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5.4. Metadata Alternatives

5.4.1. About Metadata Alternatives

XML does not suit all users so there are some alternative ways to define O/R mapping metadata in Hibernate.

5.4.2. Using XDoclet Markup

Many Hibernate users prefer to embed mapping information directly in sourcecode using XDoclet @hibernate.tags. We do not cover this approach in this reference guide since it is considered part of XDoclet. However, we include the following example of the Cat class with XDoclet mappings:
package eg;
import java.util.Set;
import java.util.Date;

/**
 * @hibernate.class
 *  table="CATS"
 */
public class Cat {
    private Long id; // identifier
    private Date birthdate;
    private Cat mother;
    private Set kittens;
    private Color color;
    private char sex;
    private float weight;

    /*
     * @hibernate.id
     *  generator-class="native"
     *  column="CAT_ID"
     */
    public Long getId() {
        return id;
    }
    private void setId(Long id) {
        this.id=id;
    }

    /**
     * @hibernate.many-to-one
     *  column="PARENT_ID"
     */
    public Cat getMother() {
        return mother;
    }
    void setMother(Cat mother) {
        this.mother = mother;
    }

    /**
     * @hibernate.property
     *  column="BIRTH_DATE"
     */
    public Date getBirthdate() {
        return birthdate;
    }
    void setBirthdate(Date date) {
        birthdate = date;
    }
    /**
     * @hibernate.property
     *  column="WEIGHT"
     */
    public float getWeight() {
        return weight;
    }
    void setWeight(float weight) {
        this.weight = weight;
    }

    /**
     * @hibernate.property
     *  column="COLOR"
     *  not-null="true"
     */
    public Color getColor() {
        return color;
    }
    void setColor(Color color) {
        this.color = color;
    }
    /**
     * @hibernate.set
     *  inverse="true"
     *  order-by="BIRTH_DATE"
     * @hibernate.collection-key
     *  column="PARENT_ID"
     * @hibernate.collection-one-to-many
     */
    public Set getKittens() {
        return kittens;
    }
    void setKittens(Set kittens) {
        this.kittens = kittens;
    }
    // addKitten not needed by Hibernate
    public void addKitten(Cat kitten) {
        kittens.add(kitten);
    }

    /**
     * @hibernate.property
     *  column="SEX"
     *  not-null="true"
     *  update="false"
     */
    public char getSex() {
        return sex;
    }
    void setSex(char sex) {
        this.sex=sex;
    }
}
See the Hibernate website for more examples of XDoclet and Hibernate.

5.4.3. Using JDK 5.0 Annotations

JDK 5.0 introduced XDoclet-style annotations at the language level that are type-safe and checked at compile time. This mechanism is more powerful than XDoclet annotations and better supported by tools and IDEs. IntelliJ IDEA, for example, supports auto-completion and syntax highlighting of JDK 5.0 annotations. The new revision of the EJB specification (JSR-220) uses JDK 5.0 annotations as the primary metadata mechanism for entity beans. Hibernate3 implements the EntityManager of JSR-220 (the persistence API). Support for mapping metadata is available via the Hibernate Annotations package as a separate download. Both EJB3 (JSR-220) and Hibernate3 metadata is supported.
This is an example of a POJO class annotated as an EJB entity bean:
@Entity
public class Customer implements Serializable {

    @Id
    Long id;

    String firstName;
    String lastName;
    Date birthday;

    @Transient
    Integer age;

    @Embedded
    private Address homeAddress;

    @OneToMany(cascade=CascadeType.ALL)
    @JoinColumn(name="CUSTOMER_ID")
    Set<Order> orders;

    // Getter/setter and business methods
}

5.4.4. Generated Properties

Generated properties are properties that have their values generated by the database. Typically, Hibernate applications needed to refresh objects that contain any properties for which the database was generating values. Marking properties as generated, however, lets the application delegate this responsibility to Hibernate. When Hibernate issues an SQL INSERT or UPDATE for an entity that has defined generated properties, it immediately issues a select afterwards to retrieve the generated values.
Properties marked as generated must additionally be non-insertable and non-updateable. Only version, timestamp and property can be marked as generated.
never (the default): the given property value is not generated within the database.
insert: the given property value is generated on insert, but is not regenerated on subsequent updates. Properties like created-date fall into this category. Even though the version and timestamp properties can be marked as generated, this option is not available.
always: the property value is generated both on insert and on update.

5.4.5. Auxiliary Database Objects

Auxiliary database objects allow for the CREATE and DROP of arbitrary database objects. In conjunction with Hibernate's schema evolution tools, they have the ability to fully define a user schema within the Hibernate mapping files. Although designed specifically for creating and dropping things like triggers or stored procedures, any SQL command that can be run via a java.sql.Statement.execute() method is valid (for example, ALTERs, INSERTS, etc.). There are essentially two modes for defining auxiliary database objects:
The first mode is to explicitly list the CREATE and DROP commands in the mapping file:
<hibernate-mapping>
    ...
    <database-object>
        <create>CREATE TRIGGER my_trigger ...</create>
        <drop>DROP TRIGGER my_trigger</drop>
    </database-object>
</hibernate-mapping>
The second mode is to supply a custom class that constructs the CREATE and DROP commands. This custom class must implement the org.hibernate.mapping.AuxiliaryDatabaseObject interface.
<hibernate-mapping>
    ...
    <database-object>
        <definition class="MyTriggerDefinition"/>
    </database-object>
</hibernate-mapping>
Additionally, these database objects can be optionally scoped so that they only apply when certain dialects are used.
<hibernate-mapping>
    ...
    <database-object>
        <definition class="MyTriggerDefinition"/>
        <dialect-scope name="org.hibernate.dialect.Oracle9iDialect"/>
        <dialect-scope name="org.hibernate.dialect.Oracle10gDialect"/>
    </database-object>
</hibernate-mapping>