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From "Michael Dick" <>
Subject Re: persisting an entity and JPA behaviour with referenced entities
Date Mon, 07 Apr 2008 16:06:50 GMT
Hi Adam,

It looks like the persist is being cascaded to the detached entity. If
that's the case then we're throwing the exception per these bullets in the
JPA spec :

3.2.1 Persisting an Entity Instance
A new entity instance becomes both managed and persistent by invoking the
persist method on it or
by cascading the persist operation.
The semantics of the persist operation, applied to an entity X are as
    • If X is a detached object, the EntityExistsException may be thrown
when the persist
operation is invoked, or the EntityExistsException or another
may be thrown at flush or commit time.
    • For all entities Y referenced by a relationship from X, if the
relationship to Y has been annotated
with the cascade element value cascade=PERSIST or cascade=ALL, the persist
operation is applied to Y.

If you were to merge the new entity instead of persisting it then the merge
action would be cascaded to the parent entity. It would become managed, but
that might be one way to resolve the issue you're hitting.


On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 7:09 AM, Adam Hardy <>

> I've got an issue with the persist operation, when I use a detached entity
> as one of the entity's referenced entities.
> OpenJPA throws the
> org.apache.openjpa.persistence.EntityExistsException: Attempt to persist
> detached object
> "$permacode$atomictest$domain$Genus$pcsubclass@1c527be
> ".
> The situation is this: my MVC layer has received a new entity which it
> must create. The parent entity for this is found in a cache, in a detached
> state.
> What I'd like to know, is why is JPA forcing me to merge this detached
> entity before allowing me to persist the new child?
> It means I can't use the cache, or I have to program the DAO to merge all
> referenced entities. This latter option seems like a job that JPA should be
> doing. JPA knows this parent is a detached entity, so why can't it merge the
> managed entity?
> I can't see any text in the EJB spec that would mandate this behaviour,
> yet Hibernate does it too.
> Regards
> Adam

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