Back to Home

Article

Mapping a Map in JPA

July 14, 2014
By Lorenzo Dee
Reading Time : 3
 minute
s
Book Shelf
Back to Home

Article

Mapping a Map in JPA

July 14, 2014
By Lorenzo Dee
Reading Time : 3
 minute
s

It’s common to see a java.util.List being used for a to-many mapping (with ORM). And it’s also common to need to get an element in that list using some key. So, I thought, why not use a java.util.Map instead (and still maintain the to-many mapping)?

As I found out, it’s not often used, but quite easy to do. So, I’m sharing what we learned here (applying it to a fictitious case of a library app).

Mapping a Map in JPA

In our library app, we have books and copies of them. One book can have one or more copies. The resulting tables should look something like this.

Book
ID (auto-generated primary key)
TITLE
Other columns like author, publisher, etc.
Copy
ID (auto-generated primary key)
BOOK_ID (foreign key to Book table)
COPY_REF_ID
STATUS

In UML, it would look something like this.

UML Class Diagram

And the JPA code would look something like this.

@Entity
public class Book {
 
  @Id
  @GeneratedValue(strategy=GenerationType.AUTO)
  @Column(name="ID")
  private Long id;
 
  private String title;
 
  @OneToMany(orphanRemoval=true)
  @MapKey(name="referenceId")
  @JoinColumn(name="BOOK_ID", referencedColumnName="ID")
  private Map<String, Copy> copies;
 
  ...
 
  public void borrowCopy(String referenceId) {
    Copy copy = this.copies.get(referenceId);
    if (copy != null) {
      copy.borrowCopy();
    }
  }
  ...
}
@Entity
@Table(uniqueConstraints=@UniqueConstraint(
        columnNames = {"BOOK_ID", "COPY_REF_ID"}))
public class Copy {
 
  @Id
  @GeneratedValue(strategy=GenerationType.AUTO)
  @Column(name="ID")
  private Long id;
 
  @Column(name="COPY_REF_ID")
  private String referenceId;
  ...
 
  public void borrowCopy() {...}
  public void returnCopy() {...}
}

The other important bit to make the one-to-many Map work is the @MapKey annotation. This tells the ORM to use that field (of Copy) as the key to the Map. To ensure that the referenceId will be unique for copies of a particular book, we’ve added a unique constraint on the Copy entity.

Unidirectional One-to-Many

Notice that I’m using a unidirectional one-to-many mapping. Although this is not necessary when mapping a map, this unidirectional one-to-many mapping can make things simpler, since the Copy object does not need to have a reference to the Book object. This is achieved by removing the @ManyToOne annotation on the Copy object, and adding a @JoinColumn to the @OneToMany annotation in the Book object. This tells the ORM the column name to use on the many-side of the relationship. In the example above, I’ve instructed the ORM to use a column named BOOK_ID on the Copy table (the many-side of the relationship, since one book can have many copies).

Lazy Collections

My colleague (Juno Aliento) pointed this out to me (@LazyCollection(LazyCollectionOption.EXTRA)). This is useful when you don’t want the entire collection (or map, as in this case) to be loaded because you’re doing a size().

Note that this is Hibernate-specific, and may not be available in other JPA providers.

As of release 3.2, Hibernate can perform per-item lazy initialization of collections. The reference documentation mentions it here. When the association mapping (OneToMany or ManyToMany) is set to lazy="extra", the collection implementation for the mapping takes on “smart” collection behavior, i.e. some collection operations such as size(), contains(), get(), etc. do not trigger collection initialization. This is only sensible for very large collections, but it’s quite handy nonetheless.

Originally posted at: Mapping a Map in JPA

Share

Key Topics

Internship 2023 Image Banner

Intern @ O&B

GROW WITH US AND
MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Apply for Internship
Internship 2023 Image Banner

Intern @ O&B

GROW WITH US AND
MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Apply for Internship