Defining an Entity

Learn how to create an entity and look at different JPA annotations for defining a relational mapping.

JPA dependency

To use Spring Data JPA, we will add the starter JPA dependency to the pom.xml file as follows:


When the pom.xml file is saved, we can see the JPA API in the Maven Dependencies folder. This API defines a lot of different annotations like @Entity, @Column, @Table, etc. Hibernate is an implementation of the JPA API which automatically gets configured in our application. The hibernate-core jar can be seen in the Maven Dependencies folder.

We will take the tennis player database example to understand Spring Data JPA. We will make a copy of the Player and TennisPlayerApplication classes and save them to a new package, io.datajek.springdatajpa. As for the PlayerDao class, we will implement the functionality of all methods using the JPA API.


In our example, we have a Player class that lists attributes of a tennis player like his name, nationality, date of birth, and a number of titles won. We need to tell JPA that the objects of this class need to be mapped to a table in a database. JPA will create a table with the same name as the class and create columns for all the members of the class. Every instance of the Player class will become a row in the Player table. We will use the @Entity annotation to map this class to the Player table.

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