Using JoinRowSet Objects
Trail: JDBC(TM) Database Access
Lesson: JDBC Basics

Using JoinRowSet Objects

A JoinRowSet implementation lets you create a SQL JOIN between RowSet objects when they are not connected to a data source. This is important because it saves the overhead of having to create one or more connections.

The following topics are covered:

The JoinRowSet interface is a subinterface of the CachedRowSet interface and thereby inherits the capabilities of a CachedRowSet object. This means that a JoinRowSet object is a disconnected RowSet object and can operate without always being connected to a data source.

Creating JoinRowSet Objects

A JoinRowSet object serves as the holder of a SQL JOIN. The following line of code shows to create a JoinRowSet object:

JoinRowSet jrs = new JoinRowSetImpl();

The variable jrs holds nothing until RowSet objects are added to it.

Note: Alternatively, you can use the constructor from the JoinRowSet implementation of your JDBC driver. However, implementations of the RowSet interface will differ from the reference implementation. These implementations will have different names and constructors. For example, the Oracle JDBC driver's implementation of the JoinRowSet interface is named oracle.jdbc.rowset.OracleJoinRowSet.

Adding RowSet Objects

Any RowSet object can be added to a JoinRowSet object as long as it can be part of a SQL JOIN. A JdbcRowSet object, which is always connected to its data source, can be added, but typically it forms part of a JOIN by operating with the data source directly instead of becoming part of a JOIN by being added to a JoinRowSet object. The point of providing a JoinRowSet implementation is to make it possible for disconnected RowSet objects to become part of a JOIN relationship.

The owner of The Coffee Break chain of coffee houses wants to get a list of the coffees he buys from Acme, Inc. In order to do this, the owner will have to get information from two tables, COFFEES and SUPPLIERS. In the database world before RowSet technology, programmers would send the following query to the database:

String query =
    "and " +

In the world of RowSet technology, you can accomplish the same result without having to send a query to the data source. You can add RowSet objects containing the data in the two tables to a JoinRowSet object. Then, because all the pertinent data is in the JoinRowSet object, you can perform a query on it to get the desired data.

The following code fragment from JoinSample.testJoinRowSet creates two CachedRowSet objects, coffees populated with the data from the table COFFEES, and suppliers populated with the data from the table SUPPLIERS. The coffees and suppliers objects have to make a connection to the database to execute their commands and get populated with data, but after that is done, they do not have to reconnect again in order to form a JOIN.

coffees = new CachedRowSetImpl();
coffees.setCommand("SELECT * FROM COFFEES");

suppliers = new CachedRowSetImpl();
suppliers.setCommand("SELECT * FROM SUPPLIERS");

Managing Match Columns

Looking at the SUPPLIERS table, you can see that Acme, Inc. has an identification number of 101. The coffees in the table COFFEES with the supplier identification number of 101 are Colombian and Colombian_Decaf. The joining of information from both tables is possible because the two tables have the column SUP_ID in common. In JDBC RowSet technology, SUP_ID, the column on which the JOIN is based, is called the match column.

Each RowSet object added to a JoinRowSet object must have a match column, the column on which the JOIN is based. There are two ways to set the match column for a RowSet object. The first way is to pass the match column to the JoinRowSet method addRowSet, as shown in the following line of code:

jrs.addRowSet(coffees, 2);

This line of code adds the coffees CachedRowSet to the jrs object and sets the second column of coffees (SUP_ID) as the match column. The line of code could also have used the column name rather that the column number.

jrs.addRowSet(coffees, "SUP_ID");

At this point, jrs has only coffees in it. The next RowSet object added to jrs will have to be able to form a JOIN with coffees, which is true of suppliers because both tables have the column SUP_ID. The following line of code adds suppliers to jrs and sets the column SUP_ID as the match column.

jrs.addRowSet(suppliers, 1);

Now jrs contains a JOIN between coffees and suppliers from which the owner can get the names of the coffees supplied by Acme, Inc. Because the code did not set the type of JOIN, jrs holds an inner JOIN, which is the default. In other words, a row in jrs combines a row in coffees and a row in suppliers. It holds the columns in coffees plus the columns in suppliers for rows in which the value in the COFFEES.SUP_ID column matches the value in SUPPLIERS.SUP_ID. The following code prints out the names of coffees supplied by Acme, Inc., where the String supplierName is equal to Acme, Inc. Note that this is possible because the column SUP_NAME, which is from suppliers, and COF_NAME, which is from coffees, are now both included in the JoinRowSet object jrs.

System.out.println("Coffees bought from " + supplierName + ": ");

while ( {
    if (jrs.getString("SUP_NAME").equals(supplierName)) {
        String coffeeName = jrs.getString(1);
        System.out.println("     " + coffeeName);

This will produce output similar to the following:

Coffees bought from Acme, Inc.:

The JoinRowSet interface provides constants for setting the type of JOIN that will be formed, but currently the only type that is implemented is JoinRowSet.INNER_JOIN.

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