JPA: difference between @JoinColumn and @PrimaryKeyJoinColumn?

What happens if I promote the column to be a/the PK, too (a.k.a. identifying relationship)? As the column is now the PK, I must tag it with @Id (…).

This enhanced support of derived identifiers is actually part of the new stuff in JPA 2.0 (see the section 2.4.1 Primary Keys Corresponding to Derived Identities in the JPA 2.0 specification), JPA 1.0 doesn’t allow Id on a OneToOne or ManyToOne. With JPA 1.0, you’d have to use PrimaryKeyJoinColumn and also define a Basic Id mapping for the foreign key column.

Now the question is: are @Id + @JoinColumn the same as just @PrimaryKeyJoinColumn?

You can obtain a similar result but using an Id on OneToOne or ManyToOne is much simpler and is the preferred way to map derived identifiers with JPA 2.0. PrimaryKeyJoinColumn might still be used in a JOINED inheritance strategy. Below the relevant section from the JPA 2.0 specification:

11.1.40 PrimaryKeyJoinColumn Annotation

The PrimaryKeyJoinColumn annotation
specifies a primary key column that is
used as a foreign key to join to
another table.

The PrimaryKeyJoinColumn annotation
is used to join the primary table of
an entity subclass in the JOINED
mapping strategy to the primary table
of its superclass; it is used within a
SecondaryTable annotation to join a
secondary table to a primary table;
and it may be used in a OneToOne
mapping in which the primary key of
the referencing entity is used as a
foreign key to the referenced

If no PrimaryKeyJoinColumn
annotation is specified for a subclass
in the JOINED mapping strategy, the
foreign key columns are assumed to
have the same names as the primary key
columns of the primary table of the

Example: Customer and ValuedCustomer subclass

public class Customer { ... }

public class ValuedCustomer extends Customer { ... }

[108] The derived id mechanisms
described in section are now
to be preferred over
PrimaryKeyJoinColumn for the
OneToOne mapping case.

See also

This source states that using @ManyToOne and @Id works with JPA 1.x. Who’s correct now?

The author is using a pre release JPA 2.0 compliant version of EclipseLink (version 2.0.0-M7 at the time of the article) to write an article about JPA 1.0(!). This article is misleading, the author is using something that is NOT part of JPA 1.0.

For the record, support of Id on OneToOne and ManyToOne has been added in EclipseLink 1.1 (see this message from James Sutherland, EclipseLink comitter and main contributor of the Java Persistence wiki book). But let me insist, this is NOT part of JPA 1.0.

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