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18.2. XML Mapping Metadata

18.2.1. About XML Mapping Metadata

A range of Hibernate mapping elements accept the node attribute. This lets you specify the name of an XML attribute or element that holds the property or entity data. The format of the node attribute must be one of the following:
  • "element-name": map to the named XML element
  • "@attribute-name": map to the named XML attribute
  • ".": map to the parent element
  • "element-name/@attribute-name": map to the named attribute of the named element
For collections and single valued associations, there is an additional embed-xml attribute. If embed-xml="true", the default, the XML tree for the associated entity (or collection of value type) will be embedded directly in the XML tree for the entity that owns the association. Otherwise, if embed-xml="false", then only the referenced identifier value will appear in the XML for single point associations and collections will not appear at all.
Do not leave embed-xml="true" for too many associations, since XML does not deal well with circularity.
<class name="Customer" 
        table="CUSTOMER" 
        node="customer">
        
    <id name="id" 
            column="CUST_ID" 
            node="@id"/>
            
    <map name="accounts" 
            node="." 
            embed-xml="true">
        <key column="CUSTOMER_ID" 
                not-null="true"/>
        <map-key column="SHORT_DESC" 
                node="@short-desc" 
                type="string"/>
        <one-to-many entity-name="Account"
                embed-xml="false" 
                node="account"/>
    </map>
    
    <component name="name" 
            node="name">
        <property name="firstName" 
                node="first-name"/>
        <property name="initial" 
                node="initial"/>
        <property name="lastName" 
                node="last-name"/>
    </component>
    
    ...
    
</class>
In this case, the collection of account ids is embedded, but not the actual account data. The following HQL query:
from Customer c left join fetch c.accounts where c.lastName like :lastName
would return datasets such as this:
<customer id="123456789">
    <account short-desc="Savings">987632567</account>
    <account short-desc="Credit Card">985612323</account>
    <name>
        <first-name>Gavin</first-name>
        <initial>A</initial>
        <last-name>King</last-name>
    </name>
    ...
</customer>
If you set embed-xml="true" on the <one-to-many> mapping, the data might look more like this:
<customer id="123456789">
    <account id="987632567" short-desc="Savings">
        <customer id="123456789"/>
        <balance>100.29</balance>
    </account>
    <account id="985612323" short-desc="Credit Card">
        <customer id="123456789"/>
        <balance>-2370.34</balance>
    </account>
    <name>
        <first-name>Gavin</first-name>
        <initial>A</initial>
        <last-name>King</last-name>
    </name>
    ...
</customer>

18.2.2. Manipulating XML Data

You can also re-read and update XML documents in the application. You can do this by obtaining a dom4j session:
Document doc = ....;
       
Session session = factory.openSession();
Session dom4jSession = session.getSession(EntityMode.DOM4J);
Transaction tx = session.beginTransaction();

List results = dom4jSession
    .createQuery("from Customer c left join fetch c.accounts where c.lastName like :lastName")
    .list();
for ( int i=0; i<results.size(); i++ ) {
    //add the customer data to the XML document
    Element customer = (Element) results.get(i);
    doc.add(customer);
}

tx.commit();
session.close();
Session session = factory.openSession();
Session dom4jSession = session.getSession(EntityMode.DOM4J);
Transaction tx = session.beginTransaction();

Element cust = (Element) dom4jSession.get("Customer", customerId);
for ( int i=0; i<results.size(); i++ ) {
    Element customer = (Element) results.get(i);
    //change the customer name in the XML and database
    Element name = customer.element("name");
    name.element("first-name").setText(firstName);
    name.element("initial").setText(initial);
    name.element("last-name").setText(lastName);
}

tx.commit();
session.close();
When implementing XML-based data import/export, it is useful to combine this feature with Hibernate's replicate() operation.