The Basics – Running a Query

Next to logging on/off, executing DQL queries is one of the most frequent tasks developed in a Documentum application.  There are three primary classes used to query the repository and process the results. These classes are:

  • IDfQuery – The query class encapsulates all of the data and functionality necessary to run a DQL query against a repository.
  • IDfCollection – The collection class encapsulates the results of a query in a read-once, forward-only object.  A better alternative is to use the dmRecordSet class.
  • IDfTypedObject – A typed object is a non-persistent object used to model row data in the IDfCollection object.

There are potentially more classes involved depending upon circumstances, for example whether you choose to use a query builder class (IDfQueryBuilder) to construct your query, or the dmRecordSet to hold query results.

The basic structure of the query code looks like this:

public IDfCollection runQuery(String query, IDfSession session) {
  IDfCollection col = null;

  try {
    // create query object
    IDfQuery q = new DfQuery();

    // set query string

    // execute query
    col = q.execute(session, DfQuery.DF_READ_QUERY);

  } catch (DfException e) {
  return col;

Note the use of the DfQuery.DF_READ_QUERY constant. The use of the proper query type constant can affect your query performance. See here for more on query type constants.

The basic structure of the code used to process the results returned in the IDfCollection object is:

// do query
IDfCollection col = runQuery("select r_object_id, object_name from dm_document where folder('/Templates')", session);

// process results
while ( {

 // get each row
 IDfTypedObject tObj = col.getTypedObject();

 // get value in each column and do something with results
 String id = tObj.getString("r_object_id");
 String name =  tObj.getString("object_name");
 System.out.println(id + "\t" + name);

// it is very important to close each collection after you process it
if ( (col != null) && (col.getState() != IDfCollection.DF_CLOSED_STATE) )

In this example, the IDfTypedObject represents a row in the IDfCollection and its getter methods are used to retrieve each column’s data.  Note that an IDfCollection object can only be read once, and only in the forward direction.  For a more robust and capable query result object, use the dmRecordSet class.

UPDATE:  I have created a DCTMBasics JAR file that contains most of the code discussed in this series.


About Scott
I have been implementing Documentum solutions since 1997. In 2005, I published a book about developing Documentum solutions for the Documentum Desktop Client (ISBN 0595339689). In 2010, I began this blog as a record of interesting and (hopefully) helpful bits of information related to Documentum, and as a creative outlet.

One Response to The Basics – Running a Query

  1. Pingback: The Basics – Specialized Query Methods | dm_misc: Miscellaneous Documentum Information

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