Hibernate Custom UUID generator

03 Feb 2015 | java, hibernate

Use a custom uuid generator in Hibernate.

Many web applications these days use UUIDs as primary keys in their database. While this approach has its pros and cons (see Primary Keys vs GUIDs), one of the principal advantages is that you can generate these ids outside of the database.

Contrived Example

System Alpha sends messages to System Beta which results in an entity being created in System Gamma. Alpha later needs to query Gamma for that entity.

So What?

Well, assume you have the following in Gamma to create an entity (Gist here):

@Column(name = "entity_id")
@GeneratedValue(generator = "system-uuid")
@GenericGenerator(name = "system-uuid", strategy = "uuid2")
private String entityId;

This will generate a UUID for an entity when it is created. The fly in the ointment is getting hibernate to use the uuid passed in, whenever there is one or fall back to the default behaviour of generating one if the UUID not passed in. You can do this by creating a custom id generator in Hibernate like so:

 * Based on http://stackoverflow.com/a/5392349/566434
public class InquisitiveUUIDGenerator extends UUIDGenerator {

    private String entityName;

    public void configure(Type type, Properties params, Dialect dialect) {
        entityName = params.getProperty(ENTITY_NAME);
        super.configure(type, params, dialect);

    public Serializable generate(SessionImplementor session, Object object) {
        Serializable id = session
                .getEntityPersister(entityName, object)
                .getIdentifier(object, session);

        if (id == null) {
            return super.generate(session, object);
        } else {
            return id;

As you can see, this uses the UUID passed in or generates one if the id is absent. The original entity class too needs to change like so:

@Column(name = "entity_id")
@GeneratedValue(generator = "inquisitive-uuid")
@GenericGenerator(name = "inquisitive-uuid", strategy = "com.myapp.persistence.generators.InquisitiveUUIDGenerator")
private String entityId;


These people have written a lot of sensible stuff about UUIDs and Hibernate identifiers.

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