Giovanni Azua Giovanni Azua - 2 months ago 25
Java Question

Hibernate javassist proxies and `Object#equals`

When providing

implementation for a UDT in Java one of the conditions is that the passed argument object must be an instance of the current class otherwise we fail-fast
return false
see Effective Java (EJ2). However, while using Hibernate 4 we can end up with javassist proxy instances due to lazy loading where this
condition will fail. What would be the best choice to overcome this? The few choices I can think of are:

  • extend the
    implementation to take into account the proxy case. Cons: maintainability toll, hardwired dependency to Hibernate proxy infrastructure, hacky, entity or domain models should be agnostic to the ORM being used i.e. since they might be reused in different contexts where there is no need for ORM e.g. Swing UI.

  • check whether it is a proxy before invoking
    . Cons: not always possible, i.e., dealing with Collections and implicit invocations of
    , e.g., Map.

  • Refrain from using lazy loading. Cons: not reasonable nor efficient in all use-cases.


Reviewing EJ2 again I believe that the following will work for all scenarios (Type-Type, Type-Proxy, Proxy-Type and Proxy-Proxy) but as pointed out in one of the comments below it may loop forever if the Type is compared to a totally different type e.g.
and both use the same equals EJ2 criteria.

if (this.getClass() != anObject.getClass())
return anObject.equals(this);


I stumbled on the same problem. The way I fixed is was to change the .equals-method.

public boolean equals(Object obj) {
    if (this == obj)
        return true;
    if (obj == null)
        return false;
    if (!getClass().isAssignableFrom(obj.getClass()))
        return false;
    AbstractEntity other = (AbstractEntity) obj;
    if (getId() == null) {
        if (other.getId() != null)
            return false;
    } else if (!getId().equals(other.getId()))
        return false;
    return true;

The trick is to not compare the classes to be the same but use the isAssignableFrom-method. The other trick is to not use direct properties (, but use the get-method (other.getId())