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Creating a Relational Descriptor (ELUG)

After you create a descriptor, you must configure its various options (see Configuring a Descriptor) and use it to define mappings.

For information on the various types of mapping that EclipseLink supports, see Introduction to Mappings and Creating a Mapping.

For information on the various types of descriptor that EclipseLink supports, see Descriptor Types.

For more information, see Introduction to Relational Descriptors.

Creating a Relational Descriptor

You can create a relational descriptor using the Workbench or Java code.

How to Create a Relational Descriptor Using Workbench

Using Workbench, you can create the following types of descriptor in a relational project:

Creating Relational Class Descriptors

Class descriptor icon By default, when you add a Java class to a relational project (see Configuring Project Classpath), the Workbench creates a relational class descriptor for it. A class descriptor is applicable to any persistent object except an object that is owned by another in an aggregate relationship. In this case, you must describe the owned object with an aggregate descriptor. Using a class descriptor, you can configure any relational mapping except aggregate collection and aggregate object mappings.

Creating Relational Aggregate Descriptors

Aggregate Descriptor button An aggregate object is an object that is strictly dependent on its owning object. Aggregate descriptors do not define a table, primary key, or many of the standard descriptor options as they obtain these from their owning descriptor. If you want to configure an aggregate mapping to associate data members in a target object with fields in a source object's underlying database tables (see Configuring a Relational Aggregate Collection Mapping and Configuring a Relational Aggregate Object Mapping), you must designate the target object's descriptor as an aggregate.

Creating Relational Interface Descriptors

Interface descriptor icon
If you add an interface to a relational project (see Configuring Project Classpath), the Workbench creates an interface descriptor for it.

An interface is a collection of abstract behavior that other classes can use. It is a purely Java concept and has no representation on the relational database. Therefore, a descriptor defined for the interfaces does not map any relational entities on the database.

The interface descriptor includes the following elements:

  • The Java interface it describes.
  • The parent interface(s) it implements.
  • A list of abstract query keys.

An interface descriptor does not define any mappings, because there is no concrete data or table associated with it. A list of abstract query keys is defined so that you can issue queries on the interfaces. A read query on the interface results in reading one or more of its implementors.

How to Create a Relational Descriptor Using Java

This example shows how to create a relational descriptor using Java code.

Creating a Relational Descriptor in Java

 RelationalDescriptor descriptor = new RelationalDescriptor();

To designate a relational descriptor as an aggregate, use ClassDescriptor method descriptorIsAggregate. For a RelationalDescriptor configured as an aggregate, you do not define a primary key, but when using Java, you must configure the associated table and field mappings.

To allow a relational descriptor to participate in an Aggregate Collection Mapping, use ClassDescriptor method descriptorIsAggregateCollection. For a RelationalDescriptor configured for use with an aggregate collection mapping, you do define primary keys and an associated table, but you do not have to map the primary keys if they are shared from their parent.

To configure a relational descriptor for an interface, use ClassDescriptor method setJavaInterface, passing in the java.lang.Class of the interface. You should only use an interface descriptor for an interface that has multiple implementors. If an interface has only a single implementor, then rather than creating an interface descriptor, just set the implementor descriptor's interface alias.

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