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15.2 Transactional JDBC Access

Spring allows us to add transactions into our code without having to deal directly with the JDBC classes. For that purpose, Spring provides a transaction management package that not only replaces JDBC transaction management, but also enables declarative transaction management (configuration instead of code).

To use transactional database access, we will need to change the storage engine of the tables in the world database. The downloaded script explicitly creates MyISAM tables, which do not support transactional semantics. The InnoDB storage engine does support transactions and this is what we will be using. We can change the storage engine with the following statements.

ALTER TABLE CountryLanguage ENGINE=InnoDB;

A good programming practice emphasized by Spring is separating interfaces and implementations. What this means is that we can create a Java interface and only use the operations on this interface without any internal knowledge of what the actual implementation is. We will let Spring manage the implementation and with this it will manage the transactions for our implementation.

First you create a simple interface:

public interface Ex3Dao {
    Integer createCity(String name, String countryCode,
    String district, Integer population);

This interface contains one method that will create a new city record in the database and return the id of the new record. Next you need to create an implementation of this interface.

public class Ex3DaoImpl implements Ex3Dao {
    protected DataSource dataSource;
    protected SqlUpdate updateQuery;
    protected SqlFunction idQuery;

    public Integer createCity(String name, String countryCode,
        String district, Integer population) {
            updateQuery.update(new Object[] { name, countryCode,
                   district, population });
            return getLastId();

    protected Integer getLastId() {

You can see that we only operate on abstract query objects here and do not deal directly with the JDBC API. Also, this is the complete implementation. All of our transaction management will be dealt with in the configuration. To get the configuration started, we need to create the DAO.

<bean id="dao" class="code.Ex3DaoImpl">
    <property name="dataSource" ref="dataSource"/>
    <property name="updateQuery">...</property>
    <property name="idQuery">...</property>

Now we need to set up the transaction configuration. The first thing we must do is create transaction manager to manage the data source and a specification of what transaction properties are required for the dao methods.

<bean id="transactionManager"
    <property name="dataSource" ref="dataSource"/>

<tx:advice id="txAdvice" transaction-manager="transactionManager">
        <tx:method name="*"/>

The preceding code creates a transaction manager that handles transactions for the data source provided to it. The txAdvice uses this transaction manager and the attributes specify to create a transaction for all methods. Finally we need to apply this advice with an AOP pointcut.

    <aop:pointcut id="daoMethods"
        expression="execution(* code.Ex3Dao.*(..))"/>
     <aop:advisor advice-ref="txAdvice" pointcut-ref="daoMethods"/>

This basically says that all methods called on the Ex3Dao interface will be wrapped in a transaction. To make use of this, we only have to retrieve the dao from the application context and call a method on the dao instance.

Ex3Dao dao = (Ex3Dao) ctx.getBean("dao");
Integer id = dao.createCity(name,  countryCode, district, pop);

We can verify from this that there is no transaction management happening in our Java code and it is all configured with Spring. This is a very powerful notion and regarded as one of the most beneficial features of Spring.