Tag Archives: java

JAXB and creating elements from schema types

Working in the Java EE arena usually mean plenty of integrations – with other modules, with client applications, with third party providers, etc. Today, integrations always imply XML, and XML means some sort of definition – XML Schema, RelaxNG or “here is an example and you can figure it out yourself”. Personally I like XML schema – it’s a standard and relatively easy to understand (I know some will argue on this point). The best part is the fact I can use it to create objects for my application and save all the boilerplate marshalling and unmarshalling code. If there is one thing I hate, is to write code that should have be written by the compiler.

My tool of choice in the last few years is JAXB 2. Again, simple to understand, simple to work with, relatively descent documentation and integration with maven. However, there is one nagging problem with JAXB. When I need an element to be the root element of a document, as well as a child element I go into a corner. The trivial thing is to define a type, and then define an element of this type, in the following manner:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<complexType name="SomeType">
<element name="first-name" type="string"/>
<element name="last-name" type="string"/>
<element name="some-element" type="tns:SomeType"/>

Naturally, I want to have the following code to get the simple XML:

SomeType s = new SomeType();

This should yield


Unfortunately, the generated code lacks one important annotation from the generated class – the @XmlRootElement annotation, which lets the JAXB to know that it can use this element as the root element of the XML, and let it know the name of the root element.
Apperently I’m not the only one who have encountered this problem. Once I’ve received an XML schema from a content provider whom I should have written the integration with, and the instructions were: “If you want the sample code to work, generate the classes using XJC, then go to classes X, Y and Z and add the @XmlRootElement annotation to the class”. I can’t say I was very happy with this.

However, in the current schema I design, I found a solution which is not as simple as I wanted it to be, yet it solves the problem. The definition of some-element was changed to inherit from SomeType and now it looks like this:

<complexType name="some-element">
<extension base="tns:SomeType"/>

The generated code is quite similar:

@XmlType(name = "some-element")
public class SomeElement
extends SomeType
{ }

Now, all I need to do replace the first line in the above code sample to:

SomeElement s = new SomeElement();

JMX remote monitoring on Linux

When running Java based application servers such as JBoss or Tomcat it is essential to monitor the status of the process – it’s memory consumption, threads and so on. In order to do that, Sun had introduced the JConsole application in Java 5, and now we have its successor visualvm.

In order to monitor the java process, you need to add the following system properties to the command line:


In the visualvm you just use the connection string host:9999.

However, sometimes the RMI listener listens to the wrong IP address, one which is inaccessible to the visualvm. Thanks to Pavel’s tip, I found a  way to overcome this is by adding the following parameters:


Now it works like a charm!

For completeness, I’d mention you can secure the connection to the JVM, either by requiring user/password or by using SSL. If you are interested, please see this guide.

JBoss, EJB3, Hibernate and DLL Hell

For the last year or so, I’ve been working on a project using JBoss and EJB 3.0. As this is a first, no wonder there were some technical difficulties along the way. This post is the first in a series describing the problems we had, and how we overcame them.

The original task was very simple: Let’s create a small application, demonstrating the usage of all the technologies, and start grow our application from there. Starting with running the tutorials coming with the JBoss EJB3 distribution we saw this problem:

--- MBeans waiting for other MBeans ---
ObjectName: persistence.units:jar=tutorial.jar,unitName=tempdb
  State: FAILED
  Reason: java.lang.RuntimeException: java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError:
  I Depend On:
  Depends On Me:
  State: NOTYETINSTALLED  I Depend On:
ObjectName: persistence.units:jar=tutorial.jar,unitName=tempdb
  State: FAILED
  Reason: java.lang.RuntimeException: java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError:
I Depend On:
  Depends On Me:

This was really puzzling. How can JBoss wants us to deploy a small persistence jar, when it can’t satisfy it’s dependencies? Like in most of these cases, it appeared it was another case of DLL hell. The short solution, for JBossAS 4.0.4GA, is as follows: update the modification time of the files (I did it using “touch”, via cygwin), and then run the at install file of the EJB3 package. I might warn you in advance that the rest of this post is full with all the nagging version differences that gave DLL hell its name…

After searching the hibernate API and subversion repository, I’ve found that the relevant class (org.hibernate.MappingNotFoundException) was added to Hibernate in version 3.2.0.cr3 or 3.2.0.cr4. The version that comes with the EJB3 RC9 is cr4. The version I had in the JBossAS (4.0.4GA) is cr2, which lacked that file.

The EJB3 ant installer should have copied the new version to the JBossAS, but unfortunately the modification time of the JBossAS jars was newer than the EJB3, so ant has ignored the copy request.

So this is how the solution works – using “touch” updates the modification time of the EJB3 jars. This makes them newer than those th JBossAS has and then they were copied correctly.

By the way, if you are using JBossAS 4.0.5, you probably don’t want to do this, but rather keep the original Hibernate jars that came with the JBoss. The reason is that JBossAs 4.0.5 contains the final version of Hibernate (3.2.0.ga), which is newer than the one bundled in the EJB3.

Seam @DataModel Factories

Seam has a great feature called DataModel. In a nutshell, you provide a List, and seam populates a dataTable for you. The great thing about it, is you can provide an injection point marked as DataModelSelection, and when the user clicks on one of the dataTable rows, you have the selected object.

Theoreticaly, you can put the @DataModel annotation on a method or on a field. However, as it turns, by declaring a method as DataModel it will be called for each use of the returned list. This can cause big performance issue, as the list generation often requires fetching the data from back end systems such as the database. The sumple solution for this is to declare the list as a member of the backing bean, and add a factory method for it. In this case, the factory method will be called only when the @DataModel List is null.

For code example, have a look here.