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From Marc Prud'hommeaux <>
Subject Using query hints for mapping extensions in orm.xml
Date Mon, 15 Jan 2007 20:26:12 GMT
OpenJPA people-

A limitation of the JPA specification is that there is no built-in  
way to put implementation-specific extensions in an orm.xml file,  
which limits the use of OpenJPA's many useful extensions to only  
being expressible annotations. Past suggestions for getting around  
this limitation have been to alter the locally-cached version of the  
XSD (which would make any orm.xml file that takes advantage of this  
non-portable) or to have an additional file that contains the  
extensions (e.g., an "openjpa-orm.xml" file peered with the "orm.xml"  

It just occurred to me that there is another possibility: the "hint"  
child of the "named-query" element is a free-form field that acts as  
a means to pass a query hint to the implementation. We could expand  
on this to allow the passing of a mapping hint to the implementation  
via a special-cased "openjpa.extensions.EntityName" named query in  
which we could embed hints for the entity and its attributes. See the  
example below for how it might work.

What do people think? It would allow us to keep the extensions in the  
same file in which the rest of the mappings are expressed, but still  
remain portable to other JPA implementations (since other  
implementations are supposed to ignore unrecognized query hints).

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<entity-mappings xmlns=""  

     <entity name="Department" class="Department">
         <table name="DEPARTMENT"/>

         <!-- OpenJPA mapping extensions for the Department entity -->
         <named-query name="openjpa.extensions.Department">
             <!-- empty query element, since it is required -->

             <!-- class-level hints -->
             <hint name="" value="false"/>

             <!-- hints for the "employees" field -->
             <hint name="openjpa.employees.jdbc-eager-fetch-mode"  
             <hint name="openjpa.employees.jdbc-nonpolymorphic"  

         <!-- standard mappings follow -->
             <id name="id">
                 <column name="ID"/>
             <basic name="name">
                 <column name="NAME"/>
             <one-to-many name="employees" fetch="EAGER">
                 <join-column name="FK_EMPS"/>

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