XML Documents

DataNucleus supports persisting/retrieving objects to/from XML documents (using the datanucleus-xml plugin). It makes use of JAXB. If you wish to help out in this effort either by contributing or by sponsoring particular functionality please contact us via the DataNucleus Forum.

The jars required to use DataNucleus XML persistence are datanucleus-core, datanucleus-api-jdo/datanucleus-api-jpa, datanucleus-xml and JAXB API, JAXB Reference Implementation

Datastore Connection

DataNucleus supports file-based XML storage currently.

The following persistence properties will connect to a local file on your local machine


replacing "myfile.xml" with your filename, which can be absolute or relative

So you create your PersistenceManagerFactory or EntityManagerFactory with these properties. Thereafter you have the full power of the JDO or JPA APIs at your disposal, for your XML datastore.


Access Platform allows you to query the objects in the datastore using the following

  • JDOQL - language based around the objects that are persisted and using Java-type syntax
  • JPQL - language based around the objects that are persisted and using SQL-like syntax

Known Limitations

The following are known limitations of the current implementation

  • Application identity is supported but can only have 1 PK field and must be a String. This is a limitation of JAXB
  • Persistent properties are not supported, only persistent fields

Mapping : XML Datastore Mapping

When persisting a Java object to an XML datastore clearly the user would like some control over the structure of the XML document. Here's an example using JDO XML MetaData

    <package name="org.datanucleus.samples.models.company">
        <class name="Person" detachable="true" schema="/myproduct/people" table="person">
            <field name="personNum">
                <extension vendor-name="datanucleus" key="XmlAttribute" value="true"/>
            <field name="firstName" primary-key="true"/> <!-- PK since JAXB requires String -->
            <field name="lastName"/>
            <field name="bestFriend"/>

Things to note :

  • schema on class is used to define the "XPath" to the root of the class in XML. You can also use the extension "xpath" to specify the same thing.
  • table on class is used to define the name of the element for an object of the particular class.
  • column on field is used to define the name of the element for a field of the particular class.
  • XmlAttribute : when set to true denotes that this will appear in the XML file as an attribute of the overall element for the object
  • When a field is primary-key it will gain a JAXB "XmlID" attribute.
  • When a field is a relation to another object (and the field is not embedded) then it will gain a JAXB "XmlIDREF" attribute as a link to the other object.
  • Important : JAXB has a limitation for primary keys : there can only be a single PK field, and it must be a String!

What is generated with the above is as follows

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
        <person personNum="1">

Here's the same example using JDO Annotations

@PersistenceCapable(schema="/myproduct/people", table="person")
public class Person
    private long personNum;

    private String firstName;

    private String lastName;

    private Person bestFiend;

    private Map phoneNumbers = new HashMap();

Here's the same example using JPA Annotations (with DataNucleus @Extension/@Extensions annotations)

TODO Add this example