Write high performance Java data access applications, Part 2: Introducing pureQuery built-in inline methods

Streamline common tasks for simplicity and usability

pureQuery is a high-performance data access platform that makes it easier to develop, optimize, secure, and manage data access. It consists of tools, APIs, a runtime, and client monitoring services. This article introduces pureQuery built-in inline methods, which are a set of well-defined and efficient APIs that are simpler and easier to use than JDBC. With inline methods, SQL or XQUERY statements can be created inline within the code as a Java™ string object and passed as a string parameter to the pureQuery Data interface method. This article explains the key features of inline methods and why a developer might choose to use them. [30 September 2010: This article was updated from its original May 2008 publication to include product name changes and additional resources that were made available since its original publication. --Ed.]


Obtaining pureQuery

As is described in the pureQuery platform page, the pureQuery capabilities span an integrated development environment, a runtime, APIs, and even client monitoring services. For learning purposes of this article, you can use Optim Development Studio (a link to the trial is included in Resources) to use the tooling and runtime APIs on the same development computer.

pureQuery simplifies Java data access development by providing out-of-the-box support for storing and retrieving objects, such as Java beans and maps, to and from the database. Inline methods also support the use of customized user-defined result processing.

With annotated methods, the SQL/XQUERY string is defined within a pureQuery annotation. These annotations are placed on method declarations within a user-defined interface. A code generator pre-processes the interface to generate implementation code for each annotated method. The generated implementation code executes the SQL statements defined in the annotation using the pureQuery runtime. For more information on annotated methods, refer to Part 1 of this series or the pureQuery documentation.

Develop skills on this topic

This content is part of a progressive knowledge path for advancing your skills. See Querying XML from Java applications

The pureQuery built-in inline methods were introduced to reduce the repeated tasks that are common to querying or updating a database using JDBC by introducing a set of well-defined and efficient APIs that are simpler and easier to use than JDBC. SQL/XQUERY statements can be created inline within the code as a Java string object. This dynamically generated statement is passed as a string parameter to the pureQuery data interface method. The inline methods use JDBC best practices and leverage database-specific APIs to improve performance, including the ability to batch updates and to optimize result-set processing.

An important use-case supported by inline methods involves dynamically creating and executing SQL dynamically at runtime. (This is in contrast to annotated methods, in which the SQL must be defined at compile time.) The SQL is inline and visible within the application. The inline style also has pluggable custom-result processing for mapping database columns easily.

Table 1 provides a snippet of code to demonstrate the simplicity and usability of inline methods.

Table 1. A code comparison between JDBC and the pureQuery inline style
JDBCpureQuery inline methods
try  {

  //SQL for insert
  String sqlins="'insert into CUSTOMER ("
  +    "PHONE,INFO)"
  +    "values( ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?)";

  //prepare the INSERT statement
  PreparedStatement pstmt = 
       con.prepareStatement(sqlins );

  // setup parameters
  pstmt.setString (1, "custName");
  pstmt.setString (2, "custCountry");
  pstmt.setString (3, "custStreet");
  pstmt.setString (4, "custCity");
  pstmt.setString (5, "custProvince");
  pstmt.setString (6, "custZip");
  pstmt.setString (7, "custPhone");
  pstmt.setString (8, "custInfo");

  //execute the INSERT statement

  //close the prepared statement

  // SQL for SELECT
  String sqlSel = "select Name, Country, Street, "
  + "Province,Zip from CUSTOMER where Customer = ?"; 

  //prepare the SELECT statement 
  pstmt =  con.prepareStatement(sqlSel);
  //set the Input parameter
  pstmt.setString (1, "custCountry");

  //execute SELECT statement

  //get the results and set values in Customer Bean
  ResultSet result = pstmt.getResultSet ();
  List<Customer> custList = 
  new ArrayList<Customer>();
  while (result.next ()) {
  Customer cust = new Customer();
  cust.name = result.getString (1);
  cust.country = result.getString (2);
  cust.street = result.getString (3);
  cust.province = result.getString (4);
  cust.zip = result.getString (5);
  custList.add (cust);
catch (SQLException e) {
  e.printStackTrace ();
//Get Instance of Data  
Data data = DataFactory.getData(con);

// SQL for insert  
String sqlins = "insert into CUSTOMER (" 
+     "PHONE, INFO)" 
+    "values( ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?)";

//execute the INSERT statement
data.update (sqlins, "custName", 
"custCountry", "custStreet", "custCity", 
"custProvince", "custZip", "custPhone", "custInfo");

String sqlSel = "select Name, Country, Street, " 
+ "Province,Zip from CUSTOMER where Customer = ?"; 

//execute the Select and get the list of customer
List<Customer> customerList = data.queryList (sqlSel, Customer.
class , "custCountry");

This article includes:

  • A description of the various aspects of code required for inline methods
  • An introductory case study to highlight the features of inline methods
  • A description of the querying capabilities provided by inline methods, which includes pureQuery's default mapping support and the customized query mapping support
  • A description of the single update and batch update support and of APIs to retrieve the auto-generated values
  • An introduction to pureQuery's pluggable callback mechanism.

Developing inline methods

Following are some of the different objects and APIs that you might need to program an inline method style application:

The data interface
The com.ibm.pdq.runtime.Data interface defines convenience APIs for you to perform operations on a database. When using inline methods, you can invoke methods defined in the data interface and pass the SQL statement as a parameter in the invocation of a method. The data interface provides methods to execute queries, to execute SQL CALL statements, and to return their output parameters. It also provides a means to access the dynamic result sets created by a stored procedure and to execute SQL data manipulation language (DML) statements such as update, insert, or delete as single operations or in homogeneous batches. Many of the data interface’s query methods are generic, so they can return instances of different types including collections.
The DataFactory class
The com.ibm.pdq.runtime.factory.DataFactory class provides a means to construct implementations of the data interface. One way to create an implementation of the data interface is to pass a connection object to the DataFactory.getData() method.
pureQuery bean
A pureQuery bean can be used to represent relational data such as database tables, views, and result sets. Although pureQuery methods can deal with input parameters and return values defined as unstructured types, the use of the pureQuery bean provides the user better mapping capabilities of relational data to Java objects. pureQuery analyzes the declared properties, methods, and annotations of a bean to determine how to map between the bean’s properties and the input/output properties of an SQL statement. See the pureQuery documentation for more information on the conventions and requirements of pureQuery beans.
Java application with inline methods
This is the Java file in which the user can create an instance of the data interface and call different query, update, or call methods.

Following the Silver Castles example inline method style program

This section introduces an example of how the data access development team in a fictional company called Silver Castles uses pureQuery. This article uses the background information described here to provide compelling examples and use-cases for each pureQuery inline feature.

Silver Castles is a growing company that sells a variety of silver products. The company is developing a new web-based storefront and has decided to use the pureQuery environment as a tool to develop the persistence layer of their application. Once the development team has obtained a solid understanding of the pureQuery tools environment, they begin to delve deeper into the technical aspects of the pureQuery inline coding style.

The Silver Castles development team defined the customer table as shown in Listing 1.

Listing 1. The customer table as defined in the database
  Name       VARCHAR(128),
  Country    VARCHAR(128),
  Street     VARCHAR(128),
  City       VARCHAR(128),
  Province   VARCHAR(128),
  Zip        VARCHAR(128),
  Phone      VARCHAR(128),
  Info       VARCHAR(128),
  CONSTRAINT CID_PK primary key(Cid));

The pureQuery bean for this customer table can be generated using Optim Development Studio. That customer bean is defined in Listing 2.

Listing 2. The customer class
public class Customer {
// Class variables  
 public int cid;
 public String name;
 public String country;
 public String street;
 public String city;
 public String province;
 public String zip;
 public String phone;
 public String info;

 public Customer(){}

 public Customer(String name, String country, String street, String city, String province,
                 String zip, String phone, String info){
   this.name = name;
   this.country = country;
   this.street = street;
   this.city = city;
   this.province = province;
   this.zip = zip;
   this.phone = phone;
   this.info = info;

Now, the Silver Castles development team tries to create a test program, as shown in Listing 3, to do the following:

  1. Get a connection to the database.
  2. Get an instance to the implementation of a data interface.
  3. Delete all the rows in the database.
  4. Insert a row using a pureQuery bean as an input parameter
  5. Query the database, and retrieve rows in an iterator of pureQuery beans
Listing 3. Manipulating the data objects using the inline method style
package com.ibm.db2.demo;

import java.sql.Connection;
import java.sql.DriverManager;
import java.util.Iterator;
import java.util.List;
import com.ibm.db2.pureQuery.Customer;
import com.ibm.pdq.runtime.Data;
import com.ibm.pdq.runtime.factory.DataFactory;

public class InlineTest
  public static void main(String args[]) {
    Connection con = null;
    String sql = null;
    String insertSql = null;
    try {
      // connection to the database
      con = DriverManager.getConnection (); 

  // Get an instance to the implementation of a Data interface
       Data data = DataFactory.getData (con);
      //delete all rows from the table
      data.update ("delete from PDQ_SC.customer");

      //Insert using a pureQuery Bean 
      insertSql = "INSERT INTO PDQ_SC.customer (Name, Country, Street, City, " +
		   "Province, Zip, Phone)" +
      Customer addCustomer = new Customer("Customer2","US","BlackBerry Street",
                     "San Jose","Santa Clara","82652","408-273-4856",null); 
      int insertCount = data.update (insertSql,addCustomer );
      System.out.println ("Rows Inserted " + insertCount );
      sql = "select * from PDQ_SC.Customer where Country = ?";

      //Query with Iterator using default handler 
      Iterator<Customer> iterator = data.queryIterator (sql, Customer.class, "US");
      con.close ();
    catch (Exception e) {
      System.out.println ("Error encountered");
      e.printStackTrace ();
 public static Connection getConnection ()
    Connection connection = null;

    try {
      Class.forName ("com.ibm.db2.jcc.DB2Driver").newInstance ();
      java.util.Properties info = new java.util.Properties ();      
      info.put ("retrieveMessagesFromServerOnGetMessage", "true");
      info.put ("user", "USER");
      info.put ("password", "PASSWORD");
      String url = "jdbc:db2://atom.blue.test.com:298/SAMPLE:deferPrepares=false;";
      connection = DriverManager.getConnection (url, info);
    catch (Exception e) {
      e.printStackTrace ();

    return connection;

Creating an instance of the data object

To create an instance of com.ibm.pdq.runtime.Data, a connection to a database is required in the form of either a java.sql.Connection object or a javax.sql.DataSource object. Once a connection has been established, you can call a getData() method in com.ibm.pdq.runtime.factory.DataFactory to create an instance of the data interface. In addition to the methods for executing an SQL statement, the data interface supports the close(), commit(), rollback(), and setAutoCommit() JDBC methods.

In Listing 3, the Silver Castles team uses the getConnection() method to create a database connection. This method uses the Driver Manager API to create this connection by passing a database connection URL string. The connection is then passed to the DataFactory.getData() method to get an instance of the Data interface.

Understanding the input parameter options

The Silver Castles developers might want to use any of the parameter markers or host variable styles pureQuery provides. Their preferences could be based on the number of input parameters or the types of input parameters to the inline method. The parameters that are passed into the method invocation are matched to the parameters in the SQL. pureQuery follows parameter marker rules to determine the mapping between the parameters declared in the SQL/XQUERY and the parameters that are passed to the inline method. In the simplest form, there is a one-to-one correspondence between the two sets of parameters. pureQuery can also take a variety of parameter types like pureQuery beans or a java.util.Map.

Querying objects in a database

The inline method style provides convenience methods and provides out-of-the-box support for mapping database results to maps and to pureQuery beans. The data interface’s overloaded queryArray(), queryIterator(), and queryList() methods can be used to return the entire result set of a query as an array, iterator, or list object.

The query methods can return results as primitive types, beans, collections, and so on, including:

  • java.sql.ResultSet
  • Primitive wrapper types or simple object types that are supported directly by JDBC (does not include user-defined types)
  • java.util.Map objects, where column names become string keys and column values become object values
  • java.util.Map objects grouped together into arrays, collections, or iterators
  • Individual pureQuery beans, where you can store the results of a query in a pureQuery bean (the @Column annotations provide information needed to associate columns of the select-list with their respective properties. You can find more details about pureQuery annotation in the pureQuery documentation)
  • pureQuery beans grouped together into arrays, collections, or iterators, where the class of the return bean is passed in as a parameter

Once the target data type has been decided, the user needs to consider whether or not to use a custom handler to transform information selected from the data source into the target. Instances of pureQuery beans can be created either with pureQuery's default mapping from a SELECT statement's select-list to the target bean class, or by using a user-defined handler.

Querying the Silver Castles customer table

The Silver Castles developers want to inform all the customers in Australia about an upcoming special on the salt and pepper shaker sets. The common print utility methods that print all the pamphlets take a java.util.List as input. The developer queries the customer table for all customers who reside in Australia and get the rows returned as a list. They can use the queryList() API and pass in the country as an input parameter. The returned list (customerList in Listing 4) is then passed to the print utility so that the pamphlets get addressed to the correct set of customers on the list.

Listing 4. Querying the customer table
      sql = "select * from  PDQ_SC.Customer where Country = ?";
      //Query with List using default handler
      List<Customer> customerList = data.queryList (sql, Customer.class, "Australia");

Creating user-defined custom mapping of result sets

The RowHandler and ResultHandler interfaces give users the ability to provide a customized, user-defined mapping. pureQuery is told how to map the columns in a result set to a different Java object using the handle() method in either the RowHandler or ResultHandler interface. Row handlers and result handlers allow the developer a great degree of flexibility, including the potential for code reuse because developers are able to use ResultSet's ResultSetMetaData to handle variations in the select list. This can be used to include the omission of some properties or to specify properties that are not needed.

In some cases, an application developer might want some form of serialization to occur to the query's result as a whole. For example, the only processing done against the query's result could be serialization in JSON or in XML, or simply to send the data to another (or the same) data source. The user can use the ResultHandler to perform such custom operations.

Mapping one row of a result set

The RowHandler interface is used to map one row of a result set to an object. The only method in the RowHandler interface is handle(). This is a generic method that, given a ResultSet object and optionally an instance of the class <T>, either produces a new Java object of class <T>, or updates the given instance of <T>. If the ResultSet object is empty or if the last row of the ResultSet object has been read, the handle() method is not called. When the handle() method is called, the ResultSet object that is passed to the method is positioned on the row to be processed. The handle() method must not invoke the next() method on the input ResultSet object, because pureQuery performs that action automatically.

Mapping a result set to an object

The ResultHandler interface is used to map an entire result set to an object. The user can use the handle() method in the ResultHandler interface to convert the query results to another object, such as XML, that can be passed along to another application that takes XML as an input.

Updating objects in a database

The data interface'supdate() method can be used to perform a single update to a database object and to invoke the updateMany() method to perform a batch of updates that are based on a single SQL statement. The methods supported are INSERT, DELETE, and UPDATE operations.

Single updates

The update() method in the data interface can be used for a single operation, which returns an update count. Listing 5 is an example to a call to the overloaded method update() from the application.

Listing 5. Application calling the overloaded method update()
insertSql = "INSERT INTO PDQ_SC.customer (Name, Country, Street, City, " +
            "Province, Zip, Phone) VALUES (:name, :country, :street, " +
        ":city, :province,:zip,:phone)";

//Create an instance of Customer Bean with the values to be inserted
Customer addCustomer = 
new Customer("Customer2","US","BlackBerry Street","San Jose",
                     "Santa Clara","82652","408-273-4856", null); 
//Insert using a Bean
int updateCount = data.update (insertSql, addCustomer);

Batch updates

In the data interface, the updateMany() method indicates that a statement is to be run multiple times. The updateMany() method enables passing a collection, or batch, of data to iterate through.

The returned int array indicates, as in JDBC, the success (and associated update count) or failure of each run of the SQL statement. This includes use of JDBC's update counts. The statements EXECUTE_FAILED and SUCCESS_NO_INFO indicate whether failures occur: a com.ibm.pdq.runtime.exception.UpdateManyException exception is thrown. This runtime exception contains information that JDBC reports in java.sql.BatchUpdateException.

Updating the Silver Castles customer table

In the Silver Castles example, once every couple of months, a customer contacts the Silver Castle administration team with an update to an address or phone number. The Silver Castles developers can update the table with the new information using the single update API. Listing 6 shows the use of this update API.

Listing 6. Single update API to update table
//Update the Street name for Customer
String updateSql = "UPDATE PDQ_SC.customer SET Street= 'Townsend' WHERE name= ?";
int updateCount = data.update (updateSql,"Customer3");
System.out.println ("Rows Updated " + updateCount);

The Silver Castles team also has a website at which new customers can sign up to have the Silver Castles catalog mailed to them. Each month a utility is run to update the customer database to add these new customers. For this purpose, the developers could create a job that can batch all the requests and insert them into the database by using just one inline method. The developers could use the batch update API for this case to efficiently update the database. Listing 7 shows the batch update API.

Listing 7. Batch update API
//Example Using UpdateMany
Customer addFirstCustomer = 
new Customer("Customer3","Costa Rica","Main Street","Arenal",
      "La Fortuna","90291","506-375-0273",null); 
Customer addSecondCustomer = 
new Customer("Customer4","Puerto Rico","Church Street",
 "Puerto Nuevo","San Juan","38364","293-484-8244",null); 
ArrayList<Customer> customerList = new ArrayList<Customer>();
customerList.add (addFirstCustomer);
customerList.add (addSecondCustomer);

insertSql = "INSERT INTO PDQ_SC.customer (Name, Country, Street, City, " +
            "Province, Zip, Phone) VALUES (:name, :country, :street, " +
        ":city, :province,:zip,:phone)";
int[] updateCount = data.updateMany( sql, customerList);
if (updateCount != null)
  System.out.println ("Rows Inserted:” + updateCount.length);

Retrieving auto-generated values

The overloading of the update() method enables the user to optionally request information regarding auto-generated columns. The Silver Castles developers can get the values the database generates in any number of ways based on what the input to the update method is. The following sections offer examples of the different ways that the Silver Castles developers can code their application to get generated values back from the database after an insert.

Auto-generated values with pureQuery beans

In this example, the input to the insert is a pureQuery bean. The customer object is defined with a @GeneratedKey annotation, and the column CID is defined as an identity column that always generates an integer. The value in the CID column is passed into the CID property before control is returned from the call to the update() method. Here, the auto-generated value is set in the CID property of the customer object.

Listing 8. Get the auto-generated value in the CID property of the customer bean
insertSql = "INSERT INTO PDQ_SC.customer (Name, Country, Street, City, " +
            "Province, Zip, Phone) VALUES (:name, :country, :street, " +
        ":city, :province,:zip,:phone)";

//Create an instance of Customer Bean with the values to be inserted
Customer customer = 
new Customer("Customer2","US","BlackBerry Street","San Jose",
                     "Santa Clara","82652","408-273-4856", null); 
//Insert using a Bean
int updateCount = data.update (insertSql, customer);
System.out.println ("Generated Key Value:" + customer.cid);

Auto-generated values without pureQuery Beans

The Silver Castles developers can pass values without a pureQuery bean and still retrieve auto-generated values by using the update() method shown in Listing 9.

Listing 9. Update method
   <T> T update(java.lang.String sql, Class<T> returnClass, 
 String[] columnNames, Object... parameters)

This method returns one or more generated values, depending on the return type indicated. The value of the return type Class<T> must be either Object[].class or a simple class directly assignable from JDBC, such as Integer.class or String.class. When the return type is a simple, directly assignable JDBC class, a single generated value is returned of the given type. The update count is not returned. Listing 10 shows how a Silver Castles developer could get the auto-generated value into a simple class (for example, int.class).

Listing 10. Get the auto-generated value into a simple class
Object[] customerArray = new Object[7];
customerArray[0] = "CustomerForGenKey";
customerArray[1] = "US";
customerArray[2] = "Bixby Street";
customerArray[3] = "San Martin";
customerArray[4] = "Santa Clara";
customerArray[5] = "62826";
customerArray[6] = "408-272-6565";

insertSql = "INSERT INTO PDQ_SC.customer (Name, Country, Street," + 
            "City, Province, Zip, Phone) VALUES(?,?,?,?,?,?,?)";
String[] colunmName = new String[] { "cid" };
int i = data.update (insertSql, int.class, colunmName, customerArray);
System.out.println ("AutoGenerated Keys as Int " + i + "\n");

When the return type is Object[].class, the first n elements of the array are the generated values from the columns in the columnName parameter. The last element in the array is the update count. Listing 11 shows how the Silver Castles developer could get the generated key value using an Object[]. The auto-generated value is returned in Object[0], and the update count is returned in Object[1].

Listing 11. Get the auto-generated value into an Object[ ]
Object[] customerArray = new Object[7];
customerArray[0] = "CustomerForGenKey";
customerArray[1] = "US";
customerArray[2] = "Barnaby Street";
customerArray[3] = "Gilroy";
customerArray[4] = "Santa Clara";
customerArray[5] = "62823";
customerArray[6] = "408-273-6568";

insertSql = "INSERT INTO PDQ_SC.customer (Name, Country, Street," + 
            " City, Province, Zip, Phone) VALUES(?,?,?,?,?,?,?)";
String[] colunmName = new String[] { "cid" };
Object[] output = data.update (insertSql, Object[].class, 
                  colunmName, customerArray);

Using the hook interface for a pluggable callback mechanism

The com.ibm.pdq.runtime.Hook interface can be used to create methods that run before and after inline methods. Assume that the Silver Castles developers know that their products cannot be shipped to customers in certain countries. Assume that the example countries with shipping restrictions are Costa Rica and Australia. The hook interface provides an easy way for a developer to define this check once and not have to add code in multiple places to check the customer's country each time the customer table is updated.

Hooks must be registered to instances of data when the instances are created. When the data object that inline methods use has a hook registered, the following steps occur when an application calls a method of the data interface.

  1. Before any work is done by a method of the data interface, the pre() method of the registered hook is invoked.
  2. The method being called does all its work.
  3. The post() method of the registered hook is invoked.

The data interface, which defines inline methods, contains a number of JDBC methods on connection objects, such as close(), commit(), rollback(), setAutoCommit(), and getAutoCommit(). The pre() and post() methods of a registered hook do not bracket these methods.

The pre() and post() methods need to be defined using the following parameters:

String methodName
pureQuery passes the signature of the method to the pre() method
Data dataInstance
pureQuery passes the object that implements the data interface
SqlStatementType statementType
pureQuery passes the type of the SQL statement, such as SELECT, UPDATE, and INSERT
Object... parameters
pureQuery passes the parameters that are passed to the inline method
Object returnValue
Return value from the call to the inline method

Listing 12 shows the use of the hook interface. A Silver Castles application developer would define the pre() and post() method in the application under a class named HookCall. The pre() method checks whether the input parameter, the customer's country, is valid, and the method prevents an invalid row from being inserted into the database. Validation of the output from the method call can be checked using the post() method.

Listing 12. Using the hook interface
public static class HookCall implements Hook
  public void pre (String methodName, Data objectInstance, 
		    SqlStatementType statementType, Object... parameters)
    String country = ((Customer)parameters[0]).country;
    If (!statementType.equalsIgnoreCase ("update") ||
        !statementType.equalsIgnoreCase("insert")) return;
    if (!(country.equals ("Australia") || country.equals ("Costa Rica")) )
    throw new DataRuntimeException
	  ("This Country " + country + " is not part of our customer base");

  public void post (String methodName, Data objectInstance, 
     Object retValue, SqlStatementType statementType,
     Object... parameters)
    //Do nothing

The application could register the hook as shown in Listing 13. The input value for the country property of the customer bean is validated when the pre() method is invoked.

Listing 13. Registering the hook
Connection con = DriverManager.getConnection(...);
HookCall hookCall = new HookCall ();
Data db = DataFactory.getData(con, hookCall);
sql = "INSERT INTO PDQ_SC.customer (Name, Country, Street, City, Province, Zip, Phone)"
    + "VALUES(:name,:country,:street,:city,:province,:zip,:phone)";
Customer addCustomer2 = new Customer ("Customer2", "Costa Rica", "BlackBerry Street", 
                        "San Jose", "Santa Clara", "82652","408-273-4856", null);
int insertCount = db.update (sql, addCustomer2);


This article provides a high-level introduction to pureQuery built-in inline methods. It provides some examples to illustrate likely motivations for a development team to develop a pureQuery application using inline methods. It also outlines the basic steps required to develop such an application. If you are interested in learning more about developing pureQuery applications, follow the links throughout the article and in the resources section to the pureQuery online documentation, additional articles, and helpful tutorials.



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ArticleTitle=Write high performance Java data access applications, Part 2: Introducing pureQuery built-in inline methods