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checks for constraint violation before persisting an entity

checks for constraint violation before persisting an entity  using -'hibernate,jpa,seam,richfaces'

What is the best mechanism for preventing constraint violation checks before creation | modification of an entity?

Suppose if the 'User' entity has 'loginid' as the unique constraint, would it be wise to check  if there is an user entry already with this loginid name before creation or modification.


Would you let the database throw an ConstraintViolationException and handle this message appropriately in the UI layer. Where should such checks be enforced in the jboss seam framework.

Note: Currently no such checks are enforced on the seam-gen code.

We currently use Seam 2.2, Richfaces with Hibernate.

asked Oct 19, 2015 by ajit.chavhan
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3 Answers

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Even if you check the condition in your code before persisting the user object there is always a chance that someone will created a duplicate loginid between the time you check and when you persist the new User.

However it'll be easier to display an appropriate error message in the UI if you do an explicit check. If you have multiple contraints on the table catching the ConstraintViolationException won't allow you to easily determine which constraint has been violated.

So I would do both. Assuming you're extending from Seam's EntityHome:

  1. In the persist() method run a query to ensure that the loginid is unique. If it isn't add an error message to the appropriate control and return null.
  2. Wrap the call to super.persist() and catch the ConstraintViolationException, displaying a generic duplicate error message


As Shervin mentioned creating a JSF Validator is a great idea (replacing) #1 above, but you should still expect the worst and catch ConstraintViolationException.

answered Oct 19, 2015 by santosh soni
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I disagree with handling ConstraintException. I have written a validator that checks duplicates before saving, and it works great.

Here is an example checking duplicate emails.

public class UniqueEmailValidator implements javax.faces.validator.Validator, Serializable {

private static final long serialVersionUID = 6086372792387091314L;

public void validate(FacesContext facesContext, UIComponent component, Object value) throws ValidatorException {
    EntityManager entityManager = (EntityManager) Component.getInstance("entityManager");
    String newEmail = (String) value;
    String oldEmail = String.valueOf(component.getAttributes().get("oldEmail"));
    if (oldEmail != null && !oldEmail.equalsIgnoreCase(newEmail)) {
        List users = entityManager.createQuery(
                "SELECT DISTINCT u FROM " + User.class.getName() + " p where lower(p.fromEmail) = :email").setParameter("email",
        if (!users.isEmpty()) {
            Map messages = Messages.instance();
            throw new ValidatorException(new FacesMessage(FacesMessage.SEVERITY_ERROR, messages.get("admin.emailexists"), messages

And in your form (xhtml) you write:


This way it will always validate the field before saving. You can even put an a:support tag to validate when focus is changed.

answered Oct 19, 2015 by dahiyabecomp
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My advice is that if you can check a condition then check it i.e. in your case a UserExists method call. Throwing exceptions is expensive and is intended for exceptional cases normally related to things outwith your control e.g. disc access etc

You would generally perform this check in your business logic before calling for the entity to be added to the database.

answered Oct 19, 2015 by jekbishnoi