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Dali Developer Documentation v0.5

Dali JPA Tools 0.5 – Internal/External Developer Documentation

Last updated: June 6, 2006

Major Features

Persistence Outline

  • Contains the elements of an Entity
  • Visual representation
  • Allows navigation of Persistence Properties view

Persistence View

  • Provides rich UI for editing of persistence related metadata
  • Unified editing for Java annotation and orm.xml (when supported)
  • Provides defaults values for JPA metadata


  • Validation in the form of “Problems” are reported based on the state of the Entities in our model

Entity Generation from Tables

  • Generates spec compliant Entities from tables defined in the WST.RDB database definition model

Table Generation from Entities

  • Generates platform specific tables from Entities through the DDL generation capabilities of the WST.RDB component

Architecture diagram


Dali Plug-ins


Description: EMF Models and implementations for ORM and Packaging components

Dependency on:

  • eclipse.core
  • eclipse.emf
  • eclipse.dali.db
  • eclipse.dali.utility
  • eclipse.jdt.core
  • eclipse.jem.util
  • eclipse.wst.common.emf
  • eclipse.wst.common.environment
  • eclipse.wst.common.modulecore
  • eclipse.wst.sse.core
  • eclipse.wst.validation
  • eclipse.wst.xml


Description: wst.rdb wrapper model, serves as Dali’s interface to the wst.rdb model. Also provides UI extension of New Connection Wizard.

Dependency on:

  • eclipse.core
  • eclipse.jface
  • eclipse.dali.utility
  • eclipse.wst.rdb.server.ui
  • eclipse.wst.rdb.core
  • eclipse.wst.rdb.models.sql


Description: Responsible for DDL generation

Dependency on:

  • eclipse.dali.core
  • eclipse.dali.db
  • eclipse.dali.utility
  • eclipse.jdt.core
  • eclipse.ui
  • org.eclipse.wst.rdb.core
  • org.eclipse.wst.rdb.fe.ui
  • org.eclipse.wst.rdb.models.dbdefinition
  • org.eclipse.wst.rdb.models.sql


Description: User docs and infopop for Dali

Dependency on:

  • org.eclipse.ui.cheatsheets


Description: EMF Edit layer; generated item providers for EMF Entity and Packaging models

Dependency on:

  • eclipse.dali.core
  • eclipse.emf.edit


Description: Contains model and generator code for generating Entities from tables

Dependency on:

  • eclipse.core
  • eclipse.dali.db
  • eclipse.dali.utility
  • eclipse.jdt.core


Description: Contains the actions, composites, data models, wizards, views, and perspective that make up the Dali UI.

Dependency on:

  • eclipse.dali.*
  • eclipse.debug.ui
  • org.eclipse.emf.edit.ui
  • org.eclipse.jdt.core
  • org.eclipse.jdt.launching
  • org.eclipse.jdt.ui
  • org.eclipse.jface.text
  • org.eclipse.ui.console
  • org.eclipse.ui.forms
  • org.eclipse.ui.ide
  • org.eclipse.ui.workbench.texteditor
  • org.eclipse.wst.common.environment
  • org.eclipse.wst.common.frameworks.ui
  • org.eclipse.wst.common.modulecore
  • org.eclipse.wst.rdb.server.ui
  • org.eclipse.wst.sse.core
  • org.eclipse.wst.xml.ui


Description: EMF Binding framework; provides binding mechanism to streamline the linkage of UI controls to corresponding EMF model attributes. (This will likely transition to use the new JFace Data Binding Framework -

Dependency on:

  • eclipse.core
  • eclipse.dali.ui.selection
  • eclipse.emf.ecore.xml
  • eclipse.emf.edit.ui


Description: UI Selection Framework; provides a selection manager to listen for and coordinate selection events that the Dali UI is interested in. This plug-in is still undergoing a lot of refactoring.

Dependency on:

  • eclipse.core
  • eclipse.emf.ecore.xml
  • eclipse.ui
  • eclipse.ui.workbench.texteditor


Description: A set of utility classes for the Dali plug-in. Contains a set of advanced iterators, plus utilities for dealing with Files, Strings, Collections, etc.

No Dependencies.


Description: Contains a suite of headless JUnit tests for the core plug-in.


Description: Contains a comprehensive set of tests for the Utility classes.

Major Integration points


The Dali Core makes extensive use of the JDT Core model and utilities for the purpose of reading and writing java class metadata. Future integration with the JDT will include use of the APT for the purpose of annotation value completion and high level annotation validation.


The Dali DB and DDL plug-ins make use of the data definition model, the New Connection Wizard, and the DDL generation capabilities. The Data Explorer view is an integral part of the Dali Persistence Perspective.

Extension Points

Core Mapping Extension

This mapping extension creates a way for Dali extenders to define additional mapping types beyond the JPA specification. This mapping extension is used internally to define the JPA mapping types in the core model. It also formalizes the necessary classes to define for extending the core types. For UI support, a corresponding extension in the UI must be defined.

Core Mapping Extension example:

<extension point="org.eclipse.dali.core.mappings">
  <mapping annotationName="ExtendedBasic"

Core Default Mapping Extension

This mapping extension allows an extender to redefine the default mapping for a simple attribute type.

Core Default Mapping Extension example:

<extension point="org.eclipse.dali.core.defaultMappings">

UI Mapping Extension

This mapping extension allows an extender to define a mapping type that will be available for selection in the UI. A corresponding Core Mapping Extension is required to add mapping support to the UI. After defining a UI Mapping extension, the defined mapping will be available for selection in the “Map As:” combo box in the persistence properties of a persistent attribute.

UI Mapping Extension example:

<extension point="org.eclipse.dali.ui.mappings">
  <mapping annotationName="ExtendedBasic"

UI Default Mapping Extension

This extension is used to redefine the Default mapping for the UI. It should correspond with the default Mapping extension defined in the Core Default Mapping extension.


Future Extension points

Extension points will need to be defined in all of the places that the JSR 220 Specification leaves undetermined behavior. This includes areas where a default value is implementation specific, such as the Primary Key Generator Strategy. Extension points will also need to be defined for additional Entity configuration. This would include adding additional capabilities to an Entity, resulting in a new proprietary Entity.

Extension points along with API’s will be determined as the project matures, and requirements are applied from Dali extenders. Here is a list of other likely extension points:

  • Entity Creation Wizard
  • Persistence.xml properties
  • Entity Generation
  • DDL Generation
  • Query Hints

Statement on API

API has not been defined for the 0.5 release of Dali. The API will be drawn out from additional use cases and requirements from extenders.

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