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From "Tom Butler" <>
Subject RE: Newbie questions - database calls and caching data
Date Sun, 08 Jan 2006 04:23:45 GMT
Chapter 10 within 'Core Java Server Faces' (david geary) covers database
access - that may be a good place to start, especially if you are using
Tomcat since that is the web container used in the examples - this chapter
describes connection pooling which is useful if you have multiple users.


Your other questions really get more into design issues, and are subjective
based on your specific application.


Here's the general approach I'm using that involves a search example,
however, its straightforward because I do not require database update for
this functionality (i.e., search only, no update back to database):


1.	create search form on .jsp (or .jsf) page
2.	when search form is submitted, it calls an action on the form bean
3.	in this method, I grab a connection to the database (using a method
described in chapter 10 from the book above)
4.	I have a bean object that represents the fields from the database
table I am reading
5.	as I read through the database rows, I create a new instance of the
bean class, and add the columns from the database to the attributes of the
bean class object (using getter/setter methods);  at the same time, after I
populate the bean object with the data from the database row, add the bean
object to an ArrayList (the arraylist will then contain a bean object for
each database row)
6.	after I have read all of the rows, I disconnect from the database
and then wrap the ArrayList in a ListDataModel object (which worked better
for me with the tomahawk t:datatable component);  Note at this point I'm
disconnected from the database and can use a java object to work with the
data (of course if you need to update the data, you'll need to modify this
7.	 The last step is that I use a Tomahawk T:datatable to display the


Note I am newer to JSF/myfaces as well, so I'm not sure if this is a best
practice, but this is what has worked for me.


Hope this helps.





From: Costa Basil [] 
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2006 1:46 PM
Subject: Newbie questions - database calls and caching data



Where is the best place to make database calls to display lists or search
results and how to cache them? How can I avoid making unecessary calls to
the database?

Here are a two scenarios:

1. Let's say I have a form where the user has to enter data and has to
select data from a list or a combobox. The data in these lists come from
various database small tables. What is the best place to make the database
calls to extract the data for these lists? I looked at the cd catalog sample
that comes with the blue print catalog samples, and the database calls are
placed in the getXXX methods of the backing beans. Example:

public class AlbumView 

    public List getTrackList() 
        throws NamingException, SQLException
        int currentId = getCurrentAlbum().getId();
        if(cachedAlbumId != currentId) {
            // If the album id was updated since our last query, query again
            this.trackList = null;
            this.trackCount = -1;
        if(this.trackList == null) {
            Connection connection = getConnection();
            try {
                // Only query if we don't have the result cached for this
                ; PreparedStatement s = getConnection().prepareStatement( 
                    "SELECT track, title FROM songs WHERE album_id = ?");
                s.setInt(1, currentId);
                ResultSet results = s.executeQuery();
                this.trackList = new ArrayList();
                while( {
                    TrackData track = new TrackData();
                this.cachedAlbumId = currentId;
            finally {
        return this.trackList;

and in the jsp page we have:

        <h:dataTable id="dataTable" border="1"
                     var="track" rendered="#{AlbumView.trackCount > 0}">


The AlbumView is a backing bean:
    &n bsp; The backing bean for the album page
What is not clear to me is the following. Let's say the user enters some
invalid input and tries to save the data. Because there is some invalid
input, then getTrackList will be called again next time the page is
displayed. Right? What can I do in order in order to avoid that? I know the
data in the track list doesn't change so when the page is re-displayed I
don't want to requery the track list from the database.

Another problem that I see with this code is poor error handling. If the app
bombs inside getTrackList probably the web application will jump to the jsp
error page. Sometimes this is not desirable
Overall, what is your opinion on getting the database data in these getXXX
functions? Please ignore the fact that the jdbc calls are placed in the
backing bean. 

2. Scenario 2

Searching stuff. Let's say I have a table with employees and I want to find
employees by name. Assuming that the whole table with employees is not that
big I want to cache the result of the search in memory. 
In case the user opens a new search window, is there an easy way to avoid
the clash of two search operations. Scenario: user enters criteria 1, clicks
the search button, the app displays the search result, the user opens anther
browser window, enters criteria 2, clicks search, the app displays the
search result of criteria 2, the user moves to the first window, clicks next
page, the app should display the second page of the first search.

Any links to articles or sample applications on these topics are more than

Thank you,


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