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Import Stack Exchange dumps into a Postgres Database using Java, Hibernate, JAXB
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This project allows to import StackExchange dumps into relational databases. Importing of all entities (posts, post history, users, comments, badges, votes, post links, tags) available to download is supported. Technologies used are Java, Hibernate/JPA for writing and JAXB for parsing. Importing has been tested with postgres and H2, but should also be possible with any relational database that works with hibernate:

A JPA data access object layer allows easy querying of the data since the object relational mapping is done by hibernate annotations. Examples of how to use this layer can be found in the test cases.

This project focuses on clean code, complete test coverage, brevity, maintainability, ease of use and efficiency.

The dumps are currently hosted by

and are released under a creative commons license:

The dump of the beer stackexchange site is included to run the tests on.

Importing into a relational database is the first step in mining data from the stackexchange sites (most importantly from stackoverflow). I hope this project may be useful to others. Contributing is more than welcome.


Maven and Java >= 1.8 is needed for building this project. Once mvn is installed and this project is checked out via git, you can run

mvn install

within the project root directory to add the jar and sources jar to your local mvn repository.

Calling from Java

Start your relational database you want to import to or skip this step if you are going to use H2. Then create a Spring configuration similar to file to point to your database. Be sure to get the host name, database name, schema name, port number, user, password, hibernate dialect and the driver class correct.

Using the importer is most easily understood looking at the classes within the src/main/test directory. Here is an example of how to import posts with a spring-injected instance of ImporterImpl called importer.


If you do not want to use Spring for configuration, then you can manually construct an instance of ImporterImpl and explicitly set the JPA SessionFactory:

LocalSessionFactoryBean factory = new TestConfig().sessionFactory();
Importer importer = new ImporterImpl();

Note that hibernate / JPA will create the database schema for you. Make sure your user has the appropriate privileges for creating tables in the specified schema. Also note that by default running the importer more than once will delete previously imported data. Adjust the spring configuration to change this behavior.

Importing from the shell

Edit the LocalSessionFactoryBean within to point to the database that you want to import to -- or leave it pointing to the in-memory H2 instance, which is configured by default.

Use the mvn assemply plugin to create a jar that includes all dependencies:

mvn clean compile assembly:single

Then execute the following, possibly changing the path to your Posts.xml file:

java -jar target/StackExchangeImporter-1.0-SNAPSHOT-jar-with-dependencies.jar Post src/test/resources/beer/Posts.xml

Valid values for the first parameter are the names of the classes in the package org.stackexchange.dumps.importer.domain: Post, PostHistory, Badge, SeUser, Vote, Tag, Comment, PostLink.

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