JPA (Hibernate) and enums, Updated

If there's an enum
(this is all java 5)

public static enum Type {

private int i;
    private Type(int i) {this.i = i;}

you can't do entityManager.merge( Type.TYPE_1 ), because merge returns a persisted copy of that object and requires a default constructor.
Even if you add


private Type(){}

it would fail.

The only way to add the possible values is with persist:

for( Type type : Type.values() ) {
    entityManager.persist( type );

Unfortunately I don't know of a shortcut for that operation - it seems logical all enum values to be in the DB, but are not there by default.

So what happens if there's an object

public class Subscription {
   // Cascading for all operations
   protected Type type;

and one wants to persist an object like that: 

entityManager.persist( new Subscription() ); // would work even without step1
entityManager.merge( new Subscription() ); // would work only with step1
entityManager.merge( new Subscription() ); // without step1: "
InstantiationException: No default constructor for entity

So the conclusion is:
It's relatively easy to use enums as @Entities as long as on DB init all the enum values are preloaded in the DB (step1).

What I wrote so far is true, BUT:

Even if one can persist enum, one cannot get them back, because of the aforementioned problem with the default constructor.

I was thinking of the doing the type-safe enum design pattern myself (as it was done pre- java 5): useless supplying a default .ctor prevents having a small number of instances - so again no good. Maybe if the .equals() and .hashcode() are rewritten this could work (but with a larger number of instances and a small number of different hashcodes) - just thought of it, may or may not work. One has to think about @Enumerated (JPA) or about and enum.ordinal() - still it does not look achievable.

There is an ugly solution of which I shall speak tomorrow because I want to go home !!!.

UPDATE: The solution: (be warned it's really ugly).

There should be an @Entity with an int (or whatever actually) @Id.
Then there should be the enum with a private property, whose type should be the @Id of the previous class. There should be a getter of that property
The getter() and setter() of the @Entity should be with the enum's type and in the getter and the setter the wrapping between the enum and it's int (or whatever actually) should occur.

Examples when I get back from lunch.

UPDATE: Example

// The enum
public enum Gender {
  private int value;

  private Gender(int value) {
    this.value = value;

  public getValue() {
    return this.value;

public class Entity1 {
  private int gender;

  // ... other properties

  public Gender getGender() {
    return Gender.valueof(this.gender);

  public Gender setGender( Gender gender) {
    this.gender = gender.getValue();

  // ... other stuff.

Yes, I know - it's ugly, but this is the best I know.

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