Using Managed Sessions in Hibernate to Ease Unit Testing

If you’ve ever tried to reuse a session in Hibernate you may have come across this exception…

org.hibernate.SessionException: Session is closed!
   at org.hibernate.impl.AbstractSessionImpl.errorIfClosed(AbstractSessionImpl.java:49)
   at org.hibernate.impl.SessionImpl.beginTransaction(SessionImpl.java:1319)
   at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method)
   at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(Unknown Source)
   at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(Unknown Source)
   at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Unknown Source)
   at org.hibernate.context.ThreadLocalSessionContext$TransactionProtectionWrapper.invoke(ThreadLocalSessionContext.java:301)
   at $Proxy0.beginTransaction(Unknown Source)
   ....

The reason for this is that Hibernate is using “thread” managed sessions. With this type of session management Hibernate manages the session for you. When you first attempt to use a session Hibernate will create one and attach it to your local thread. When you commit the transaction in the session Hibernate will automatically close the session meaning it can’t be reused.

To get around this problem the best option is to use “managed” sessions. With managed sessions you’re in full control of creating, flushing, commiting, and closing sessions. Here’s how.

In your hibernate.cfg.xml change the property “current_session_context_class” to “managed”.

To create a session and start a transaction in that session do this…

   org.hibernate.classic.Session session = HibernateUtil.getSessionFactory().openSession();
   session.setFlushMode(FlushMode.MANUAL);
   ManagedSessionContext.bind(session);
   session.beginTransaction();

To commit a transaction in the session do this…

   ManagedSessionContext.unbind(HibernateUtil.getSessionFactory());
   session.flush();
   session.getTransaction().commit();
   session.close();

To use this code in unit tests I created this base unit test class that all my unit tests extend. Whenever I want to create a new session/transaction I call the method createNewSessionAndTransaction(). To commit the session’s transaction I call the method commitTransaction().

import org.hibernate.FlushMode;
import org.hibernate.Session;
import org.hibernate.context.ManagedSessionContext;
import util.HibernateUtil;
import junit.framework.TestCase;

/**
 * Abstract unit test with helper methods for managed session control
 */
public abstract class ManagedSessionUnitTest extends TestCase {

   /**
    * Create a new Session.
    *
    * For this method to work, the application managed session strategy has to
    * be enabled. This basically means that the life of a session is controlled
    * by you and and not by Hibernate.
    *
    * To enable the application managed session strategy set the property
    * hibernate.current_session_context_class to "managed".
    *
    * Within this method we create a new session and set the flush mode to
    * MANUAL. This ensures that we have full control over when the session is
    * flushed to the database.
    */
   protected org.hibernate.Session createNewSession() {
      org.hibernate.classic.Session session = HibernateUtil.getSessionFactory().openSession();
      session.setFlushMode(FlushMode.MANUAL);
      ManagedSessionContext.bind(session);
      return (org.hibernate.Session) session;
   }

   /**
    * Start a new Transaction in the given session
    * @param session The session to create the transaction in
    */
   protected void startNewTransaction(Session session) {
      session.beginTransaction();
   }

   /**
    * Shortcut method that creates a new session and begins a transaction in it
    * @return A new session with a transaction started
    */
   protected org.hibernate.Session createNewSessionAndTransaction() {
      Session session = createNewSession();
      startNewTransaction(session);
      return session;
   }

   /**
    * Commit the transaction within the given session. This method unbinds
    * the session from the session context (ManagedSessionContext), flushes
    * the session, commmits the session and then closes the session
    * @param session The session with the transaction to commit
    */
   protected void commitTransaction(Session session) {
      ManagedSessionContext.unbind(HibernateUtil.getSessionFactory());
      session.flush();
      session.getTransaction().commit();
      session.close();
   }

}
  • http://www.ontarix.com Thomas

    many many thanx for your hint. this is fantastic. no more Session closed! Exceptions. I will never follow the advices from the Hibernate Tutorial. With Adrian's hint you get maximum control over your transactions.
    Thanx a lot Adrian

  • adrianfsmith

    glad you found it useful Thomas