1 Reply Latest reply on Mar 10, 2008 12:29 PM by mars1412

    design question: optional relations

    mars1412 Apprentice

      I have an entity WebUser that has a OneToOne relationship to ImageMetaInfo which has a OneToOne relationship to ImageData.

      WebUser to ImageMetaInfo is OneToOne, because other entities will also have such relations to ImageMetaInfo.
      The ImageMetaInfo relation to ImageData is because I want to be able to lazy load the Image Data.

      A WebUser is not required to have an image, so webUser.userImageMetaInfo may be null.

      Now I am thinking of a nice way to handle this situation.

      1) If I just use the entity as is, I would have to use a lot of checks in the gui to make sure, I don't get null-pointer excpetions - like:

           <s:div rendered="#{not empty webUser.userImageMetaInfo.imageData.data}">
                <s:graphicImage value="#{webUser.userImageMetaInfo.imageData.data}}"/>

      I don't like this approach: too easy to forget the check.

      2) make the userImageMetaInfo required

      I could insert the default image, when the webUser is created.
      This would mean, I have a lot of copies of the same default images in my database, wasting database-space (and my import scripts would become a horror to write).

      3) I thought of using a default image when the userImageMetaInfo is null - but how could I implement that?

      3a) do the check in the entities getter

      so webUser.getUserImageMetaInfo would create a new ImageMetaInfo including a new ImageData object and return this
      the problem here is, this:

      • I could assign the new entity to the webUser.userMetaImage immediately - but this would mean, that the default image would be stored when the webUser is updated: I don't want that (see point 2)

      • When I do not assign the new entity to the webUser.userMetaImage immediately, how could I detect changes on this new entity?

      the gui could just use

      <s:fileUpload data="#{webUser.userImageMetaInfo.imageData.data}" />

      and would alter the new entity. So I would have to check if the image has been changed before the webUser is persisted.
      Should I use some Hibernate events for this: @PreUpdate

      3b) use special getters/setters on a EntityHome object?
      then I could override update and check if the image is my default image or not (if not, I would persist the new image and set it on the webuser)

      any comments, better ideas?

        • 1. Re: design question: optional relations
          mars1412 Apprentice

          I now decided for this solution:

          On my EntityHome I have

          • a function getUserImage() which will return the default image, if the image in the database is null

          • datafileds for the s:fileUpload component

          • I override the update() method and if the user selected a new Image, I update/insert the new image for the user

          • also a deleteCurrentImage() function