Active record is an architectural pattern of modeling database objects. In this pattern classes match very closely the structure of underlying database.
In Java, activerecord pattern isn't very popular. Though there are some implementations:
ActiveRecord pattern was popularized by Rails. It's the default ORM there.
Rails ActiveRecord is driven by conventions: class names are mapped to table names, field names are mapped to field names, foreign and primary keys should be named accordingly. These conventions can be overridden.
Having the following schema:
CREATE TABLE products ( id int(11) NOT NULL auto_increment, name varchar(255), PRIMARY KEY (id) );
And the following code:
class Product < ApplicationRecord end p = Product.new p.name = "Some Book" p.save!
Will produce the following statement:
INSERT INTO products (name) VALUES ("Some Book");
The pattern can be illustrated by the following pseudocode:
product = new Product() product.name = "Some Book" product.price = 123.45 product.save()
The following SQL would be a result:
INSERT INTO products (name, price) VALUES ('Some Book', 123.45);