Automatic Startup

By default with JDO implementations when you open a PersistenceManagerFactory and obtain a PersistenceManager DataNucleus knows nothing about which classes are to be persisted to that datastore. JDO implementations only load the Meta-Data for any class when the class is first enlisted in a PersistenceManager operation. For example you call makePersistent on an object. The first time a particular class is encountered DataNucleus will dynamically load the Meta-Data for that class. This typically works well since in an application in a particular operation the PersistenceManagerFactory may well not encounter all classes that are persistable to that datastore. The reason for this dynamic loading is that JDO implementations can't be expected to scan through the whole Java CLASSPATH for classes that could be persisted there. That would be inefficient. There is an Auto-Start facility to alleviate this situation. RDBMS datastores allow a further auto-start mechanism option. This is described below.


When using an RDBMS datastore the SchemaTable auto-start mechanism stores the list of classes (and their tables, types and version of DataNucleus) in a datastore table NUCLEUS_TABLES . This table is read at startup of DataNucleus, and provides DataNucleus with the necessary knowledge it needs to continue persisting these classes. This table is continuously updated during a session of a DataNucleus-enabled application. This is the default setting for the auto-start mechanism so, unless you change the datanucleus.autoStartMechanism property, you will have a table NUCLEUS_TABLES created in your datastore schema.

If the user changes their persistence definition a problem can occur when starting up DataNucleus. DataNucleus loads up its existing data from NUCLEUS_TABLES and finds that a table/class required by the NUCLEUS_TABLES data no longer exists. There are 3 options for what DataNucleus will do in this situation. The property datanucleus.autoStartMechanismMode defines the behaviour of DataNucleus for this situation.

  • Checked will mean that DataNucleus will throw an exception and the user will be expected to manually fix their database mismatch (perhaps by removing the existing tables).
  • Quiet (the default) will simply remove the entry from NUCLEUS_TABLES and continue without exception.
  • Ignored will simply continue without doing anything.

The default database schema used the SchemaTable is described below:

    COLUMN : CLASS_NAME VARCHAR(128) PRIMARY KEY,  -- Fully qualified persistent Class name
    COLUMN : TABLE_NAME VARCHAR(128),              -- Table name
    COLUMN : TYPE VARCHAR(4),                      -- FCO | SCO
    COLUMN : OWNER VARCHAR(2),                     -- 1 | 0
    COLUMN : VERSION VARCHAR(20),                  -- DataNucleus version
    COLUMN : INTERFACE_NAME VARCHAR(255)           -- Fully qualified persistent Class type 
                                                   -- of the persistent Interface implemented

If you want to change the table name (from NUCLEUS_TABLES) you can set the persistence property datanucleus.rdbms.schemaTable.tableName