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From Wes Wannemacher <>
Subject Re: Does merging cause all "dirty" entities to be written to the database?
Date Tue, 27 Apr 2010 14:47:19 GMT
Thanks for looking at this Mike,

The main question/concern I have is concurrency...

Imagine simultaneous users hitting a web-app. A call to merge in one
users request, does that save changes to an entity that another user's
request is editing?

Right now, I take my JPA entities and I expose them to my (struts)
views and when the user submits a form, getters/setters get called on
the (potentially managed) entities. The action may or may not save the
changes, but if another user's request leads to a merge call, then
would that lead to changes being saved on all entities managed by the
entity manager?

I will spend some time looking through the docs and the spec, but if
anyone follows a similar use-case, I'd like to know how they handle
this... Should I detach the entities after retrieving them? Should I
copy the properties of the entities into a transfer object?

In addition, if changes to all managed entities are saved when an
entity is merged, then what is the point of having cascade

A quick re-read of your email, and I want to be clear that you
understood that unit test. The merge call is a different entity than
the one that is tested... The pseudo-code of the unit test is this -

retrieve EntityA
retrieve EntityB
change EntityA.someProp
change EntityB.someProp
save Entity*A* (through merge call)
retrieve a new copy of Entity*B*
check EntityB.someProp matches what it used to be (since EntityB was
never explicitly saved)

If you were addressing it correctly, I apologize for reiterating.


On Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 9:54 AM, Michael Dick <> wrote:
> Hi Wes,
> Thanks for putting the example on pastebin, it's much easier to read the
> code there than in an email.
> The test should not pass, the row should be updated in the database when you
> commit the transaction. You've obtained an instance of your entity and
> modified it's contents. The entity is managed at this point, meaning that
> JPA is tracking the changes you make, and those changes will be updated in
> the database when the transaction commits.
> Even if the entity was not managed (for example if you called em.clear()
> before updating it), the merge operation would take any changes and copy
> them into a new managed instance of the entity. The contents of that managed
> entity would be updated in the database when the transaction commits.
> There's more information in the JPA spec itself (look for managed entities)
> or in the OpenJPA manual
> (example
> 8.2 hits your case fairly closely).
> hth
> -mike
> On Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 8:11 AM, Wes Wannemacher <> wrote:
>> bump...
>> I think the first time I posted this message, pastebin went offline,
>> but the unit test is back up and visible...
>> What I'd really like to know is whether this test should ever pass,
>> and if not, where can I read about the details of the merge call. If
>> it should pass, that would be interesting as well because I would know
>> to go take it up with the Spring folks.
>> -Wes
>> On Fri, Apr 23, 2010 at 1:57 PM, Wes Wannemacher <> wrote:
>> > Hello, I've been lurking on this list for a while and i have been a
>> > happy user for OpenJPA for a year or so. However, I came across a
>> > situation recently which kind of suprised me.
>> >
>> > Imagine that both CDO_ConditionCode and CDO_CageCode are enhanced
>> > entities that do not a relationship. These beans have an @Id field (of
>> > type String) and a description (of type String). Here is the
>> > interesting snippet of a unit test I wrote to check out this behavior
>> > ->
>> >
>> > CDO_ConditionCode retrievedCondCode = em.find(CDO_ConditionCode.class,
>> "00");
>> > CDO_CageCode retrievedCageCode = em.find(CDO_CageCode.class, "00000");
>> >
>> > retrievedCondCode.setDescription("new description");
>> > retrievedCageCode.setDescription("new description");
>> >
>> > em.getTransaction().begin();
>> > retrievedCageCode = em.merge(retrievedCageCode);
>> > // em.flush(); // with or without the flush, this test fails
>> > em.getTransaction().commit();
>> >
>> > CDO_ConditionCode otherRetrievedCondCode =
>> > em.find(CDO_ConditionCode.class, "00");
>> > assertTrue("expected value not to change", "description of
>> > 00".equals(otherRetrievedCondCode.getDescription()));
>> >
>> > I noticed it while working on an oracle database. I had a breakpoint
>> > in one section of my code and I was trying to figure out an unrelated
>> > problem. While the app was hanging at the breakpoint, I noticed that
>> > changes to an unmerged entity had been written to the database. If you
>> > want to see the full unit test, it will be available here for a little
>> > while -
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > In the application, most of the JPA operations are hidden behind a DAO
>> > that delegates to Spring's JpaTemplate. However, I wrote the unit test
>> > to get rid of the JpaTemplate to see if hte problem was with my DAO,
>> > Spring or OpenJPA. In addition to removing the JpaTemplate, I also ran
>> > the unit test using EclipseLink 2.0.2, which failed at the assert,
>> > just like OpenJPA. That leads me to believe that this isn't
>> > necessarily a *problem*, but it is that maybe I misunderstand the
>> > behavior of a call to merge. Can someone explain to me why this fails,
>> > or just point me to a section that would help me understand why a
>> > merge to one entity causes the other entity to be saved to the
>> > database. Or, if this should succeed, I will look further at Spring
>> > being the culprit (even though I eliminated the JpaTemplate, I did not
>> > eliminate Spring's LocalContainerEntityManagerFactoryBean).
>> >
>> > Thanks guys!
>> >
>> > -Wes
>> >
>> > --
>> > Wes Wannemacher
>> >
>> > Head Engineer, WanTii, Inc.
>> > Need Training? Struts, Spring, Maven, Tomcat...
>> > Ask me for a quote!
>> >
>> --
>> Wes Wannemacher
>> Head Engineer, WanTii, Inc.
>> Need Training? Struts, Spring, Maven, Tomcat...
>> Ask me for a quote!

Wes Wannemacher

Head Engineer, WanTii, Inc.
Need Training? Struts, Spring, Maven, Tomcat...
Ask me for a quote!

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