Understanding EclipseLink, 2.6
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About Queries and the Cache

A query that is run against the shared persistence unit (session) cache is known as an in-memory query. Careful configuration of in-memory querying can improve performance.

By default, a query that looks for a single object based on primary key attempts to retrieve the required object from the cache first, and searches the data source only if the object is not in the cache. All other query types search the database first, by default. You can specify whether a given query runs against the in-memory cache, the database, or both.

About Query Cache Options and In-memory Querying

JPA defines standard query hints for configuring how a query interacts with the shared persistence unit cache (L2). EclipseLink also provides some additional query hints for configuring the cache usage. For information on JPA and EclipseLink query hints, see About Query Hints.

Entities can be accessed through JPA using either find() method or queries. The find() method will first check the persistence context cache (L1) for the Id, if the object is not found it will check the shared persistence unit cache (L2), if the object is still not found it will access the database. By default all queries will access the database, unless querying by Id or by cache indexed fields. Once the query retrieves the rows from the database, it will resolve each row with the cache. If the object is already in the cache, then the row will be discarded, and the object will be used. If the object is not in the shared cache, then it will be built from the row and put into the shared cache. A copy will also be put in the persistence context cache and returned as the query result.

This is the general process, but it differs if the transaction is dirty. If the transaction is dirty then the shared persistence unit cache will be ignored and objects will be built directly into the persistence context cache.

A transaction is considered dirty in the following circumstances:

  • A flush() has written changes to the database.

  • A pessimistic lock query has been executed.

  • An update or delete query has been executed.

  • A native SQL query has been executed.

  • This persistence unit property eclipselink.transaction.join-existing is used.

  • The JDBC connection has been unwrapped from the EntityManager.

  • The UnitOfWork API beginEarlyTransaction has been called.

Entities can also be configured to be isolated, or noncacheable, in which case they will never be placed in the shared cache (see "Shared, Isolated, Protected, Weak, and Read-only Caches").