Use Data Copy

If the application works in MVC frameworks, the work is often done by getting some data from a data source, modifying it, and then store it back in a data store. This style of work application always works with a copy of the data. Which allows it to use mutable data only within a single thread. The developer doesn’t have to worry about data synchronization and then store this data in a database transaction. This way of working is very practical, it does not require developers to have knowledge of multithreaded programming and thanks to this it is very widespread.

Can similar technical work be used when working with MicroStream?

Of course, elegantly, very simply and safely we can use the ObjectCopier utility to create a deep copy of our data, change it, and save it back.

Deep Copy vs Shallow Copy

Very simple idea, just create a purchase of actual data to work within the application and at the end save that data back. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. If the standard copy function is called over an object in Java, it creates a copy of that object, but the other object’s references remain the same. This doesn’t help so much. Because usually, an application contains a more complex data structure than a single object. This approach is called shallow copy. More here:

What is actually needed at this point is a deep copy. You need to create a complete copy of the complete subgraph from this object.

Deep Copy Utility (ObjectCopier)

MicroStream provides the full support for a deep copy. However, the following conditions must be met:

  1. Data must be already saved and manage by MicroStream.

  2. There are no circular references. The Object Graph is a Tree. (From graph theory, object graph contains no circles.)

If these two above conditions are met, ObjectCopier can be relatively easily called and a deep copy of the data will be created.

        ObjectCopier objectCopier = ObjectCopier.New();

        Customer customer = root.getCustomer(id);

        Customer customerCopy = objectCopier.copy(customer);

        XThreads.executeSynchronized(() -> {
            root.setCustomer(id, customerCopy);

What are the parts of this code?

  1. Just create an instance of ObjectCopier class due to factory method New();

  2. Get customer

  3. Make a deep copy of the customer object

  4. Modify this object graph

  5. In synchronized mode save this customer instead of the original customer and save it into a datastore

This simple example written in pseudocode aims to demonstrate one of the many ways to solve working over a shared object graph in a multi-threaded environment.