Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hibernate Hierarchy Mapping - Table Per Class

This example shows how to map a hierarchy with hibernate using the strategy, table per class. Circle and Square are two classes which extend Shape. The attribute, id of Shape is common to both the subclasses and will be the primary key of the tables created.

// The shape class
package com.shyarmal.hibernate.example.shape;

public class Shape implements IPersistable {

    protected long id;

    public long getId() {
        return id;

    public void setId(long id) { = id;

// Subclass of Shape, Circle
package com.shyarmal.hibernate.example.shape;

public class Circle extends Shape {

    private float radius;
    private float centerX;
    private float centerY;

    public float getRadius() {
        return radius;

    public void setRadius(float radius) {
        this.radius = radius;

    public float getCenterX() {
        return centerX;

    public void setCenterX(float centerX) {
        this.centerX = centerX;

    public float getCenterY() {
        return centerY;

    public void setCenterY(float centerY) {
        this.centerY = centerY;

// Subclass of Shape, Square
package com.shyarmal.hibernate.example.shape;

public class Square extends Shape {

    private float length;
    private float topX;
    private float topY;

    public float getTopX() {
        return topX;

    public void setTopX(float topX) {
        this.topX = topX;

    public float getlength() {
        return length;

    public void setlength(float length) {
        this.length = length;

    public float getTopY() {
        return topY;
    public void setTopY(float topY) {
        this.topY = topY;

The hibernate xml mapping for the above hierarchy is as follows. All three classes mapping configurations are done in the same hmb file. This configuration will map (and/or create) three tables for the three classes.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE hibernate-mapping PUBLIC
        "-//Hibernate/Hibernate Mapping DTD 3.0//EN"
<hibernate-mapping package="com.shyarmal.hibernate.example.shape">
    <class name="Shape" table="SHAPE">
        <id name="id" column="ID" type="long">
            <generator class="native" />
        <joined-subclass table="CIRCLE" name="Circle">
            <key column="ID" />
            <property name="radius" column="RADIUS" type="float"/>
            <property name="centerX" column="CENTER_X" type="float"/>
            <property name="centerY" column="CENTER_Y" type="float"/>
        <joined-subclass table="SQUARE" name="Square">
            <key column="ID" />       
            <property name="length" type="float" column="LENGTH"/>
            <property name="topY" column="TOP_Y" type="float" />
            <property name="topX" column="TOP_X" type="float" />


As you can notice, the 'class' tag refers to the class, Shape and the primary key is it's id attribute  (mapped with 'generator' tag). Subclasses are mapped with the element, 'joined-subclass', enclosed in 'class' tag. The element, 'key' defines a (foreign key) reference to the 'ID' column of the 'SHAPE' table. Further, the properties specific to each subclass is defined within the 'joined-subclass' element.


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