We are working with ValueHandlers for enterprise applications that
will be deployed on WebSphere, currently 184.108.40.206. We believe that the
current OpenJPA implementation has made a less than stellar choice in
how to load value handlers, and suggest a change
ValueHandlers are naturally (or so we find) specific for certain value
types, that are often dependent on the semantics of your business, and
thus are part of the application, in some way bundled in the ear you
are deploying. We do unit testing out of the container with OpenJPA
1.0.3, and everything works like a charm.
When we deploy on WebSphere however, nothing works. OpenJPA does not
find our value handlers.
Luckily OpenJPA is open source , so we found with certainty that
the reason is that OpenJPA tries to load the value handler with the
class loader that loaded the meta information for the property. The
class of that object is part of OpenJPA, and inside WebSphere, OpenJPA
is loaded with a class loader that has no access to the application
code, the code in the ear. So, ClassNotFoundException. Bummer.
The long term solution, we believe, is not to use the classloader
associated with the meta information for the property (i.e., the
OpenJPA class loader), but instead the class loader of the entity for
which we are working (which is also reachable via the parameters of
the method that does the loading). Using the class loader of the
actual value we want to handle is not an option, since the value can
be null. The entity however is normally also part of the application,
the ear, and cannot be null.