Using JPA to create dynamic queries in a typesafe manner.

The Criteria API includes mechanisms for building queries dynamically at runtime. A Java compiler can check for errors, in contrast to string-based Java Persistence Query Language (JPQL) queries.

Simple Example

The following example returns a list of Groups.

    CriteriaBuilder criteriaBuilder = getCriteriaBuilder();
    CriteriaQuery<Group> query = criteriaBuilder.createQuery(Group.class);
    Root<Group> group = query.from(Group.class);;
    TypedQuery<Group> typedQuery = createTypedQuery(query);
    return typedQuery.getResultList();

Dynamic Where Conditions

The following example dynamically adds Predicates to filter the results at run-time. The example also includes ordering and the application of limits.

    CriteriaBuilder cb = getCriteriaBuilder();
    CriteriaQuery<User> query = cb.createQuery(User.class);
    Root<User> user = query.from(User.class);

    List<Predicate> predicates = new ArrayList();
    if (criteria.getSchoolId() != null){
        Join<User, UserSchoolRelationship> userSchool = user.join("userSchoolRelationships");
        predicates.add(cb.equal(userSchool.get("school"), criteria.getSchoolId()));
    if (criteria.getEnabled() != null)
        predicates.add(cb.equal(user.get("enabled"), criteria.getEnabled()));
    if (criteria.isAllowedOnTablet() != null)
        predicates.add(cb.equal(user.get("allowedOnTablet"), criteria.isAllowedOnTablet()));
            .where(predicates.toArray(new Predicate[]{}));

    return entityManager.createQuery(query)

Casting to Custom Types

The following example shows how to return a custom object from a query. Here we have created a new object to return to the service layer, CustomModelForCast. This can be especially useful for any aggregate functions used in queries. In the example, we are returning a simple object that contains the company and the count of users in that company.

    public class CustomModelForQueryResults{
       private Company company;
       private Long count;

       public CustomModelForQueryResults(Company company, Long count){
  = company;
           this.count = count;

       public Company getCompany() {
           return company;

       public void setStore(Company company) {
  = company;

       public Long getCount() {
           return count;

       public void setCount(Long count) {
           this.count = count;

    public List<CustomModelForQueryResults> countRequestsGroupedByStore(List<Status> statuses) {

       CriteriaBuilder builder = entityManager.getCriteriaBuilder();
       CriteriaQuery<CustomModelForQueryResults> query = builder.createQuery(CustomModelForQueryResults.class);
       Root<User> sr = query.from(User.class);
       Join<User, Company> company= sr.join("company");

       query.multiselect(company, builder.count(user)).where(sr.get("status").in(statuses)).groupBy(sr.get("company"));

       TypedQuery<CustomModelForQueryResults> q = entityManager.createQuery(query);
       return q.getResultList();


Because of the above examples, you can see how some of the benefits of JPA 2¬†Criteriabuilder work. As well as avoiding the issues associated with JPQL, we can build flexible queries and avail of the CriteriaQuery’s query functions.

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