Extreme Java When vanilla Java is not enough


Mixing JPA with JAXB/JAXWS

With JavaEE 6, you can publish an SOAP WebService as easy as 1-2-3. It mixes well with JPA, but I give you a small advice: if you need bidirectional ORM mappings, one of them MUST be @XmlTransient. Otherwise, you will receive a com.sun.xml.ws.streaming.XMLStreamReaderException ("unexpected XML tag. expected: {yourns}yourtag but found: {http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/}Envelope").

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Booleans in JPA (the portable way)

If you want to map a boolean value in JPA, you will have a headache if your RDBMS is Oracle. Since it does not support a boolean data type, you usually create a CHAR(1) 'Y'/'N' field and use a lot of bad words to describe the feeling you have when you find out that JPA does not support boolean-to-char convertion.

A nice and portable workaround is described here. The trick is to remember why getter/setter encapsulation is a good pratice - you can do a lot more than just plain old get/set:

private char enabled;
public boolean isEnabled() {
  return enabled == 'Y';
public void setEnabled(Boolean enabled) {
  this.enabled = (enabled ? 'Y' : 'N');

NetBeans Platform + JPA + Derby embedded

If you want to use NetBeans Platform and JPA together, there's a great tutorial on NB's site. Unfortunatelly, it explains how to do it with an external database and using an external JAR for your entities.

If you want to have a entity module with your classes (instead of an external JAR and a library wrapper), no big deal - it works! You can follow GJ's tutorial, but you will create a module project instead and you will not have NB's wizards to help creating entity classes.

I also created a module install on my Derby wrapper, with this line:

FileUtil configRoot = FileUtil.getConfigRoot();

This defines where Derby will create database files (user's dir, in this case).

BTW, if a "no suitable driver found" is thrown, you forgot to add a dependency between JPA wrapper (EclipseLink, TopLink, OpenJPA or Hibernate) and JDBC wrapper.


Hibernate JPA and Enums

Assume you have a simple enum:

public enum Status {

And your legacy database stores it as ordinal values (ACCEPTED = 0, REJECTED = 1, NOTREADDEN = 2). For reasons lost in time, DBA created the column as "varchar". If you want to use JPA, you will have a bad time using Hibernate:

java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: No enum const class mypkg.Status.1

After digging into EnumType.java, I noticed it is hardcoded "if-varchar-then-name-else-ordinal". I assume they never dealed with ancient, legacy databases.

If I switch to TopLink, it works as expected... One thumb down to Hibernate...