I have what I think should be some kind of collection of objects. I want to be able to quickly search the collection and retrieve a member object that has a given (string) value in a particular field. I thought that HashMap would be the right collection type. However, I have not been able to get a HashMap to accept a value that is other than a primitive; I can't get it to accept my object as the value with the key being the (string) value of a particular field in the object. (I have found lots of examples of this simple case, where the key is a string and the value is some other primitive, like an integer or another string, but not where the value is an object.) I also have not been able to create a HashMap that is typed to a generic of my object (e.g. HashMap<MyObject> hash = new HashMap<MyObject>(), which works great with an ArrayList. Any help, suggestions or references to examples would be appreciated. Thanks.
Apparently you are using Java 5, so it's okay (and even preferable) to use generics. It's quite simple:I'm surprised you only found examples with primitives, since before Java 5 it was very hard to use Maps with primitives, and easy with Objects. You had to box the ints into Integers and so on.
I think you have some confusion on what a primitive type is. The primitives are boolean, byte, char, short, int, long, float, and double. All other types are objects. Here is an example of using a HashMap with objects as keys.