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From "Jody Grassel (Created) (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Created] (OPENJPA-2109) Should @Factory methods fire on Entity Identity fields?
Date Tue, 17 Jan 2012 16:53:39 GMT
Should @Factory methods fire on Entity Identity fields?

                 Key: OPENJPA-2109
             Project: OpenJPA
          Issue Type: Question
          Components: kernel
            Reporter: Jody Grassel
            Priority: Minor

Question for the OpenJPA community.  Recently I had made an observation with the following

public class JAGExternEntity {                                          
    private String id;                                                  
    private String extString;                                           
    (Standard default constructor, getter and setter methods)           
   public String toString() {                                           
        return "JAGExternEntity [id=" + id + ", extString=" + extString + "]";           
    public static String toLowercaseString(String str) {                
        return str.toLowerCase();                                       
    public static String toUppercaseString(String str) {                
        return str.toUpperCase();                                       
Test Code (JUnit):                                                      
    public void test000() throws Exception {                            
        JAGExternEntity jee = new JAGExternEntity();                    
        jee.setExtString("Some External String.");                      
        System.out.println("Pre Persist: " + jee);                      
        System.out.println("Post Persist: " + jee);                     
        System.out.println("Post Commit: " + jee);                      
        Query q = em.createQuery("SELECT e FROM JAGExternEntity e");    
        List<JAGExternEntity> resultList = q.getResultList();           
        for (JAGExternEntity find : resultList) {                       
            System.out.println("Query Result: " + find);                
And the test output:                                                    
517  jag-test  INFO   [main] openjpa.Runtime - OpenJPA dynamically loaded a validation provider.
534  jag-test  INFO   [main] openjpa.Runtime - Starting OpenJPA 2.1.2-SNAPSHOT           
576  jag-test  INFO   [main] openjpa.jdbc.JDBC - Using dictionary class org.apache.openjpa.jdbc.sql.DerbyDictionary".
Pre Persist: JAGExternEntity [id=SomeIdentity, extString=Some External String.]          
Post Persist: JAGExternEntity [id=SomeIdentity, extString=Some External String.]         
Post Commit: JAGExternEntity [id=SomeIdentity, extString=Some External String.]          
Query Result: JAGExternEntity [id=someidentity, extString=SOME EXTERNAL STRING.]  

What the above demonstrates is that @Externalizers will fire for all persistent fields, including
identity fields, but @Factories will only fire for non-identity persistent fields.  This creates
a one-way transformation scenario, where externalized values cannot be reversed back for identity
fields.  The OpenJPA documentation doesn't contain any text forbidding the use of @Externalizer
or @Factory on identity fields (except for embeddable ids, which was the only noted exception.)

I would like to hear the opinions of the community on this behavior.  Is it a mistake that
@Externalizer is allowed to fire on identity fields, but not @Factory.  Or is it a mistake
to allow @Externalizer to be allowed to be used by the identity field in the first place?
 Should any kind of transformation on identity fields even be allowed, because of the data
integrity/security issues that could arise from it?

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