The idea of optimistic locking is described here: Optimistic concurrency control

ActiveJDBC provides support for optimistic concurrency via a simple convention: A database table needs to provide a column named record_version with a type that is capable to store non-decimal types, such as LONG for MySQL, NUMBER for Oracle, etc.

Creation of a new record

Say you have a model:

which backs a table PROFILES:

id profile_type record_version

When you create a new record:

a new record is inserted into the table:

id profile_type record_version
1 home 1

The value 1 in the record_version column signifies that this record has not been updated yet.

Updating a record

When a record is updated, the value of column record_version is incremented by one:

The resulting record in the database will look like this:

id profile_type record_version
1 work 2

As you can see, ActiveJDBC tracks versions of the same record.

When collisions happen

Sometimes you might have code that reads the same record from a table in order to be updated. In those cases, the first update succeeds, but the second does not. Let's examine this situation:

In the code snippet above, at lines 1 and 2, the same record is loaded into models. Then, at line 5, the first one is updated. This will increment the version of the record to 3, and make the model p2 stale. Henceforth, when you try to save the model p2, you will get an exception. The content of a record in the table at this point will be:

id profile_type record_version
1 hotel 3

Here is the output of the StaleModelException:

org.javalite.activejdbc.StaleModelException: Failed to update record for model 'class com.acme.Profile', with id = 1 and record_version = 2. Either this record does not exist anymore, or has been updated to have another record_version.

This message provides enough detail to understand what happened.

Override default version column

By default a version column is called version_record. In cases where there is already existing schema or you need compatibility with other systems, you can override the name with annotation:

The version numbers will be stored in lock_version column, while everything else will work as expected.

How optimistic locking is engaged

The rule is very simple, ActiveJDBC finds record_version column and dynamically configures itself to handle optimistic locking. This means that if this column is present, optimistic locking will be engaged. If the record is not present, optimistic locking will not be engaged. If you did not have this column, and later added it, you need to restart the system because ActiveJDBC scans database schema at the start.

Conversely, if you want to turn it off, drop column record_version and restart the system.


Application developers using optimistic locking should be aware of exception StaleModelException (even though it is a RuntimeException) and build controls into their code to intercept and handle it appropriately.

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