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What's New in JDO 2.3

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What's New in JDO 2.3

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Java Data Objects (JDO) is a specification for Java persistence that started in 2000, with 2 major releases JDO1 (2002 under JSR0012) and JDO2 (2006 under JSR0243). It was placed under Apache in 2005 and is the rare example of a specification that has undergone continual improvement during its lifetime, for the last 4 years being developed totally in the open, accepting input from everyone. Most recently it was provided as an integral part of the Google AppEngine for Java

JDO 2.3 was started in October 2008, and encompasses additions to the specification in the areas of a metadata API, an enhancer API, addition of cancel/timeout control to queries, and addition of control to the locking of objects when read.

DataNucleus AccessPlatform 1.1.3 was recently released with support for these new features, and Apache JDO has just released JDO 2.3 "early access". In this article we describe what's new and an overview of how to use it.


Metadata API

To persist Java objects you need to specify which classes are persistable, and how they are persisted. This was traditionally handled using XML configuration. With the advent of JDK1.5, annotations were added as another possible way of defining such information. JDO 2.3 takes this further and provides a Metadata API, allowing runtime definition. This is of particular use for systems that don't know at application startup which classes should be persistable, maybe because the class hasn't been written yet.

To demonstrate the Metadata API, lets assume that we have a PersistenceManagerFactory created for our datastore. So we request a new Metadata object.

PersistenceManagerFactory pmf = JDOHelper.getPersistenceManagerFactory(props);
JDOMetaData jdomd = pmf.newMetadata();

So we can now start defining the metadata for the package/class(es) we want to persist. The Metadata is structured in a similar way to the XML DTD/XSD. So let's add a class

ClassMetadata cmd = jdomd.newClassMetadata("test.Client");

So we have a class test.Client using datastore-identity, that is detachable, and is persisted to a table CLIENT. As you can see, you can chain setters for convenient coding.

InheritanceMetadata inhmd = cmd.newInheritanceMetadata();
DiscriminatorMetadata dmd = inhmd.newDiscriminatorMetadata();

VersionMetadata vermd = cmd.newVersionMetadata();

So we will use "new-table" inheritance for this class, and it will have a discriminator stored in column disc of type "value-map". The class will also be versioned, using column version, that is indexed. All of this was for the class as a whole, so let's look at the fields/properties of the class.

FieldMetadata fmd = cmd.newFieldMetadata("name");

So we have a field name that is persisted into column name, and is unique and indexed. The API metadata components all follow the DTD as stated earlier, so if our field was a collection we could then define CollectionMetadata below it.

The only thing left to do is register the metadata with the PersistenceManagerFactory, like this


and any contact with the class will now persist according to this metadata.

You can similarly browse already-registered metadata using

ComponentMetadata compmd = pmf.getMetadata("mydomain.MyClass");

Note that you cannot change already registered metadata with JDO 2.3. You can view the Javadocs for the Metadata API here.


Enhancer API

JDO implementations typically (but aren't compelled to) include a bytecode enhancement step, allowing for efficient change detection of objects. While the Metadata API above is very useful, if we just define metadata for a class we still need to enhance the class using this metadata. This is where the Enhancer API comes in. To start we need to get a JDOEnhancer

JDOEnhancer enhancer = JDOHelper.getEnhancer();

and now that we have the enhancer and want to enhance our class above so we need to register our new metadata with it (generate the metadata as shown above)


Now we can handle the enhancement using a separate class loader if required (for example if the classes were defined dynamically, e.g by ASM)


Finally we select what to enhance, and perform the enhancement

String[] classes = {"test.Client"};

So the class is now enhanced and is ready for use. You can view the Javadocs for the Enhancer API here.


Query Cancel/Timeout API

On occasions a query may be inefficient, or may suffer from problems in the underlying datastore, and so we don't want to affect the application. In this case it would make sense to have control over a timeout for the query, or be able to cancel it. JDO 2.3 introduces the Query cancel/timeout control, via the following new methods to javax.jdo.Query

void setTimeoutMillis(Integer interval);
Integer getTimeoutMillis();
void cancelAll();
void cancel(Thread thread);

So we have the ability to cancel a query as required, or just let it timeout.


Control of read objects locking

When we are using datastore (pessimistic) transactions it often doesn't make sense to just lock all objects read in the transaction. For this reason JDO 2.3 introduces control over which objects are locked and which aren't.

In metadata for each class you can specify the "serialize-read" setting. True will mean that objects of this type will be locked when read.

On a Transaction you can override the metadata settings via the following method

void setSerializeRead(Boolean serialize);
Boolean getSerializeRead();

On a Query you can override the metadata and Transaction settings via the following method

void setSerializeRead(Boolean serialize);
Boolean getSerializeRead();

This concludes our simple overview of JDO2.3. We hope you enjoy using it, and if you have ideas of where you would like JDO to be taken in the future please address them to the Apache JDO project


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