Pet catalog for JavaEE 6 reengineered

Some time ago, I published the famed Pet Catalog application on Github. It doesn’t seem like much, but there are some hours of work (if not days) behind the scenes. I wanted to write down the objectives of this pet project (noticed the joke here?) and the walls I hit trying to achieve them to prevent others to hit them.

Objectives were very simple at first: get the Pet Catalog to work under TomEE, the Web Profile compliant application server based on Tomcat. I also wanted to prove that by running automated integration tests, so Arquillian was my tool to achieve that. JavaEE 6, TomEE, Arquillian: this couldn’t be simpler, could it? Think again…​

First of all, it may seem strange but there’s no place on the Internet you can find the Pet Catalog for JavaEE 6, despite it being set as an example during the whole JavaEE evolution; a simple Google search can easily convince you of that. I think there’s a definite lack there but I’m nothing but persistent. In order to get the sources, I had to get the NetBeans IDE: the PetCatalog is available as an example application.

The second obstacle I had to overcome was that whatever I tried, I couldn’t find a way to make Arquillian inject my EntityManager in my TestNG test class using the @PersistenceContext annotation. I don’t know what the problem is, but switching to JUnit did the trick. This is a great (albeit dirty) lesson to me: when the worker has tried everything, maybe it’s time to question the tool.

The final blow was an amazingly stupid question but a fundamental one: how do you create a datasource in TomEE during a test? For this one, I googled the entire Internet and it took me some time to finally get it, so here it is in all its glory. Just update your arquillian.xml file to add the following snippet:

<container qualifier="tomee" default="true">
        <property name="properties">
            PetCatalog = new://Resource?type=DataSource
            PetCatalog.JdbcUrl jdbc:hsqldb:mem:petcat
            PetCatalog.JdbcDriver org.hsqldb.jdbc.JDBCDriver
            PetCatalog.UserName sa
            PetCatalog.JtaManaged true

Finally, I got the thing working and created two tests, one to check the number of pets was right, and the other to verify data for a specific item. If (when?) I have time, I will definitely check the Persistence and Graphene extensions of Arquillian.

The complete source code for this post can be found on Github.
Nicolas Fränkel

Nicolas Fränkel

Nicolas Fränkel is a Developer Advocate with 15+ years experience consulting for many different customers, in a wide range of contexts (such as telecoms, banking, insurances, large retail and public sector). Usually working on Java/Java EE and Spring technologies, but with focused interests like Rich Internet Applications, Testing, CI/CD and DevOps. Currently working for Hazelcast. Also double as a teacher in universities and higher education schools, a trainer and triples as a book author.

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