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The WildFly JPA subsystem implements the JPA 2.1 container-managed requirements. Deploys the persistence unit definitions, the persistence unit/context annotations and persistence unit/context references in the deployment descriptor. JPA Applications use the Hibernate (version 5.1) persistence provider, which is included with WildFly. The JPA subsystem uses the standard SPI (javax.persistence.spi.PersistenceProvider) to access the Hibernate persistence provider and some additional extensions as well.

During application deployment, JPA use is detected (e.g. persistence.xml or @PersistenceContext/Unit annotations) and injects Hibernate dependencies into the application deployment. This makes it easy to deploy JPA applications.

In the remainder of this documentation, ”entity manager” refers to an instance of the javax.persistence.EntityManager class. Javadoc for the JPA interfaces and JPA 2.1 specification.

The index of the Hibernate documentation is at

Update your Persistence.xml for Hibernate 5.1

The persistence provider class name in Hibernate 4.3.0 (and greater) is org.hibernate.jpa.HibernatePersistenceProvider.

Instead of specifying:


Switch to:


Or remove the persistence provider class name from your persistence.xml (so the default provider will be used).

Entity manager

The entity manager (javax.persistence.EntityManager class) is similar to the Hibernate Session class; applications use it to create/read/update/delete data (and related operations). Applications can use application-managed or container-managed entity managers. Keep in mind that the entity manager is not thread safe, don't share the same entity manager instance with multiple threads. 

Internally, the entity manager, has a persistence context for managing entities.  You can think of the persistence context as being closely associated with the entity manager.

Container-managed entity manager

When you inject a container-managed entity managers into an application variable, it is treated like an (EE container controlled) Java proxy object, that will be associated with an underlying EntityManager instance, for each started JTA transaction and is flushed/closed when the JTA transaction commits.  Such that when your application code invokes EntityManager.anyMethod(), the current JTA transaction is searched (using persistence unit name as key) for the underlying EntityManager instance, if not found, a new EntityManager instance is created and associated with the current JTA transaction, to be reused for the next EntityManager invocation.  Use the @PersistenceContext annotation, to inject a container-managed entity manager into a javax.persistence.EntityManager variable.

Application-managed entity manager

An application-managed entity manager is kept around until the application closes it. The scope of the application-managed entity manager is from when the application creates it and lasts until the application closes it. Use the @PersistenceUnit annotation, to inject a persistence unit into a javax.persistence.EntityManagerFactory variable. The EntityManagerFactory can return an application-managed entity manager.

Persistence Context

The JPA persistence context contains the entities managed by the entity manager (via the JPA persistence provider).  The underlying entity manager maintains the persistence context.  The persistence context acts like a first level (transactional) cache for interacting with the datasource. Loaded entities are placed into the persistence context before being returned to the application. Entities changes are also placed into the persistence context (to be saved in the database when the transaction commits). 

Transaction-scoped Persistence Context

The transaction-scoped persistence context coordinates with the (active) JTA transaction.  When the transaction commits, the persistence context is flushed to the datasource (entity objects are detached but may still be referenced by application code).  All entity changes that are expected to be saved to the datasource, must be made during a transaction.  Entities read outside of a transaction will be detached when the entity manager invocation completes.  Example transaction-scoped persistence context is below.

Extended Persistence Context

The (ee container managed) extended persistence context can span multiple transactions and allows data modifications to be queued up (like a shopping cart), without an active JTA transaction (to be applied during the next JTA TX). The Container-managed extended persistence context can only be injected into a stateful session bean. You can also think of the extended persistence context, as being an entity manager.

Extended Persistence Context Inheritance

By default, the current stateful session bean being created, will (deeply) inherit the extended persistence context from any stateful session bean executing in the current Java thread.  The deep inheritance of extended persistence context includes walking multiple levels up the stateful bean call stack (inheriting from parent beans).  The deep inheritance of extended persistence context includes sibling beans.  For example, parentA references child beans beanBwithXPC &  beanCwithXPC.  Even though parentA doesn't have an extended persistence context, beanBwithXPC & beanCwithXPC will share the same extended persistence context. 

Some other EE application servers, use shallow inheritance, where stateful session bean only inherit from the parent stateful session bean (if there is a parent bean).  Sibling beans do not share the same extended persistence context unless their (common) parent bean also has the same extended persistence context.

Applications can include a (top-level) jboss-all.xml deployment descriptor that specifies either the (default) DEEP extended persistence context inheritance or SHALLOW.

The WF/docs/schema/jboss-jpa_1_0.xsd describes the jboss-jpa deployment descriptor that may be included in the jboss-all.xml.  Below is an example of using SHALLOW extended persistence context inheritance:

    <jboss-jpa xmlns="">
    <extended-persistence inheritance="SHALLOW"/>

Below is an example of using DEEP extended persistence inheritance:

    <jboss-jpa xmlns="">
    <extended-persistence inheritance="DEEP"/>

The AS console/cli can change the default extended persistence context setting (DEEP or SHALLOW).  The following cli commands will read the current JPA settings and enable SHALLOW extended persistence context inheritance for applications that do not include the jboss-jpa deployment descriptor:

cd subsystem=jpa


JPA allows use of your (pojo) plain old Java class to represent a database table row.

The entity lifecycle is managed by the underlying persistence provider.

  • New (transient): an entity is new if it has just been instantiated using the new operator, and it is not associated with a persistence context. It has no persistent representation in the database and no identifier value has been assigned.
  • Managed (persistent): a managed entity instance is an instance with a persistent identity that is currently associated with a persistence context.
  • Detached: the entity instance is an instance with a persistent identity that is no longer associated with a persistence context, usually because the persistence context was closed or the instance was evicted from the context.
  • Removed: a removed entity instance is an instance with a persistent identity, associated with a persistence context, but scheduled for removal from the database.


The persistence.xml contains the persistence unit configuration (e.g. datasource name) and as described in the JPA 2.0 spec (section 8.2), the jar file or directory whose META-INF directory contains the persistence.xml file is termed the root of the persistence unit. In Java EE environments, the root of a persistence unit must be one of the following (quoted directly from the JPA 2.0 specification):


  • an EJB-JAR file
  • the WEB-INF/classes directory of a WAR file
  • a jar file in the WEB-INF/lib directory of a WAR file
  • a jar file in the EAR library directory
  • an application client jar file

The persistence.xml can specify either a JTA datasource or a non-JTA datasource. The JTA datasource is expected to be used within the EE environment (even when reading data without an active transaction). If a datasource is not specified, the default-datasource will instead be used (must be configured).

NOTE: Java Persistence 1.0 supported use of a jar file in the root of the EAR as the root of a persistence unit. This use is no longer supported. Portable applications should use the EAR library directory for this case instead.


Question: Can you have a EAR/META-INF/persistence.xml?

Answer: No, the above may deploy but it could include other archives also in the EAR, so you may have deployment issues for other reasons.  Better to put the persistence.xml in an EAR/lib/somePuJar.jar.


The logging can be enabled to get the following information:

  • INFO - when persistence.xml has been parsed, starting of persistence unit service (per deployed persistence.xml), stopping of persistence unit service
  • DEBUG - informs about entity managers being injected, creating/reusing transaction scoped entity manager for active transaction
  • TRACE - shows how long each entity manager operation took in milliseconds, application searches for a persistence unit, parsing of persistence.xml

To enable TRACE, open the as/standalone/configuration/standalone.xml (or as/domain/configuration/domain.xml) file. Search for <subsystem xmlns="urn:jboss:domain:logging:1.0"> and add the category.  You need to change the console-handler level from INFO to TRACE

To see what is going on at the JDBC level, enable jboss.jdbc.spy TRACE and add spy="true" to the datasource.

To troubleshoot issues with the Hibernate second level cache, try enabling trace for org.hibernate.SQL + org.hibernate.cache.infinispan + org.infinispan:

Using the Infinispan second level cache

To enable the second level cache with Hibernate 5.1, just set the hibernate.cache.use_second_level_cache property to true, as is done in the following example (also set the shared-cache-mode accordingly). By default the application server uses Infinispan as the cache provider for JPA applications, so you don't need specify anything on top of that.  The Infinispan version that is included in WildFly is expected to work with the Hibernate version that is included with WildFly.  Example persistence.xml settings:

Here is an example of enabling the second level cache for a Hibernate native API hibernate.cfg.xml file:

The Hibernate native API application will also need a MANIFEST.MF:

Infinispan Hibernate/JPA second level cache provider documentation contains advanced configuration information but you should bear in mind that when Hibernate runs within WildFly 8, some of those configuration options, such as region factory, are not needed. Moreover, the application server providers you with option of selecting a different cache container for Infinispan via hibernate.cache.infinispan.container persistence property. To reiterate, this property is not mandatory and a default container is already deployed for by the application server to host the second level cache.

Here is an example of what the Hibernate cache settings may currently be in your standalone.xml:

Below is an example of customizing the "entity", "immutable-entity", "local-query", "pending-puts", "timestamps" cache configuration may look like:

Persistence.xml to use the above custom settings:

Replacing the current Hibernate 5.x jars with a newer version

Just update the current wildfly/modules/system/layers/base/org/hibernate/main folder to contain the newer version (after stopping your WildFly server instance). 

  1. Delete *.index files in wildfly/modules/system/layers/base/org/hibernate/main and wildfly/modules/system/layers/base/org/hibernate/envers/main folders.
  2. Backup the current contents of wildfly/modules/system/layers/base/org/hibernate in case you make a mistake.
  3. Remove the older jars and copy new Hibernate jars into wildfly/modules/system/layers/base/org/hibernate/main + wildfly/modules/system/layers/base/org/hibernate/envers/main.
  4. Update the wildfly/modules/system/layers/base/org/hibernate/main/module.xml + wildfly/modules/system/layers/base/org/hibernate/envers/main/module.xml to name the jars that you copied in.
  5. Also update the hibernate-infinispan jars in wildfly/modules/system/layers/base/org/hibernate/infinispan.

Using Hibernate Search

WildFly includes Hibernate Search. If you want to use the bundled version of Hibernate Search - which requires to use the default Hibernate ORM 5.1 persistence provider - this will be automatically enabled.
Having this enabled means that, provided your application includes any entity which is annotated with, the module will be made available to your deployment; this will also include the required version of Apache Lucene.

If you do not want this module to be exposed to your deployment, set the persistence property to either none to not automatically inject any Hibernate Search module, or to any other module identifier to inject a different module.
For example you could set to use the experimental version 5.4.0.Alpha1 instead of the provided module; in this case you'll have to download and add the custom modules to the application server as other versions are not included.
When setting you might also opt to include Hibernate Search and its dependencies within your application but we highly recommend the modules approach.

Packaging the Hibernate JPA persistence provider with your application

WildFly  allows the packaging of Hibernate persistence provider jars with the application. The JPA deployer will detect the presence of a persistence provider in the application and needs to be set to application.<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<persistence xmlns="" version="1.0">
<persistence-unit name="myOwnORMVersion_pu">
<description>Hibernate Persistence Unit.</description>
    <property name="" value="application" />

Migrating from OpenJPA

You need to copy the OpenJPA jars (e.g. openjpa-all.jar serp.jar) into the WildFly modules/org/apache/openjpa/main folder and update modules/org/apache/openjpa/main/module.xml to include the same jar file names that you copied in.  This will help you get your application that depends on OpenJPA, to deploy on WildFly. 

Migrating from EclipseLink

You need to copy the EclipseLink jar (e.g. eclipselink-2.6.0.jar or eclipselink.jar as in the example below) into the WildFly modules/org/eclipse/persistence/main folder and update modules/org/eclipse/persistence/main/module.xml to include the EclipseLink jar (take care to use the jar name that you copied in).  If you happen to leave the EclipseLink version number in the jar name, the module.xml should reflect that.  This will help you get your application that depends on EclipseLink, to deploy on WildFly.

As a workaround for  issueid=414974, set (WildFly) system property "eclipselink.archive.factory" to value "org.jipijapa.eclipselink.JBossArchiveFactoryImpl" via command (WildFly server needs to be running when this command is issued):

.  The following shows what the standalone.xml (or your WildFly configuration you are using) file might look like after updating the system properties:

You should then be able to deploy applications with persistence.xml that include;

Also refer to page how to use EclipseLink with WildFly guide here.

Migrating from DataNucleus

Read the how to use DataNucleus with WildFly guide here.

Native Hibernate use

Applications that use the Hibernate API directly, are referred to here as native Hibernate applications. Native Hibernate applications, can choose to use the Hibernate jars included with WildFly or they can package their own copy of the Hibernate jars. Applications that utilize JPA will automatically have the Hibernate classes injected onto the application deployment classpath. Meaning that JPA applications, should expect to use the Hibernate jars included in WildFly.

Example MANIFEST.MF entry to add dependency for Hibernate native applications:

If you use the Hibernate native api in your application and also use the JPA api to access the same entities (from the same Hibernate session/EntityManager), you could get surprising results  (e.g. HibernateSession.saveOrUpdate(entity) is different than EntityManager.merge(entity).  Each entity should be managed by either Hibernate native API or JPA code.

Injection of Hibernate Session and SessionFactoryInjection of Hibernate Session and SessionFactory

You can inject a org.hibernate.Session and org.hibernate.SessionFactory directly, just as you can do with EntityManagers and EntityManagerFactorys.

Hibernate properties

WildFly automatically sets the following Hibernate (5.x) properties (if not already set in persistence unit definition):

Purpose New applications should let this default to true, older applications with existing data might need to set to false (see note below).  It really depends on whether your application uses the @GeneratedValue(AUTO) which will generates new key values for newly created entities.  The application can override this value (in the persistence.xml).
hibernate.transaction.jta.platform= instance of org.hibernate.service.jta.platform.spi.JtaPlatform interface The transaction manager, user transaction and transaction synchronization registry is passed into Hibernate via this class.
hibernate.ejb.resource_scanner = instance of org.hibernate.ejb.packaging.Scanner interface Instance of entity scanning class is passed in that knows how to use the AS annotation indexer (for faster deployment).
hibernate.transaction.manager_lookup_class This property is removed if found in the persistence.xml (could conflict with JtaPlatform)
hibernate.session_factory_name = qualified persistence unit name
Is set to the application name + persistence unit name (application can specify a different value but it needs to be unique across all application deployments on the AS instance).
hibernate.session_factory_name_is_jndi = false
only set if the application didn't specify a value for hibernate.session_factory_name.
hibernate.ejb.entitymanager_factory_name =  qualified persistence unit name Is set to the application name + persistence unit name (application can specify a different value but it needs to be unique across all application deployments on the AS instance).

In Hibernate 4.x (and greater), if new_generator_mappings is true:

  • @GeneratedValue(AUTO) maps to
  • @GeneratedValue(TABLE) maps to
  • @GeneratedValue(SEQUENCE) maps to

In Hibernate 4.x (and greater), if new_generator_mappings is false:

  • @GeneratedValue(AUTO) maps to Hibernate "native"
  • @GeneratedValue(TABLE) maps to
  • @GeneratedValue(SEQUENCE) to Hibernate "seqhilo"

Persistence unit properties

The following properties are supported in the persistence unit definition (in the persistence.xml file):

Purpose name of the persistence provider module (default is org.hibernate). Should be application, if a persistence provider is packaged with the application.  See note below about some module names that are built in (based on the provider). name of the integration classes that help WildFly to work with the persistence provider. class name of the integration adapter. set to false to disable container managed JPA access to the persistence unit.  The default is true, which enables container managed JPA access to the persistence unit.  This is typically set to false for Spring applications. set to false to disable class transformers for the persistence unit.  Set to true, to allow entity class enhancing/rewriting. 
wildfly.jpa.default-unit set to true to choose the default persistence unit in an application.  This is useful if you inject a persistence context without specifying the unitName (@PersistenceContext EntityManager em) but have multiple persistence units specified in your persistence.xml.
wildfly.jpa.twophasebootstrap persistence providers (like Hibernate ORM 4.3+ via EntityManagerFactoryBuilder), allow a two phase persistence unit bootstrap, which improves JPA integration with CDI.  Setting the wildfly.jpa.twophasebootstrap hint to false, disables the two phase bootstrap (for the persistence unit that contains the hint).
wildfly.jpa.allowdefaultdatasourceuse set to false to prevent persistence unit from using the default data source.  Defaults to true.  This is only important for persistence units that do not specify a datasource.
Controls whether transaction scoped persistence context used in non-JTA transaction thread, will detach loaded entities after each EntityManager invocation or when the persistence context is closed (e.g. business method ends).  Defaults to false (entities are cleared after EntityManager invocation) and if set to true, the detach is deferred until the context is closed. Controls which version of Hibernate Search to include on classpath. Only makes sense when using Hibernate as JPA implementation. The default is auto; other valid values are none or a full module identifier to use an alternative version. Specify the qualified (application scoped) persistence unit name to be used.  By default, this is internally set to the application name + persistence unit name.  The hibernate.cache.region_prefix will default to whatever you set to.  Make sure you set the value to a value not already in use by other applications deployed on the same application server instance.
wildfly.jpa.allowjoinedunsync If set to true, allows an SynchronizationType.UNSYNCHRONIZED persistence context that has been joined to the active JTA transaction, to be propagated into a SynchronizationType.SYNCHRONIZED persistence context.  Otherwise, an IllegalStateException exception would of been thrown that complains that an unsychronized persistence context cannot be propagated into a synchronized persistence context.  Defaults to false. 
wildfly.jpa.skipmixedsynctypechecking Set to true to disable the throwing of an IllegalStateException exception when propagating an SynchronizationType.UNSYNCHRONIZED persistence context into a SynchronizationType.SYNCHRONIZED persistence context.  This is a workaround intended to allow applications that used to incorrectly not get IllegalStateException exception with extended persistence contexts, to avoid the IllegalStateException, so they don't have to change their application right away (for compatibility purposes).  This hint may be deprecated in a future release.  See WFLY-7108 for more details.  Defaults to false.

Determine the persistence provider module

As mentioned above, if the property is not specified, the provider module name is determined by the provider name specified in the persistence.xml.  The mapping is:

Provider Name
Module name
org.hibernate.ejb.HibernatePersistence org.hibernate
org.hibernate.ogm.jpa.HibernateOgmPersistence org.hibernate.ogm
oracle.toplink.essentials.PersistenceProvider oracle.toplink
oracle.toplink.essentials.ejb.cmp3.EntityManagerFactoryProvider oracle.toplink
org.eclipse.persistence.jpa.PersistenceProvider org.eclipse.persistence
org.datanucleus.api.jpa.PersistenceProviderImpl org.datanucleus org.datanucleus:appengine
org.apache.openjpa.persistence.PersistenceProviderImpl org.apache.openjpa

Binding EntityManagerFactory/EntityManager to JNDI

By default WildFly does not bind the entity manager factory to JNDI. However, you can explicitly configure this in the persistence.xml of your application by setting the hint. The value of that property should be the JNDI name to which the entity manager factory should be bound.

You can also bind a container managed (transaction scoped) entity manager to JNDI as well, }}via hint{}{{.  As a reminder, a transaction scoped entity manager (persistence context), acts as a proxy that always gets an unique underlying entity manager (at the persistence provider level).

Here's an example:



Many thanks to the community, for reporting issues, solutions and code changes. A number of people have been answering Wildfly forum questions related to JPA usage. I would like to thank them for this, as well as those reporting issues. For those of you that haven't downloaded the AS source code and started hacking patches together. I would like to encourage you to start by reading Hacking on WildFly. You will find that it easy very easy to find your way around the WildFly/JPA/* source tree and make changes. Also, new for WildFly, is the JipiJapa project that contains additional integration code that makes EE JPA application deployments work better.  The following list of contributors should grow over time, I hope to see more of you listed here.

People who have contributed to the WildFly JPA layer:

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  1. Aug 03, 2012

    How does "Binding EntityManager to JNDI" work.

    The line

    <property name="" value="java:jboss/myEntityManager"/>

    seems not to work any more;-(

    Is only the EntityManagerFactory supported in JBoss 7 and not the EntityManager itself?

    1. Aug 03, 2012

      Yes, currently only the property is supported in JBoss 7. 

      The @PersistenceContext annotation can also help you (just specify the jndi name via "name"):

    2. Aug 07, 2013 support is in WildFly 8 (WFLY-299 is resolved for Alpha1).

  2. Mar 04, 2014

    If you are using EclipseLink with WildFly, please vote for issue to be fixed.  This will help EclipseLink integrate more easily with WildFly (so that system property "eclipselink.archive.factory" will not need to be set).