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Developing JAXB Applications Using EclipseLink MOXy, Release 2.4
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Using XML Bindings

In addition to standard JAXB annotations, EclipseLink offers another way of expressing your metadata: the EclipseLink XML Bindings document. Not only can XML Bindings separate your mapping information from your actual Java class, it can also be used for more advanced metadata tasks such as:

This section describes the XML Bindings format and demonstrates some basic use cases.

Understanding the XML Bindings Format

An XML Bindings document is XML that specifies Java type information, mapping information, context-wide properties – everything you need to define your JAXB system. An example Bindings document is shown in Example 2-9.

Example 2-9 Sample Bindings Document

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="US-ASCII"?>
<xml-bindings xmlns="http://www.eclipse.org/eclipselink/xsds/persistence/oxm"
    xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"
    package-name="example" xml-accessor-type="PUBLIC_MEMBER" xml-accessor-order="ALPHABETICAL"
    xml-mapping-metadata-complete="false" xml-name-transformer="example.NameGenerator"
    supported-versions="2.4" >
 
    <xml-schema element-form-default="QUALIFIED">
        <xml-ns prefix="ns1" namespace-uri="http://www.example.org/type" />
    </xml-schema>
     <java-types>
        <java-type name="Employee">
            <xml-type namespace="http://www.example.org/type" />
            <java-attributes>
                <xml-attribute java-attribute="empId" xml-path="@id" />
                <xml-element java-attribute="empName" name="name" />
                <xml-element java-attribute="salary" />
                <xml-element java-attribute="type" type="EmployeeType" />
            </java-attributes>
        </java-type>
        <java-type name="Company">
            <xml-root-element name="company" />
            <xml-attribute java-attribute="empId" xml-path="@id" />
            <xml-element java-attribute="empName" name="name" />
            <java-attributes>
                <xml-element java-attribute="employees" name="employee"
                    type="example.Employee" container-type="java.util.ArrayList" />
            </java-attributes>
        </java-type>
    </java-types>
 
    <xml-registries>
        <xml-registry name="example.ObjectFactory">
            <xml-element-decl java-method="createEmpleado"
                name="empleado" type="example.Employee" />
            <xml-element-decl java-method="createCorporacion"
                name="corporacion" type="example.Company" />
        </xml-registry>
    </xml-registries>
 
    <xml-enums>
        <xml-enum java-enum="EmployeeType" value="java.lang.String">
            <xml-enum-value java-enum-value="CONTRACT">CONTRACT</xml-enum-value>
            <xml-enum-value java-enum-value="PART_TIME">PART_TIME</xml-enum-value>
            <xml-enum-value java-enum-value="FULL_TIME">FULL_TIME</xml-enum-value>
        </xml-enum>
    </xml-enums>
 </xml-bindings>

Table 2-1 Binding Document Attributes

Attribute Description

<xml-bindings>

The root of the XML Bindings document. This is also where you can define top-level properties for your JAXB system, such as the package-name of your classes, specify a default xml-accessor-type, and so on.

<xml-schema>

Defines properties related to the schema-level of your JAXB system. Corresponds to the JAXB @XmlSchema annotation.

<java-types>

Defines mapping information for each of your Java classes.

<xml-enums>

Defines Java enumerations that can be used with your Java types.

<xml-registries>

Defines an ObjectFactory for use in your JAXB system.


Bootstrapping with XML Bindings

When instantiating a JAXBContext, links to Bindings documents are passed in via the properties parameter, using a special key, JAXBContextProperties.OXM_METADATA_SOURCE. The value of this key will be a handle to the Bindings document, in the form of one of the following:

  • java.io.File

  • java.io.InputStream

  • java.io.Reader

  • java.net.URL

  • javax.xml.stream.XMLEventReader

  • javax.xml.stream.XMLStreamReader

  • javax.xml.transform.Source

  • org.w3c.dom.Node

  • org.xml.sax.InputSource

To bootstrap from multiple XML Bindings documents:

  • Maps of the above inputs are supported, keyed on Java package name.

  • Lists of the above inputs are acceptable as well (<xml-bindings> must have package attribute).

Using XML Bindings with Annotations

The most typical use of an XML Bindings document is in conjunction with JAXB annotations. You may have situation where you are not permitted to edit your Java domain classes, but want to add additional mapping functionality. Or, you may wish to avoid importing any EclipseLink code into your domain model, but still take advantage of MOXy's advanced mapping features. When Bindings metadata is provided during context creation, its mapping information will be combined with any JAXB annotation information.

For example, consider the simple JAXB domain class and its default JAXB XML representation shown in Example 2-10.

Example 2-10 Sample JAXB Domain Class and XML

package example;
 
import javax.xml.bind.annotation.*;
 
@XmlRootElement
@XmlAccessorType(XmlAccessType.FIELD)
public class Customer {
   @XmlAttribute
   private Integer custId;
   private String name;
   private Double salary;
   private byte[] picture;
   ...
}




<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<customer custId="15">
   <name>Bob Dobbs</name>
   <salary>51727.61</salary>
   <picture>AgQIECBA</picture>
</customer>

Now, assume that we would like to make the following mapping changes:

  • Change the XML element name of custId to customer-id

  • Change the root element name of the class to customer-info

  • Write the picture to XML as picture-hex in hex binary format, and use our own custom converter, MyHexConverter.

We can specify these three customizations in an XML Bindings document as shown in Example 2-11.

Example 2-11 Customized XML Bindings

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="US-ASCII"?>
<xml-bindings xmlns="http://www.eclipse.org/eclipselink/xsds/persistence/oxm"
    package-name="example">
 
    <java-types>
        <java-type name="Customer">
            <xml-root-element name="customer-info" />
            <java-attributes>
                <xml-attribute java-attribute="custId" name="customer-id" />
                <xml-element java-attribute="picture" name="picture-hex">
                    <xml-schema-type name="hexBinary" />
                    <xml-java-type-adapter
                        value="example.adapters.MyHexConverter" />
                </xml-element>
            </java-attributes>
        </java-type>
    </java-types>
 
</xml-bindings>

The Bindings must then be provided during JAXB context creation. Bindings information is passed in via the properties argument:

Example 2-12 Providing Bindings

ClassLoader classLoader = Thread.currentThread().getContextClassLoader();
InputStream iStream = classLoader.getResourceAsStream("metadata/xml-bindings.xml");
 
Map<String, Object> properties = new HashMap<String, Object>();
properties.put(JAXBContextProperties.OXM_METADATA_SOURCE, iStream);
 
JAXBContext ctx = JAXBContext.newInstance(new Class[] { Customer.class }, properties);

When providing Bindings, during JAXB context creation EclipseLink will:

  1. Customer.class will be analyzed and JAXB mappings will be generated as usual.

  2. The Bindings document is then analyzed, and the original JAXB mappings will be merged with the information in the Bindings document.

After applying the XML Bindings, we have the desired XML representation:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<customer-info customer-id="15">
   <name>Bob Dobbs</name>
   <salary>51727.61</salary>
   <picture-hex>020408102040</picture-hex>
</customer-info>

Using Multiple Bindings Documents

Starting with version 2.3, EclipseLink allows you to use mapping information from multiple XML Bindings documents. Using this approach, you can split your metadata up as you wish.

Example 2-13 Using a List of XML Bindings:

...
FileReader file1 = new FileReader("base-bindings.xml");
FileReader file2 = new FileReader("override-bindings.xml");
 
List<Object> fileList = new ArrayList<Object>();
fileList.add(file1);
fileList.add(file2);
 
Map<String, Object> properties = new HashMap<String, Object>();
properties.put(JAXBContextProperties.OXM_METADATA_SOURCE, fileList);
 
JAXBContext ctx = JAXBContext.newInstance(new Class[] { Customer.class }, properties);

...

When using a List of Bindings documents, each one must define the package attribute of <xml-bindings>, to indicate the package for each set of Bindings.

Example 2-14 Using a Map for multiple packages:

...
 
FileReader fooFile1 = new FileReader("foo/base-bindings.xml");
FileReader fooFile2 = new FileReader("foo/override-bindings.xml");
 
List<Object> fooFileList = new ArrayList<Object>();
fooFileList.add(fooFile1);
fooFileList.add(fooFile2);
 
FileReader barFile1 = new FileReader("bar/base-bindings.xml");
FileReader barFile2 = new FileReader("bar/override-bindings.xml");
 
List<Object> barFileList = new ArrayList<Object>();
barFileList.add(barFile1);
barFileList.add(barFile2);
 
Map<String, List> metadataMap = new HashMap<String, List>();
metadataMap.put("foo", fooFileList);
metadataMap.put("bar", barFileList);
 
properties.put(JAXBContextProperties.OXM_METADATA_SOURCE, metadataMap);
 
JAXBContext ctx = JAXBContext.newInstance(new Class[] { Customer.class }, properties);
 
...

Understanding Override Rules

When multiple sources of metadata are encountered for the same package, a unified set of mappings will be created by merging the complete set of metadata. First, the annotations from the Java class will be processed, and then any XML Bindings information will be applied. The order that Bindings are specified is relevant; values in subsequent documents will override the ones defined in previous ones.

The following rules will be used for merging:

  • xml-schema

    • For values such as namespace, elementform, attributeform, the later file will override.

    • The list of namespace declarations from XmlNs will be merged into a single list containing all entries from all files.

      In the case of conflicting entries (the same prefix bound to multiple namespaces), the last file will override the declarations from previous files.

  • java-types

    • The merged bindings will contain all unique java-type entries from all bindings files.

    • If the same java-type occurs in multiple files, any values that are set in the later file will override values from the previous file.

    • Properties on each java-type will be merged into a unified list. If the same property is referenced in multiple files, this will be an exception case.

    • Class-level XmlJavaTypeAdpater entries will be overridden if specified in a later bindings file.

    • Class-level XmlSchemaTypes will create a merged list. If an entry for the same type is listed in multiple bindings files at this level, the last file's entry will override all previous ones.

  • xml-enums

    • The merged bindings will contain all unique xml-enum entries from all bindings files.

    • For any duplicated java-enums, a merged list of XmlEnumValues will be created. If an entry for the same enum facet occurs in multiple files, the last file will override the value for that facet.

  • xml-java-type-adapters

    • Package-level Java type adapters will be merged into a single list. In the case that an adapter is specified for the same class in multiple files, the last file's entry will win.

  • xml-registries

    • Each unique XmlRegistry entry will be added to the final merged list of XmlRegistries.

    • For any duplicated XmlRegistry entries, a merged list of XmlElementDecls will be created.

      In the case that an XmlElementDecl for the same XmlRegistry class appears in multiple bindings files, that XmlElementDecl will be replaced with the one from the later bindings.

  • xml-schema-types

    • XmlSchemaType entries will be merged into a unified list.

    • In the case that an XmlSchemaType entry for the same java-type appears at the package level in multiple bindings files, the merged bindings will only contain the entry for the last one specified.

Using Complete Metadata

If you would like to store all of your metadata in XML Bindings and ignore any JAXB annotations in your Java class, you can include the xml-mapping-metadata-complete attribute in the <xml-bindings> element of your Bindings document. Default JAXB mappings will still be generated (the same as if you were using a completely un-annotated class with JAXB), and then any mapping data defined in the XML Bindings will be applied.

This could be used, for example, to map the same Java class to two completely different XML representations: the annotations on the actual Java class would define the first XML representation, and then a second XML representation could be defined in an XML Bindings document with xml-mapping-metadata-complete="true". This would essentially give you a "blank canvas" to remap your Java class.

If you would like to ignore the default mappings that JAXB generates, you can specify xml-accessor-type="NONE" in your <java-type> element. Using this approach, only mappings that are explicitly defined in Bindings document will be applied.

Using the Customer example from above, the following examples demonstrate the XML representations that will be generated when using xml-mapping-metadata-complete:

Example 2-15 Sample Customer Class

package example;
 
import javax.xml.bind.annotation.*;
 
@XmlRootElement
@XmlAccessorType(XmlAccessType.FIELD)
public class Customer {
   @XmlAttribute
   private Integer custId;
   private String name;
   private Double salary;
   private byte[] picture;
   ...
}

Example 2-16 XML Bindings

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="US-ASCII"?>
<xml-bindings xmlns="http://www.eclipse.org/eclipselink/xsds/persistence/oxm"
    package-name="example" xml-mapping-metadata-complete="true">
 
    <java-types>
        <java-type name="Customer">
            <xml-root-element />
            <java-attributes>
                <xml-attribute java-attribute="name" name="customer-name" />
            </java-attributes>
        </java-type>
    </java-types>
 
</xml-bindings>

Example 2-17 XML Representation

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<customer>
   <custId>15</custId>
   <customer-name>Bob Dobbs</customer-name>
   <picture>AgQIECBA</picture>
   <salary>51727.61</salary>
</customer>
  • Default JAXB mapping is generated for custId (note that custId is now an XML element, as if there were no annotation on the Java field)

  • The name element has been renamed to customer-name

  • Default JAXB mappings are generated for picture and salary

Example 2-18 XML Bindings (with xml-accessor-type="NONE")

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="US-ASCII"?>
<xml-bindings xmlns="http://www.eclipse.org/eclipselink/xsds/persistence/oxm"
    package-name="example" xml-mapping-metadata-complete="true">
 
    <java-types>
        <java-type name="Customer" xml-accessor-type="NONE">
            <xml-root-element />
            <java-attributes>
                <xml-attribute java-attribute="name" name="customer-name" />
            </java-attributes>
        </java-type>
    </java-types>
 
</xml-bindings>

Example 2-19 XML Representation

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<customer>
   <customer-name>Bob Dobbs</customer-name>
</customer>
  • Specifying xml-accessor-type="NONE" will prevent any default mappings from being generated

  • The XML representation contains only the mappings defined in the XML Bindings document

Using Virtual Mappings

XML Bindings can also be used to specify virtual mappings – mappings that do not correspond to a concrete Java field. For example, you might want to use a HashMap as the underlying structure to hold data for certain mappings. For information on using Virtual Mappings, see "Using Virtual Access Methods".

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