Java Calendar class - exception when using setTime()


Hi,
Can anyone see anything wrong with this while loop?

while (dateResultSet.next()) {                           
               Date directDebitDate = dateResultSet.getDate("direct_debit_date");                           
                         Calendar allowable = Calendar.getInstance();
                    Calendar directDebitDueDate = Calendar.getInstance();
                      
            /* set calendar value to 3 days time */                                                
                           allowable.add(Calendar.DATE, 3);                                                
                           directDebitDueDate.setTime(directDebitDate);
                           
                           /* if it falls before 3 days time it is classified as urgent */
                           if (directDebitDueDate.before(allowable))
                           {
                                 urgentPending ++;    
                                 System.out.println("Urgent pending count " + urgentPending);
                           }else
                           {
                                 regularPending ++;
                                 System.out.println("Regular pending count " + regularPending);
                           }                            
                           
                     }


 When i run it the results from of the system.outs come up fine but the setTime method causes the following exception

Caused by: java.lang.NullPointerException
      at java.util.Calendar.setTime(Calendar.java:902)
      ... 34 more
Caused by:
java.lang.NullPointerException
      at java.util.Calendar.setTime(Calendar.java:902)
      at ie.sentenial.business.database.MySQLDataManager.getClientCustomerStatuses(Unknown Source)
      at ie.sentenial.business.database.MySQLDataManager.getClientCustomerStatuses(Unknown Source)
      at ie.sentenial.application.actions.LoginAction.getClientCustomerStatusDetails(Unknown Source)
      at ie.sentenial.application.actions.LoginAction.execute(Unknown Source)
      at org.apache.struts.action.RequestProcessor.processActionPerform(RequestProcessor.java:484)
      at org.apache.struts.action.RequestProcessor.process(RequestProcessor.java:274)
      at org.apache.struts.action.ActionServlet.process(ActionServlet.java:1482)
      at org.apache.struts.action.ActionServlet.doPost(ActionServlet.java:525)

Any ideas anyone???
fynessAsked:
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KeithWatsonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It looks as as though there are null values in your database's direct_debit_date column. The fix for this would depend on your application. You could change the database to not allow null values and the problem won't arise (once you've populated your database correctly); however, if it's legal to have null values for the date in your application then you would need to ignore these in your piece of code, so:

while (dateResultSet.next()) {                        
              Date directDebitDate = dateResultSet.getDate("direct_debit_date");                        

               if (directDebitDate==null) {
                   continue;
                }

                       Calendar allowable = Calendar.getInstance();
                  Calendar directDebitDueDate = Calendar.getInstance();
                     
           /* set calendar value to 3 days time */                                          
                        allowable.add(Calendar.DATE, 3);                                          
                        directDebitDueDate.setTime(directDebitDate);
                       
                        /* if it falls before 3 days time it is classified as urgent */
                        if (directDebitDueDate.before(allowable))
                        {
                             urgentPending ++;    
                             System.out.println("Urgent pending count " + urgentPending);
                        }else
                        {
                             regularPending ++;
                             System.out.println("Regular pending count " + regularPending);
                        }                        
                       
                   }
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