DAO and Service layers (JPA/Hibernate + Spring) [duplicate]

A DAO should provide access to a single related source of data and, depending on how complicated your business model, will return either full fledged Business objects, or simple Data objects. Either way, the DAO methods should reflect the database somewhat closely.

A Service can provide a higher level interface to not only process your business objects, but to get access to them in the first place. If I get a business object from a Service, that object may be created from different databases (and different DAO’s), it could be decorated with information made from an HTTP request. It may have certain business logic that converts several data objects into a single, robust, business object.

I generally create a DAO thinking that it will be used by anyone who is going to use that database, or set of business related data, it is literally the lowest level code besides triggers, functions and stored procedures within the database.

Answers to specific questions:

I was wondering whether a DAO could
contain methods that don’t really have
to do much with data access, but are
way easier executed using a query?

for most cases no, you would want your more complicated business logic in your service layer, the assembly of data from separate queries. However, if you’re concerned about processing speed, a service layer may delegate an action to a DAO even though it breaks the beauty of the model, in much the same way that a C++ programmer may write assembler code to speed up certain actions.

It sounds to me to be more of a
service-layer method, but I’m not sure
if using JPA EntityManager in the
service layer is an example of good

If you’re going to use your entity manager in your service, then think of the entity manager as your DAO, because that’s exactly what it is. If you need to remove some redundant query building, don’t do so in your service class, extract it into a class that utilized the entity manager and make that your DAO. If your use case is really simple, you could skip the service layer entirely and use your entity manager, or DAO in controllers because all your service is going to do is pass off calls to getAirplaneById() to the DAO’s findAirplaneById()

UPDATE – To clarify with regard to the discussion below, using an entity manager in a service is likely not the best decision in most situations where there is also a DAO layer for various reasons highlighted in the comments. But in my opinion it would be perfectly reasonable given:

  1. The service needs to interact with different sets of data
  2. At least one set of data already has a DAO
  3. The service class resides in a module that requires some persistence which is simple enough to not warrant it’s own DAO


//some system that contains all our customers information
class PersonDao {
   findPersonBySSN( long ssn )

//some other system where we store pets
class PetDao {

//some web portal your building has this service
class OurPortalPetLostAndFoundService {

   notifyOfLocalLostPets( Person p ) {
      Location l = ourPortalEntityManager.findSingle( PortalUser.class, p.getSSN() )
      ... use other DAO's to get contact information and pets...

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