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EclipseLink/UserGuide/MOXy/Overview/DynamicEntities

EclipseLink MOXy

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Static and Dynamic Entities

There are two high-level ways to use EclipseLink JAXB; Using pre-existing Java classes (Static MOXy), or using EclipseLink-generated in-memory Java classes (Dynamic MOXy).


Using Static MOXy

The most common way to use EclipseLink JAXB is with existing Java classes, mapped to XML using Java annotations and/or EclipseLink OXM metadata. These classes might be ones that you have written yourself, or they could be generated from an XML Schema using the XJC compiler tool.

Using this approach, you will be dealing with your actual domain objects when converting to and from XML. The following example shows a simple Java class that can be used with JAXB:

import javax.xml.bind.annotation.XmlAttribute;
import javax.xml.bind.annotation.XmlRootElement;
 
@XmlRootElement
public class Customer {
   @XmlAttribute
   private long id;
 
   private String name;
 
   // ...
   // get() and set() methods
   // ...
}
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When using static classes with JAXB, you can take advantage of JAXB's defaulting behaviour and only annotate things which differ from the default. For example, all fields on a Java class will default to being mapped to an XML element, so no annotation is needed on the 'name' field. We want the 'id' field, however, to map to an XML attribute, so have annotated it as such.


The code below demonstrates how to unmarshal, modify, and marshal object using static JAXB:

JAXBContext jaxbContext = JAXBContext.newInstance(Customer.class, Address.class);
Customer customer = (Customer) jaxbContext.createUnmarshaller().unmarshal(instanceDoc);
 
Address address = new Address();
address.setStreet("1001 Fleet St.");
 
customer.setAddress(address);
 
jaxbContext.createMarshaller().marshal(customer, System.out);


Using Dynamic MOXy

With EclipseLink Dynamic MOXy, you can bootstrap a JAXBContext from a variety of metadata sources and use existing JAXB APIs to marshal and unmarshal data… without having compiled Java class files on the classpath. This allows you to alter the metadata as needed, without having to update and recompile the previously-generated Java source code.

You should consider using Dynamic MOXy when:

  • You want EclipseLink to generate classes from an XML schema (XSD).
  • You do not want to deal with concrete Java domain classes.


Dynamic Entities

Instead of using actual Java classes (such as Customer.class or Address.class), Dynamic MOXy uses a simple get(propertyName) / set(propertyName, propertyValue) API to manipulate data. EclipseLink generates (in memory) a DynamicType associated with each DynamicEntity.

Idea.png
DynamicTypes are similar to Java classes; whereas DynamicEntities can be thought of as instances of a DynamicType.


The code below demonstrates how to unmarshal, modify, and marshal object using dynamic JAXB:

DynamicJAXBContext dynamicJAXBContext = DynamicJAXBContextFactory.createContextFromXSD(xsdInputStream, null, myClassLoader, null);
DynamicEntity customer = (DynamicEntity) dynamicJAXBContext.createUnmarshaller().unmarshal(instanceDoc);
 
String lastName = customer.get("lastName");
List orders = customer.get("orders");
...
DynamicEntity address = dynamicJAXBContext.newDynamicEntity("mynamespace.Address");
address.set("street", "1001 Fleet St.");
 
customer.set("lastName", lastName + "Jr.");
customer.set("address", address);
 
dynamicJAXBContext.createMarshaller().marshal(customer, System.out);
Elug javaspec icon.gif

For more information, see Appendix D: Binding XML Names to Java Identifiers in the JAXB Specification.

Creating Dynamic Entities

To create and use Dynamic MOXy entities, create a JAXBContext by using the DynamicJAXBContextFactory class. You can create a DynamicJAXBContext from an XML Schema file (XSD), EclipseLink OXM metadata file, or from an EclipseLink Project specified in the EclipseLink sessions.xml file.


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Version: 2.2.0 Draft
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