Click out your JPA model

Session Type: 
Standard [25 minutes]

Schedule info


We'll talk about a graphical JPA Diagram Editor for Eclipse IDE meant to create, view, and edit JPA business data diagrams. It allows the user to create her/his JPA business model with a few clicks and view, store and edit its diagram.

In the 21-st century the computers' capabilities are great enough to justify the users' complaints about the lack of a smooth graphical UI. What this means in the JPA world? Imagine that you have to review a business data model consisting of 10-15 JPA entities, which have been implemented by someone else. You have to review the attributes and annotations of every single entity. If you don't have a diagram, you'll want to draw one - even on a piece of paper. Now, imagine that your model contains 50-100 entities! Imagine that you have to implement them, not only review them! What a comfort would it be to easily, with just of a few clicks, to create a visually accessible diagram of your model!

The JPA Diagram Editor allows the user to easily create, view, and edit a model with the graphical means of the Graphiti. Creating new entities, attributes, and relations is achievable with a few clicks only. Does the relation owner attribute had to have the 'mappedBy' property or was it the inverse attribute? Who cares! Just pull the string from the owner to the inverse. You can create a diagram from existing model, just like this. We are convinced that JPA developers, which use the Eclipse IDE, need such a tool, and they will love it. Developing applications with JPA has never been that easy and pleasant, and the result is a nice clean diagram, instead of (just) complex Java code. Until now, there was no JPA diagram tool in the open source Eclipse IDE. Let's talk about the first one!

Initially, the JPA Diagram Editor project has been contributed in the WTP Incubator Project. Later on, it became part of Eclipse JPT Dali and recently it was released with Indigo.

Noteworthy: Those of you who have attended this talk at ESE 2010 or EclipseCon 2011 (Santa Clara) should attend it now again and see the demo of the significantly extended JPA Diagram Editor with support for JPA 2.0!

For information where you can find the source of the JPA Diagram Editor, please visit the project wiki page:

You can see a short demo here: