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From Jeremy Quinn <>
Subject Re: Hibernate sessions (was Re: [vote results] FOM)
Date Wed, 18 Jun 2003 22:09:37 GMT

On Wednesday, June 18, 2003, at 02:14 PM, Ugo Cei wrote:

> Jeremy Quinn wrote:
>> Because (I just realised) the Session has to be thrown away if there 
>> is any kind of Hibernate Exception, I was beginning to realise the 
>> only way of handling that safely was to wrap each call to Hibernate 
>> with a new Session.
> Not every call to Hibernate but every HTTP request processing, which 
> might involve more than one call.

Yes, much better.

>> The problem I still have to face is that I have to use 'lazy 
>> initialisation' as I am editing trees of objects with child/parent 
>> relationships, and I don't want the whole database loaded at once ;)
>> The problem is that if you try to access a Bean property that is not 
>> initialised (because it is lazy), while the Session is closed, you 
>> run the risk of getting a LazyInitializationException.
>> The obvious time to close the Session is when you are ready to send a 
>> page, but it is after you have sent the page (from FlowScript) that 
>> access to the Bean properties from JXForm takes place.
> Looks like you haven't read the URL I mentioned very carefully ;-).

Many thanks for persevering in the face of my stupidity!!!

> The servlet filter you install (lazily) opens a session *before* 
> letting Cocoon process the request. Then closes the session *after* 
> the response has been sent. And all of this happens transparently, no 
> need to wrap your code with try { ... } finally { session.close(); }.

Much better approach.

> When the view is realized, the session is still open, but it closes 
> automatically after the last byte of the response has been sent to the 
> client. Thus, there are no problems with lazy initialization.


> This also implies that the session that is stored in the continuation 
> is closed by the time the continuation is invoked again, and you need 
> to get a new session, if you need it.

I understand.

> See this pseudocode for an example:
> function editItem(form, id) {
>   var session = Persistence.getSession();

is that:

var session =; ?

or is Persistence something you have got from the Context or somewhere?

>   var model = session.load(id);
>   form.setModel(model);
>   form.sendView("editPage");
>   session = Persistence.getSession(); // this gets the new session

Would you do something like this, if you wanted to use Transactions? :

var transaction;
try {
   transaction = session.beginTransaction();

>   session.saveOrUpdate(model);

} catch (e) {
   // send an error view

Would you consider doing something like the above from inside a 
sendView validation function, adding a violation if you had to roll 

>   form.finish("editOK");
> }

Anyway, thanks for the example, it's nice and clean.

> There are some cases where this might not work, like for instance if 
> you want to use pessimistic locking. In this case, you should override 
> this pattern by not calling Persistence.getSession() (and since the 
> session is lazily initialized, this will avoid opening a session 
> altogether), directly opening a new Hibernate session yourself and 
> locking your model for updates with LockMode.UPGRADE. Of course, you 
> run the risk of having a record locked indefinitely, and you should 
> take care to release the lock when the continuation expires.
> This is why I avoid pessimistic locking in web applications like the 
> plague ;-).

Thanks for the advice!! ;)

By what I understand now ..... what I require is the Persistence class 
from the page you sent me and a configuration to add to web.xml. What I 
am not sure I understand is what that configuration should be.

I have never used a Filter before, and have never had to learn what all 
that JNDI stuff is about (whoops!).

Is it enough to just declare the filter class and mapping?

Many thanks

This is a far better approach than the one I had.

regards Jeremy

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