How to Store and Retrieve Data from a Database

Photo of Gaurav Gupta by Gaurav Gupta

In the previous guide, we’ve seen how we can configure the Payara Platform to connect to a database and use the datasource from an application. This guide walks you through the process of building an application to store and retrieve data from the database.

Creating the Project

As a first step, we will create a simple maven web application in the Apache NetBeans IDE :

  • In the IDE, choose File New Project(Ctrl-Shift-N) from the main menu, as shown in the figure below :

file drop down menu


  • In the New Project wizard, expand the Maven category and select Web Application as shown in the figure below, then click Next :

new project wizard


  • Enter "simple-jpa-example" in the Project name text box and specify the Project Location to any directory on your system and click Next (as shown in the figure below) :

New web application


  • Select the Payara Server to which you want to deploy the application :

New web application


  • Apache NetBeans IDE will create the maven web project with the following structure :



  • Now right click on project → Properties →  Run →  set the Context Path to root ‘/’ :

Projects Properties


Creating persistence.xml :

  • To create persistence.xml, goto the File menu →  New File →  Persistence category, select Persistence Unit and click Next :

New file

  • Enter POSTGRESQL_PU the in the Persistence Unit name text box and select already configured data-source in the Payara Server and click Next :

New Persistence Unit


Note : If data-source not defined in persistence.xml then a default data source with JNDI name java:comp/DefaultDataSource will wired to JDBC resource that’s default provided by the container.


Creating the Person (@Entity) :

The next thing we’re going to do is create a Person entity with a primary key.

// the package and imports omitted for brevity

public class Person {

   private Long id;

   private String name;

   private String address;

    // the typical getters and setters omitted for brevity


Note: If you’re missing the imports, press Alt+Shift+I, NetBeans will add the imports and for the getter/setter methods, press Alt+Insert → select Getter and Setter to generate. Other IDEs offer a similar shortcut.


Here you have a Person class with three attributes : id, name, and the address. The Person class is annotated with @Entity, indicating that it is a JPA entity. As @Table annotation is not defined at class-level, Persistence provider assumes that this entity will be mapped to a table named Person. @Table annotation is required if database table name is different from the class name.


The id attribute is annotated with @Id so that persistence provider will recognise it as primary key column. The id attribute is also annotated with @GeneratedValue to indicate that it should be automatically generated by the database. The other two attributes, name and address are left unannotated with @Column. So persistence provider assumes that attributes will be mapped to columns that share the same name as the attributes themselves.


Creating a Repository to Manage the Entity 

We’ll now create a repository class that talks to the database and access the Person’s data.

public class PersonRepository {

   @PersistenceContext(unitName = "POSTGRESQL_PU")
   private EntityManager em;

   public void create(Person person) {

   public List<Person> findAll() {
       return em.createQuery("SELECT p FROM Person p", Person.class)

   public Person find(Long id) {
       return em.find(Person.class, id);



Creating a Rest Endpoint Using JAX-RS 

To create a rest endpoint, we first need to configure the application using the default implementations of subclass.

public class ApplicationConfig extends Application {




Let’s define the REST APIs and expose the endpoints.  We'll begin by creating a new class named PersonController :


public class PersonController {

   private PersonRepository personRepository;

   public Response createPerson(Person person) {
       return Response.ok(person).build();

   public List<Person> getAllPeople() {
       List<Person> people = personRepository.findAll();
       return people;

   public Response getPerson(@PathParam("id") Long id) {
       LOG.log(Level.FINE, "REST request to get Person : {0}", id);
       Person person = personRepository.find(id);
       if (person == null) {
           return Response.status(Response.Status.NOT_FOUND).build();
       } else {
           return Response.ok(person).build();


The @Path annotation defines that this class will handle calls made to the URL ‘/api/person’.


Deploying the Application 

We’ve successfully created all of the APIs. Let’s now deploy the application and test the APIs. Just right click on the project and select deploy option :


The application will start at Payara’s default port 8080.


Testing the APIs

Now, It’s time to test our APIs and REST endpoints using curl commands or postman.

  • Execute the following curl command to create the Person :

    curl -X POST http://localhost:8080/api/person --header "Content-Type: application/json" -d "{\"name\":\"Gaurav Gupta\", \"address\":\"Lucknow, India\"}"






Build Upon the Example Source Code

The application that we created in this guide had only one domain model. Of course, you may extend it by adding more domain model and defining the relationship using JPA annotations.


You can find the source code of the example used in this guide on the github repository. Feel free to clone the repository and build upon it.

Happy learning ! Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section.



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