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Spring data has a feature that allows you to track automatically a certain amount of fields through annotations :

  • @CreatedDate : The date on which the entity was created
  • @CreatedBy : The user that created the entity
  • @LastModifiedDate : The date the entity was last modified
  • @LastModifiedBy : The user that modified last the entity
  • @Version : the version of the entity (increased each time the entity is modified and savesd)

Let’s say for example we have this simple entity with the appropriate annotations :



@Entity
@EntityListeners(AuditingEntityListener.class)
public class Contact implements Serializable {

private static final long serialVersionUID = 1L;

@Id
@GeneratedValue(strategy = GenerationType.IDENTITY)
private Long id;

@Version()
private Long version = 0L;

@NotNull
@CreatedDate
private Date creationDate;

@NotNull
@Size(max = 50)
@CreatedBy
private String creationUserLogin;

@NotNull
@LastModifiedDate
private Date modificationDate;

@NotNull
@Size(max = 50)
@LastModifiedBy
private String modificationUserLogin;

private String firstName;

private String lastName;

//GETTERS - SETTERS and other code


}

And we’re using the following service class and repository :



@Service
public class ContactServiceImpl implements ContactService{

@Autowired
private ContactRepository contactRepository;


public Contact save(Contact contact){

return contactRepository.save(entity);
}
}



public interface ContactRepository extends JpaRepository<Contact, Long> {

}

Now whenever you change the value of one of the fields in the entity; the fields marked with @Version, @LastModified and @LastModifiedBy will be updated with new values automatically.

Now recently I had the case where I had to „touch“ an entity (like in linux) so that the version will be increased as well as @LastModified and @LastModifiedBy will be updated accordingly even though none of the fields had been updated

Now you cannot update the automatically handled fields manually, but there is a way you can achieve this by using Spring’s AuditingHandler; so we could modify our service class as follows :



@Service
public class ContactServiceImpl implements ContactService{

@Autowired
private ContactRepository contactRepository;

@Autowired
private AuditingHandler auditingHandler;


public Contact save(Contact contact, boolean forceVersionIncrease){
//force version update even though no values have changed in the entity
if(forceVersionIncrease){
auditingHandler.markModified(contact);
}

return contactRepository.save(entity);
}
}

And there you go, you should be able now to „touch“ your entities and force date and version updates