[java] What does EntityManager.flush do and why do I need to use it?

I have an EJB where I am saving an object to the database. In an example I have seen, once this data is saved (EntityManager.persist) there is a call to EntityManager.flush(); Why do I need to do this? The object I am saving is not attached and not used later in the method. In fact, once saved the method returns and I would expect the resources to be released. (The example code does this on a remove call as well.)

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This question is related to java jpa entitymanager

The answer is

A call to EntityManager.flush(); will force the data to be persist in the database immediately as EntityManager.persist() will not (depending on how the EntityManager is configured : FlushModeType (AUTO or COMMIT) by default it's set to AUTO and a flush will be done automatically by if it's set to COMMIT the persitence of the data to the underlying database will be delayed when the transaction is commited).

So when you call EntityManager.persist(), it only makes the entity get managed by the EntityManager and adds it (entity instance) to the Persistence Context. An Explicit flush() will make the entity now residing in the Persistence Context to be moved to the database (using a SQL).

Without flush(), this (moving of entity from Persistence Context to the database) will happen when the Transaction to which this Persistence Context is associated is committed.

EntityManager.persist() makes an entity persistent whereas EntityManager.flush() actually runs the query on your database.

So, when you call EntityManager.flush(), queries for inserting/updating/deleting associated entities are executed in the database. Any constraint failures (column width, data types, foreign key) will be known at this time.

The concrete behaviour depends on whether flush-mode is AUTO or COMMIT.

The EntityManager.flush() operation can be used the write all changes to the database before the transaction is committed. By default JPA does not normally write changes to the database until the transaction is committed. This is normally desirable as it avoids database access, resources and locks until required. It also allows database writes to be ordered, and batched for optimal database access, and to maintain integrity constraints and avoid deadlocks. This means that when you call persist, merge, or remove the database DML INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE is not executed, until commit, or until a flush is triggered.

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