The roster Application

The roster application maintains the team rosters for players in recreational sports leagues. The application has four components: Java Persistence API entities (Player, Team, and League), a stateful session bean (RequestBean), an application client (RosterClient), and three helper classes (PlayerDetails, TeamDetails, and LeagueDetails).

Functionally, roster is similar to the order application described earlier in this chapter with two new features that order does not have: many-to-many relationships and automatic table creation at deploytime.

Relationships in the roster Application

A recreational sports system has the following relationships:

In roster this is reflected by the following relationships between the Player, Team, and League entities:

The Many-To-Many Relationship in roster

The many-to-many relationship between Player and Team is specified by using the @ManyToMany annotation.

In, the @ManyToMany annotation decorates the getPlayers method:

    @JoinColumn(name="TEAM_ID", referencedColumnName="ID"),
    @JoinColumn(name="PLAYER_ID", referencedColumnName="ID")
public Collection<Player> getPlayers() {
  return players;

The @JoinTable annotation is used to specify a table in the database that will associate player IDs with team IDs. The entity that specifies the @JoinTable is the owner of the relationship, so in this case the Team entity is the owner of the relationship with the Player entity. Because roster uses automatic table creation at deploytime, the container will create a join table in the database named EJB_ROSTER_TEAM_PLAYER.

Player is the inverse, or non-owning side of the relationship with Team. As one-to-one and many-to-one relationships, the non-owning side is marked by the mappedBy element in the relationship annotation. Because the relationship between Player and Team is bidirectional, the choice of which entity is the owner of the relationship is arbitrary.

In, the @ManyToMany annotation decorates the getTeams method:

@ManyToMany(cascade=REMOVE, mappedBy="players")
public Collection<Team> getTeams() {
  return teams;

Automatic Table Generation in roster

At deploytime the Application Server will automatically drop and create the database tables used by roster. This is done by setting the toplink.ddl-generation property to drop-and-create-tables in persistence.xml.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<persistence xmlns=""
  <persistence-unit name="em" transaction-type="JTA">
      <property name="toplink.ddl-generation" 

This feature is specific to the Java Persistence API provider used by the Application Server, and is non-portable across Java EE servers. Automatic table creation is useful for development purposes, however, and the toplink.ddl-generation property may be removed from persistence.xml when preparing the application for production use, or when deploying to other Java EE servers.