travega travega - 1 month ago 12
Java Question

JPA @Entity Inheritance

I have been looking into JPA/Hibernate

@Entity
inheritance for a while now and can't seem to find anything that addresses what I am trying to achieve.

Basically I want to be able to define an
@Entity
with all of the column and table mappings as required. Then I want to be able to extend the
@Entity
in a number of different locations with different sets of
@Transient
methods defined in the body of each "sub-Entity". This is a basic example of what I am trying to achieve but with no success thus far:

@Entity
@Table(name = "mountain")
public class MountainEntityBase implements Serializable {
public Integer mountainId = 0;
public Integer height = 0;

public List<ExplorerEntityBase> explorers = new ArrayList<ExplorerEntityBase>();

@Id
@GeneratedValue
@Column(name = "mountain_id")
public Integer getMountainId() { return mountainId; }
public void setMountainId(Integer mountainId) { this.mountainId = mountainId; }

@Column(name="height")
public String getHeight() { return height; }
public void setHeight(String height) { this.height = height; }

@OneToMany(mappedBy="mountainId")
public List<ExplorerEntityBase> getExplorers() { return this.explorers; }
public void setExplorers(List<ExplorerEntityBase> explorers) { this.explorers = explorers; }

}


.

@Entity
public class MountainEntity extends MountainEntityBase implements Serializable {

public List<MountainEntity> allMountainsExploredBy = new ArrayList<MountainEntity>();

@Transient
public List<MountianEntity> getAllMountainsExploredBy(String explorerName){
// Implementation
}
}


So any extended class will define only
@Transient
s in its body. But also I want to allow for situations where the child class is empty:

@Entity
public class MountainEntity extends MountainEntityBase implements Serializable {
}


Thanks in advance for any help with this.

Answer

Inheritance in JPA is specified on the root entity using the @Inheritance annotation. There you can specify the database representation of the hierarchy. Check the documentation for more details.

If your child classes define only transient fields (not methods) (i.e. not saved in the db), then perhaps a discriminator column is the best option. But it may be the case that you don't actually need inheritance - the main entity can have all the methods (because it has all the fields the methods operate on)