4.2. Persistence-Capable vs. Persistence-Aware

Classes that have been enhanced to implement the PersistenceCapable interface are referred to as persistence-capable classes. Classes that directly access public or protected persistent fields of persistence-capable classes are called persistence-aware. Persistence-aware classes must also be enhanced -- each time a persistence-aware class directly accesses a persistent field of a persistence-capable class, the enhancer adds code to notify the JDO implementation that the field in question is about to be read or written. This enables the JDO implementation to synchronize the field's value with the data store as needed. Unless the persistence-aware class is also persistence-capable, the enhancer does not add code to make the class implement the PersistenceCapable interface.

Generally, it is best to keep all of your persistent fields private, or protected but only accessed by persistent subclasses. In addition to the standard arguments in favor of state encapsulation, this approach avoids the hassle of tracking which non-persistent classes must be enhanced as persistence-aware because they happen to access a public or protected field of some persistent class.