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Hibernate – Different Cascade Types

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Cascading is a feature in Hibernate, which is an object-relational mapping (ORM) tool used in Java to map Java classes to database tables. Cascading refers to the ability to automatically propagate the state of an entity (i.e., an instance of a mapped class) across associations between entities. For example, if you have a Customer entity that has a one-to-many relationship with an Order entity, you can define cascading to specify that when a customer is deleted, all of their orders should be deleted as well.

Cascading in Hibernate refers to the automatic persistence of related entities. When a change is made to an entity, such as an update or deletion, the changes can be cascaded to related entities as well. Cascading can be configured using annotations, such as @OneToMany(cascade = CascadeType.ALL), or through XML configuration files. It is important to use cascading carefully, as it can lead to unwanted changes being made to related entities if not configured properly.

Different Cascade Types in Hibernate

Hibernate provides several types of cascade options that can be used to manage the relationships between entities. Here are the different cascade types in Hibernate:

  1. CascadeType.ALL
  2. CascadeType.PERSIST
  3. CascadeType.MERGE
  4. CascadeType.REMOVE
  5. CascadeType.REFRESH
  6. CascadeType.DETACH
  7. CascadeType.REPLICATE
  8. CascadeType.SAVE_UPDATE

These cascade types can be used individually or in combination to manage the relationships between entities based on the requirements of the application. It is important to use cascade types carefully, as they can lead to unintended consequences if not used properly.

1. CascadeType.ALL

  • CascadeType.ALL is a cascading type in Hibernate that specifies that all state transitions (create, update, delete, and refresh) should be cascaded from the parent entity to the child entities.
  • When CascadeType.ALL is used, and any operation performed on the parent entity will be automatically propagated to all child entities. This means that if you persist, update, or delete a parent entity, all child entities associated with it will also be persisted, updated, or deleted accordingly.
  • For example, consider a scenario where you have a Customer entity with a one-to-many relationship to Order entities. By using CascadeType.ALL, any operation performed on the Customer entity (such as persist, merge, remove, or refresh) will also be propagated to all associated Order entities.
  • Here’s an example of how CascadeType.ALL can be used:

Java

@OneToMany(mappedBy="customer", cascade=CascadeType.ALL)
private Set<Order> orders;

                    
  • This code defines a one-to-many relationship between a Customer entity and an Order entity and specifies that all state transitions should be cascaded to the associated orders. This means that when a Customer entity is saved, updated, or deleted, all of its associated Order entities will also be saved, updated, or deleted accordingly.

2. CascadeType.PERSIST

  • CascadeType.PERSIST is a cascading type in Hibernate that specifies that the create (or persist) operation should be cascaded from the parent entity to the child entities.
  • When CascadeType.PERSIST is used, any new child entities associated with a parent entity will be automatically persisted when the parent entity is persisted. However, updates or deletions made to the parent entity will not be cascaded to the child entities.
  • For example, consider a scenario where you have a Customer entity with a one-to-many relationship to Order entities. By using CascadeType.PERSIST, any new Order entities associated with a Customer entity will be persisted when the Customer entity is persisted. However, if you update or delete a Customer entity, any associated Order entities will not be automatically updated or deleted.
  • Here’s an example of how CascadeType.PERSIST can be used:

Java

@OneToMany(mappedBy="customer", cascade=CascadeType.PERSIST)
private Set<Order> orders;

                    
  • This code defines a one-to-many relationship between a Customer entity and an Order entity and specifies that the persistent operation should be cascaded to the associated orders. This means that when a Customer entity is persisted, any new Order entities associated with it will also be persisted automatically. However, updates or deletions made to the Customer entity will not be cascaded to the associated Order entities.

3. CascadeType.MERGE

  • CascadeType.MERGE is a cascading type in Hibernate that specifies that the update (or merge) operation should be cascaded from the parent entity to the child entities.
  • When CascadeType.MERGE is used, any changes made to a detached parent entity (i.e., an entity that is not currently managed by the persistence context) will be automatically merged with its associated child entities when the parent entity is merged back into the persistence context. However, new child entities that are not already associated with the parent entity will not be automatically persisted.
  • For example, consider a scenario where you have a Customer entity with a one-to-many relationship to Order entities. By using CascadeType.MERGE, any changes made to a detached Customer entity (such as changes made in a different session or transaction) will be automatically merged with its associated Order entities when the Customer entity is merged back into the persistence context.
  • Here’s an example of how CascadeType.MERGE can be used:

Java

@OneToMany(mappedBy="customer", cascade=CascadeType.MERGE)
private Set<Order> orders;

                    
  • This code defines a one-to-many relationship between a Customer entity and an Order entity and specifies that the merge operation should be cascaded to the associated orders. This means that when a detached Customer entity is merged back into the persistence context, any changes made to the Customer entity will be automatically merged with its associated Order entities. However, new Order entities that are not already associated with the Customer entity will not be automatically persisted.

4. CascadeType.REMOVE

  • CascadeType.REMOVE is a cascading type in Hibernate that specifies that the delete operation should be cascaded from the parent entity to the child entities.
  • When CascadeType.REMOVE is used, any child entities associated with a parent entity will be automatically deleted when the parent entity is deleted. However, updates or modifications made to the parent entity will not be cascaded to the child entities.
  • For example, consider a scenario where you have a Customer entity with a one-to-many relationship to Order entities. By using CascadeType.REMOVE, any Order entities associated with a Customer entity will be automatically deleted when the Customer entity is deleted.
  • Here’s an example of how CascadeType.REMOVE can be used:

Java

@OneToMany(mappedBy="customer", cascade=CascadeType.REMOVE)
private Set<Order> orders;

                    
  • This code defines a one-to-many relationship between a Customer entity and an Order entity and specifies that the remove operation should be cascaded to the associated orders. This means that when a Customer entity is deleted, any associated Order entities will also be deleted automatically. However, updates or modifications made to the Customer entity will not be cascaded to the associated Order entities.

5. CascadeType.REFRESH

  • CascadeType.REFRESH is a cascading type in Hibernate that specifies that the refresh operation should be cascaded from the parent entity to the child entities.
  • When CascadeType.REFRESH is used, any child entities associated with a parent entity will be automatically refreshed when the parent entity is refreshed. This means that the latest state of the child entities will be loaded from the database and any changes made to the child entities will be discarded.
  • For example, consider a scenario where you have a Customer entity with a one-to-many relationship to Order entities. By using CascadeType.REFRESH, any associated Order entities will be automatically refreshed when the Customer entity is refreshed.
  • Here’s an example of how CascadeType.REFRESH can be used:

Java

@OneToMany(mappedBy="customer", cascade=CascadeType.REFRESH)
private Set<Order> orders;

                    
  • This code defines a one-to-many relationship between a Customer entity and an Order entity and specifies that the refresh operation should be cascaded to the associated orders. This means that when a Customer entity is refreshed, any associated Order entities will also be refreshed automatically. Any changes made to the Order entities will be discarded, and the latest state of the Order entities will be loaded from the database.

6. CascadeType.DETACH

  • CascadeType.DETACH is a cascading type in Hibernate that specifies that the detach operation should be cascaded from the parent entity to the child entities.
  • When CascadeType.DETACH is used, any child entities associated with a parent entity will be automatically detached when the parent entity is detached. This means that the child entities will become detached from the persistence context and their state will no longer be managed by Hibernate.
  • For example, consider a scenario where you have a Customer entity with a one-to-many relationship to Order entities. By using CascadeType.DETACH, any associated Order entities will be automatically detached when the Customer entity is detached.
  • Here’s an example of how CascadeType.DETACH can be used:

Java

@OneToMany(mappedBy="customer", cascade=CascadeType.DETACH)
private Set<Order> orders;

                    
  • This code defines a one-to-many relationship between a Customer entity and an Order entity and specifies that the detach operation should be cascaded to the associated orders. This means that when a Customer entity is detached, any associated Order entities will also be detached automatically. The Order entities will become detached from the persistence context and their state will no longer be managed by Hibernate.

7. CascadeType.REPLICATE

  • CascadeType.REPLICATE is a cascading type in Hibernate that specifies that the replicate operation should be cascaded from the parent entity to the child entities.
  • When CascadeType.REPLICATE is used, any child entities associated with a parent entity will be automatically replicated when the parent entity is replicated. This means that new child entities will be created and persisted in the database with the same state as the original child entities.
  • For example, consider a scenario where you have a Customer entity with a one-to-many relationship to Order entities. By using CascadeType.REPLICATE, any associated Order entities will be automatically replicated when the Customer entity is replicated.
  • Here’s an example of how CascadeType.REPLICATE can be used:

Java

@OneToMany(mappedBy="customer", cascade=CascadeType.REPLICATE)
private Set<Order> orders;

                    
  • This code defines a one-to-many relationship between a Customer entity and an Order entity and specifies that the replicate operation should be cascaded to the associated orders. This means that when a Customer entity is replicated, new Order entities will be created and persisted in the database with the same state as the original Order entities. However, any changes made to the original Order entities after the replication operation will not be replicated to the new Order entities.

8. CascadeType.SAVE_UPDATE

  • CascadeType.SAVE_UPDATE is a cascading type in Hibernate that specifies that the save or update operation should be cascaded from the parent entity to the child entities.
  • When CascadeType.SAVE_UPDATE is used, any child entities associated with a parent entity will be automatically saved or updated when the parent entity is saved or updated. This means that any changes made to the child entities will be persisted in the database along with the parent entity.
  • For example, consider a scenario where you have a Customer entity with a one-to-many relationship to Order entities. By using CascadeType.SAVE_UPDATE, any associated Order entities will be automatically saved or updated when the Customer entity is saved or updated.
  • Here’s an example of how CascadeType.SAVE_UPDATE can be used:

Java

@OneToMany(mappedBy="customer", cascade=CascadeType.SAVE_UPDATE)
private Set<Order> orders;

                    
  • This code defines a one-to-many relationship between a Customer entity and an Order entity and specifies that the save or update operation should be cascaded to the associated orders. This means that when a Customer entity is saved or updated, any associated Order entities will also be saved or updated automatically. Any changes made to the Order entities will be persisted in the database along with the Customer entity.

Conclusion

  • In conclusion, Hibernate provides various cascade types that can be used to define how operations on a parent entity should be cascaded to its child entities. These cascade types include CascadeType.ALL, CascadeType.PERSIST, CascadeType.MERGE, CascadeType.REMOVE, CascadeType.REFRESH, CascadeType.DETACH, CascadeType.REPLICATE, and CascadeType.SAVE_UPDATE.
  • Each cascade type specifies a different behavior for cascading operations from the parent entity to its child entities. By choosing the appropriate cascade type for a given relationship, you can simplify your code and reduce the amount.


Last Updated : 19 Mar, 2023
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