Creating Entity Objects for SINGLE_TABLE Inheritance Type

Inheritance strategy is defined by the InheritanceType enum:

public enum InheritanceType {

The default inheritance mapping strategy is SINGLE_TABLE in which all the entities in the class hierarchy map onto a single table. A dedicated discriminator column on this table identifies the specific entity type associated with each row, and each entity in the hierarchy is given a unique value to store in this column. By default, the discriminator value for an entity is its entity name, although an entity may override this value using the @DiscriminatorValue annotation. This approach performs well for querying, since only a single table is involved.

Create Person EJB 3.0 Entity as described in Creating An Entity Object (POJO) section:

Copy-paste code below in the class body:

package by.iba.ejb3.singletable;

import javax.persistence.Column;
import javax.persistence.DiscriminatorColumn;
import javax.persistence.DiscriminatorType;
import javax.persistence.DiscriminatorValue;
import javax.persistence.Entity;
import javax.persistence.GeneratedValue;
import javax.persistence.Id;
import javax.persistence.Inheritance;
import javax.persistence.InheritanceType;
import javax.persistence.Table;

@Inheritance(strategy = InheritanceType.SINGLE_TABLE)
@DiscriminatorColumn(name = "TYPE", discriminatorType=DiscriminatorType.STRING)
@Table(name = "PERSON_SINGLE_TABLE")
public class Person {

	@Column(nullable = false)
	private Long id;

	@Column(name = "FIRST_NAME")
	private String firstName;

	@Column(name = "LAST_NAME")
	private String lastName;

	public String getFirstName() {
		return firstName;

	public void setFirstName(String firstName) {
		this.firstName = firstName;

	public Long getId() {
		return id;

	public void setId(Long id) { = id;

	public String getLastName() {
		return lastName;

	public void setLastName(String lastName) {
		this.lastName = lastName;

By default, the persistence manager looks for a column named DTYPE in the root entity's table (PERSON, in this case). In our example, we have named the discriminator column TYPE, so we explicitly annotate this setting, using the @DiscriminatorColumn(name = "TYPE") annotation. Were we to use a column named DTYPE, we could have skipped this annotation altogether and accepted the default value.

Now create Employee EJB 3.0 Entity as described in Creating An Entity Object (POJO) section:

Copy-paste code below in the class body:

package by.iba.ejb3.singletable;

import javax.persistence.DiscriminatorValue;
import javax.persistence.Entity;

public class Employee extends Person {

	private String department;
	private String email;

	public String getDepartment() {
		return department;

	public void setDepartment(String department) {
		this.department = department;

	public String getEmail() {
		return email;

	public void setEmail(String email) { = email;

Now InheritanceHierarchies EJB 3.0 project should look like this:

InheritanceHierarchies EJB 3.0 project

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