DB Relations Example

DbOom does not provide relations mapping out-of-box. Instead, developer is able to use relations whenever he needs them. And it is not so complicated as it sounds.


Question may have many Answers, but only one Country. Lets see how to model this relation in Java in order to be convenient and easy to use.

1-to-1 relations

Foreign keys to other entities should be mapped in parent entity. Here, Question has countryId property mapped to corresponding column in database, as any other column:

    public class Question extends Entity {

        Long countryId;


Having FK id mapped to entity is often convenient: when you need to update or delete questions Country, you just need the id (and not the Country instance).

On the other hand, sometimes it is required (or just handy:) to have full Country object in Question. For those situations we usually put the following set and get methods pair:

    Country country;

    public Country getCountry() {
        return country;

    public void setCountry(Country country) {
        countryId = country == null ? null : country.getId();
        this.country = country;

How to populate the country? One solution is to simply execute AppDao#findById(Country.class, id) when Country is needed. Other solution, for 1-1 relationships, is to fetch both Question and Country together, using join hints in template sql:

    select $C{question.*}, $C{question.country.*} from $T{Question question}
    join $T{Country country} on $country.id=$question.countryId

1-to-many relations

In our example Question may have some Answers. There is nothing to map or configure in Question for this relation. Answers has to be loaded manually when needed. Here is what we usually put for 1-to-many relations in parent entity (here: Question).

    public class Question extends Entity {

        List answers = new ArrayList();

        public List getAnswers() {
            return answers;

        public void setAnswers(List answers) {
            this.answers = answers;
            for (Answer answer : answers) {

        public void addAnswer(Answer answer) {


One note: since we wanted to have here a bi-directional relation, we had to have lines: #12-#14 and #19. Now, how to load answers? One way is to simply write a service method that returns List<Answer> filtered and ordered anyhow you need them, or to simply load them in provided Question. If you do not need to have sorted or filtered list, you can simply invoke: AppDao#findRelated(Answer.class, question). See relations & hints for more details.

many-to-1 relations

On the parent side (here: Answer) you can do everything as for 1-1 relation: map FK and add set/get methods in the same manner. On the child side (here: Question) you have to manage this relations as already said in above note.

many-to-many relations

There is nothing special in Db for many-to-many relations. Just simply write services/dao methods that returns whatever you need. If you want to use template-sql then you have to map the 'middle' table. Of course, you can split this relation to two 1-to-many; but this is completely up to you.

In Uphea, we have this situation between Question and User, where user may have many favorite questions. We have Favorites entity since we use template-sql.

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