8.4. Entity Identity Management

Each EntityManager is responsible for managing the persistent identities of the managed objects in the persistence context. The following methods allow you to interact with the management of persistent identities. The behavior of these methods is deeply affected by the persistence context type of the EntityManager; see Section 7.3, “Persistence Context” for an explanation of persistence contexts.

public <T> T find (Class<T> cls, Object oid);

This method returns the persistent instance of the given type with the given persistent identity. If the instance is already present in the current persistence context, the cached version will be returned. Otherwise, a new instance will be constructed and loaded with state from the datastore. If no entity with the given type and identity exists in the datastore, this method returns null.

public <T> T getReference (Class<T> cls, Object oid);

This method is similar to find, but does not necessarily go to the database when the entity is not found in cache. The implementation may construct a hollow entity and return it to you instead. Hollow entities do not have any state loaded. The state only gets loaded when you attempt to access a persistent field. At that time, the implementation may throw an EntityNotFoundException if it discovers that the entity does not exist in the datastore. The implementation may also throw an EntityNotFoundException from the getReference method itself. Unlike find, getReference does not return null.

public boolean contains (Object entity);

Returns true if the given entity is part of the current persistence context, and false otherwise. Removed entities are not considered part of the current persistence context.


Skip navigation bar   Back to Top