Working with Data

    This section describes how data is represented and used in the CAP Java SDK.


    Predefined Types

    The predefined CDS types are mapped to Java types and as follows:

    CDS Type Java Type Remark
    cds.UUID java.lang.String  
    cds.Boolean java.lang.Boolean  
    cds.Integer java.lang.Integer  
    cds.Integer64 java.lang.Long  
    cds.Decimal java.math.BigDecimal  
    cds.DecimalFloat java.math.BigDecimal deprecated
    cds.Double java.lang.Double  
    cds.Date java.time.LocalDate date without a time-zone (year-month-day)
    cds.Time java.time.LocalTime time without a time-zone (hour-minute-second)
    cds.DateTime java.time.Instant instant on the time-line with sec precision
    cds.Timestamp java.time.Instant instant on the time-line with µs precision
    cds.String java.lang.String  
    cds.LargeString java.lang.String (1) if annotated with @Core.MediaType
    cds.Binary byte[]  
    cds.LargeBinary byte[] (1) if annotated with @Core.MediaType

    SAP HANA-Specific Data Types

    To facilitate using legacy CDS models, the following SAP HANA-specific data types are supported:

    CDS Type Java Type Remark
    hana.TINYINT java.lang.Short  
    hana.SMALLINT java.lang.Short  
    hana.SMALLDECIMAL java.math.BigDecimal  
    hana.REAL java.lang.Float  
    hana.CHAR java.lang.String  
    hana.NCHAR java.lang.String  
    hana.VARCHAR java.lang.String  
    hana.CLOB java.lang.String (1) if annotated with @Core.MediaType
    hana.BINARY byte[]  

    (1) Although the API to handle large objects is the same for every database, the streaming feature, however, is supported (and tested) in SAP HANA, PostgreSQL, and H2. See section Database Support in Java for more details on database support and limitations.

    ❗ Warning
    The framework isn’t responsible for closing the stream when writing to the database. You decide when the stream is to be closed. If you forget to close the stream, the open stream can lead to a memory leak.

    These types are used for the values of CDS elements with primitive type. In the Model Reflection API, they’re represented by the enum CdsBaseType.

    Structured Data

    Structured data is used as input for Insert, Update, and Upsert statements and represents the results of Select statements.

    In the following we use this CDS model:

    entity Books {
        key ID     : Integer;
            title  : String;
            author : Association to one Authors;
    entity Authors {
        key ID    : Integer;
            name  : String;
            books : Association to many Books on = $self; 

    Find this source also in cap/samples.

    Entities and Structured Types

    Entities or structured types are represented in Java as a Map<String, Object> that maps the element names to the element values.

    The following example shows JSON data and how it can be constructed in Java:

        "ID"    : 97,
        "title" : "Dracula"
    Map<String, Object> book = new HashMap<>();
    book.put("ID", 97);
    book.put("title", "Dracula");

    Data of structured types and entities can be sparsely populated.

    Nested Structures and Associations

    Nested structures and single-valued associations, are represented by elements where the value is structured. In Java, the value type for such a representation is a map.

    The following example shows JSON data and how it can be constructed in Java:

        "ID"     : 97,
        "author" : 
                "ID"   : 23,
                "name" : "Bram Stoker"
    // java
    Map<String, Object> author = new HashMap<>();
    author.put("ID", 23);
    author.put("name", "Bram Stoker");
    Map<String, Object> book = new HashMap<>();
    book.put("ID", 97);
    book.put("author", author);

    A to-many association is represented by a List<Map<String, Object>>.

    The following example shows JSON data and how it can be constructed in Java:

        "ID"    : 23,
        "books" : 
                    "ID" : 97,
                    "title" : "Dracula"
                    "ID"   : 98,
                    "name" : "Miss Betty"
        "name" : "Bram Stoker"
    // java
    Map<String, Object> book1 = new HashMap<>();
    book1.put("ID", 97;
    book1.put("title", "Dracula");
    Map<String, Object> book2 = new HashMap<>();
    book2.put("ID", 98);
    book2.put("title", "Miss Betty");
    Map<String, Object> author = new HashMap<>();
    author.put("ID", 23);
    author.put(books, Arrays.asList(book1, book2));
    author.put("name", "Bram Stoker");

    Typed Access

    Representing data given as Map<String, Object> is flexible and interoperable with other frameworks. But it also has some disadvantages:

    • Names of elements are checked only at runtime
    • No code completion in the IDE
    • No type safety

    To ease the handling of data, the CAP Java SDK additionally provides typed access to data through accessor interfaces:

    Let’s assume following data for a book:

    Map<String, Object> book = new HashMap<>();
    book.put("ID", 97);
    book.put("title", "Dracula");

    You can now either define an accessor interface or use a generated accessor interface. The accessor interface then looks like in the following example:

    interface Book extends Map<String, Object> {
      @CdsName("ID")   // name of the CDS element
      Integer getID();
      String getTitle();
      void setTitle(String title);

    At runtime, the Struct.access method is used to create a proxy that gives typed access to the data through the accessor interface:

    import static;
    Book book = access(data).as(Book.class);
    String title = book.getTitle();   // read the value of the element 'title' from the underlying map
    book.setTitle("Miss Betty");      // update the element 'title' in the underlying map
    title = data.get("title");        // direct access to the underlying map
    title = book.get("title");        // hybrid access to the underlying map through the accessor interface

    To support hybrid access, like simultaneous typed and generic access, the accessor interface just needs to extend Map<String, Object>.

    The name of the CDS element referred to by a getter or setter, is defined through @CdsName annotation. If the annotation is missing, it’s determined by removing the get/set from the method name and lowercasing the first character.

    Generated Accessor Interfaces

    For all structured types of the CDS model, accessor interfaces can be generated using the CDS Maven Plugin. The generated accessor interfaces allow for hybrid access and easy serialization to JSON.

    Renaming Elements in Java

    Element names used in the CDS model might conflict with reserved Java keywords (class, private, transient, etc.). In this case, the annotation must be used to specify an alternative property name that will be used for the generation of accessor interfaces and static model interfaces. The element name used as key in the underlying map for dynamic access isn’t affected by this annotation.

    See the following example:

    entity Equity { : 'clazz'
      class : String;
    interface Equity {
      String getClazz();
      void setClazz(String clazz);

    Creating a Data Container for an Interface

    To create an empty data container for an interface, use the Struct.create method:

    import static;
    Book book = create(Book.class);
    String title = book.getTitle();   // title: "Dracula"

    Generated accessor interfaces contain a static create method that further facilitates the usage:

    Book book = Books.create();
    String title = book.getTitle();   // title: "Dracula"

    Read-Only Access

    Create a typed read-only view using access. Calling a setter on the view throws an exception.

    import static;
    Book book = access(data).asReadOnly(Book.class);
    String title = book.getTitle();
    book.setTitle("CDS4j");           // throws Exception

    Typed Streaming of Data

    Data given as Iterable<Map<String, Object>> can also be streamed:

    import static;
    Stream<Book> books = stream(data).as(Book.class);
    List<Book> bookList = books.collect(Collectors.toList());

    Typed Access to Query Results

    Typed access through custom or generated accessor interfaces eases the processing of query result.

    CDS Data Processor

    The CdsDataProcessor allows to process deeply nested maps of CDS data, by executing a sequence of registered actions (validators, converters, and generators).

    Using the create method, a new instance of the CdsDataProcessor can be created:

    CdsDataProcessor processor = CdsDataProcessor.create();

    Validators, converters, and generators can be added using the respective add method, which takes a filter and an action as arguments and is executed when the filter is matching.

    processor.addValidator(filter, action);

    When calling the process method of the CdsDataProcessor, the actions are executed sequentially in order of the registration.

    List<Map<String, Object>> data;  // data to be processed
    CdsStructuredType rowType;       // row type of the data
    processor.process(data, rowType);

    The process method can also be used on CDS.ql results that have a row type:

    CqnSelect query; // some query
    Result result =;

    Element Filters

    Filters can be defined as lambda expressions on path, element, and type, for the instance:

    (path, element, type) -> element.isKey() 
       && type.isSimpleType(CdsBaseType.STRING)

    which is matching key elements of type String.

    • path describes the path from the structured root type of the data to the parent type of element and provides access to the data values of each path segment
    • element is the CDS element
    • type
      • for primitive elements the element’s CDS type
      • for associations the association’s target type
      • for arrayed elements the array’s item type

    Data Validators

    Validators validate the values of CDS elements matching the filter. New validators can be added using the addValidator method. The following example adds a validator that logs a warning if the CDS element amount has a negative value. The warning message contains the path to the element.

       (path, element, type) -> element.getName().equals("amount"), // filter
       (path, element, value) -> {                               // validator
          if ((int) value < 0) {
             log.warn("Negative amount: " + path.toRef());

    Data Converters

    Converters convert or remove values of CDS elements matching the filter. New converters can be added using the addConverter method. The following example adds a converter that formats elements with name price.

       (path, element, type)  -> element.getName().equals("price"), // filter
       (path, element, value) -> formatter.format(value));       // converter

    To remove a value from the data, return Converter.REMOVE. The following example adds a converter that removes values of associations and compositions.

       (path, element, type)  -> element.getType().isAssociation(), // filter
       (path, element, value) -> Converter.REMOVE);                // remover

    Data Generators

    Generators generate the values for CDS elements matching the filter and are missing in the data or mapped to null. New generators can be added using the addGenerator method. The following example adds a UUID generator for elements of type UUID that are missing in the data.

       (path, element, type)   -> type.isSimpleType(UUID),       // filter
       (path, element, isNull) -> isNull ? null : randomUUID()); // generator
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