA Reverse Engineering wizard.


Entity generation from JPA project

You can also generate entities by right-clicking a table in the DB Browser view.


Entity generation from DB table

The reverse engineering process is fully customizable. Using the JPA Reverse Engineering wizard you can choose the artifacts to generate and the database tables from which the artifacts are based.


Customize reverse engineering

MyEclipse can also generate DAOs with result pagination support for findBy<property> queries. The generated result pagination API provides DAO clients fine-grained programmatic control to position to a specific row number of a result set and fetch n entities.

Following are several sample snippets of the code generated by the Reverse Engineering processor.


Sample snippets

3. Advanced Entity Editing Tools

MyEclipse Java Persistence Perspective

The MyEclipse Java Persistence perspective provides an optimal editor and view layout for JPA-oriented tasks.


MyEclipse Persistence perspective

JPA Details View

The JPA Details view makes it easy to edit entity annotations.


JPA Details view

JPA Diagram Editor

The JPA diagram editor allows you to easily create new entities or edit entities in your existing JPA projects.


JPA diagram editor

JPA Annotation Table and Column Content Assist


Table content assist


JPA annotation column content assist

JPA Entity Validation

Errors in your mapping are detected and displayed in the editor and Problems view.


JPA validation errors shown in Java editor

The JPA Entity Validator can be enabled or disabled at the project level.


JPA Validation preferences

4. Advanced Spring-JPA Integration

Spring 2 Support

When adding JPA facets to a project that already has Spring facets or vice versa, you can choose advanced Spring-JPA support. This level of support enables JPA tools to work with your project’s Spring artifacts. The following image shows the Spring-JPA project configuration wizard.


Adding Spring capabilities

Select Spring-JPA support, your primary bean configuration file, and customize bean Ids and transaction support.


Configure Spring-JPA support

Reverse Engineering Entities and Spring DAOs from Database

For projects that are configured to support advanced Spring-JPA capabilities, in addition to generating Entity classes from a database schema, Spring-compatible DAOs can be generated. During the reverse-engineering process, the Spring application context file is updated with generated bean entries for each DOA class.


Generating Spring DAOs


Generated Spring application context file


Generated Spring DAO extends from Spring’s JpaDaoSupport