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Introduction to Hibernate

January 11, 2022

Hibernate is a Java object-relational mapping (ORM) framework that lets you map regular objects to database tables.

Hibernate’s primary objective is to relieve the developer of typical data persistence-related chores. This ORM framework is open-source and lightweight.

Table of contents

Hibernate architecture

Hibernate has a layered architecture that allows users to operate without being aware of the core APIs.

Hibernate makes use of databases and other configurable information to provide unique features.

Hibernate’s architecture is divided into four major levels:

  • Hibernate framework.
  • Backhand API.
  • Java application layer.
  • Database level.

Hibernate’s architecture is shown in the following diagram:

High-Level View Architecture

The diagram below highlights Hibernate’s core classes:

Detailed View Architecture

Architecture components

Application-level class objects are summarized in this section:

  • SessionFactory object: SessionFactory is a session and client factory for the ConnectionProvider. It saves data in the second-level cache.

  • Session object: The session object serves as a link between the database and the application’s data layer. It is a tiny object that wraps the JDBC connection. It acts as a factory for transactions, queries, as well as other criteria.

  • Transaction object: The transaction interface provides different functions or methods required for data management.

  • ConnectionProvider: It’s a factory for JDBC connections. In other words, it hides the application’s connection to the data source.

  • TransactionFactory: This is an optional factory that is used for different transactions.

Installation process

Hibernate works well on the Eclipse IDE. If you have not installed Eclipse IDE, you can download it from here.

The basic steps for downloading and installing Hibernate in the Eclipse IDE are as follows:

Step 1: Select Help » Eclipse Marketplace from the Eclipse IDE’s menu bar.

Step 2: Type JBoss Tool on the search box and click on Go.

Step 3: Choose the latest version of JBoss Tools and click Install.


Step 4: From the marked tools, select and download the Hibernate tool.

Then click on confirm to set up the hibernate tools.


Step 5: Accept the terms in the license agreement and click on the Finish button.

Step 6: Restart Eclipse IDE to ensure that all changes are reflected.

Step 7: To validate whether the Hibernate tools are correctly installed, click on File » New » Others and then search for Hibernate.


Advantages of Hibernate

Hibernate framework is simple to use. Its mapping procedure can be implemented with only a few lines of code.

The following are some of Hibernate’s advantages:

Object relational mapping(ORM)

ORM conveniently resolves data mismatches between an application’s object-oriented classes and a relational database. Hibernate’s flexibility and power are also enhanced by this functionality.

Database independence

Hibernate is database-agnostic. This means that it can connect to any database, including MySQL, Oracle, DB2, and Sybase.

A database can be made portable by simply altering the ‘database dialect’ variable in the config file.

Fast performance

Hibernate uses cache to keep items in memory. This reduces the number of times they are accessed from the database.

Hibernate query language

Hibernate supports HQL which is a sophisticated query language. This language is both more efficient and object-oriented than SQL.

Functionalities such as inheritance, polymorphism, association, as well as other object-oriented concepts can be implemented using HQL.

Persistence and transparency

Hibernate ensures that software objects and database tables are connected automatically. It also eliminates a lot of boilerplate code.

In the long run, these features decrease development time and costs.

Open source

Hibernate is an open-source program that has numerous advantages. The source code for this lightweight framework can be downloaded freely.


Hibernate is a scalable database. It can adapt to any setting, as well as accommodate a huge number of users.

Hibernate is simple to learn

Hibernate is an easy-to-use framework for beginners. It’s simple to understand and implement. It reduces developers’ workload by handling database updates automatically.

Disadvantages of Hibernate

Though Hibernate offers numerous advantages, it also has certain disadvantages.

For starters, Hibernate is slower when compared to JDB. This is because it creates a large number of SQL queries at runtime.

Secondly, Hibernate does not support multiple insertions. Besides, some JDBC-supported queries are not allowed by Hibernate.

Thirdly, Hibernate is not suitable for a small project. Such apps may have few tables, and thus adopting the whole Hibernate framework is quite time-consuming.

Hibernate is quite poor when it comes to batch processing. It’s, therefore, better to stick with JDBC during batch processing.

Hibernate example

Here’s an example of bi-directional mapping using Hibernate.

 //This is customer.java class
import java.io.Serializable;
import javax.persistence.GeneratedValue;
import javax.persistence.Id;
import javax.persistence.OneToOne;
import javax.persistence.Entity;
import javax.persistence.JoinColumn;
import javax.persistence.GenerationType;
import javax.persistence.Id;
import javax.persistence.CascadeType;
import javax.persistence.Column;
import org.hibernate.Session; //importing Hibernate
import org.hibernate.Transaction;
import org.hibernate.query.Query;
import org.hibernate.SessionFactory;
import java.util.List;
import org.hibernate.cfg.Configuration;
import com.netsurfingzone.entity.Location;
import com.netsurfingzone.entity.Customer;

public class customer implements Serializable {
    @GeneratedValue(strategy = GenerationType.AUTO)//to autogenerate the primary key
    private Long id;

    @Column(name = "customer_name") //Column in the database
    private String customer_name;

    @Column(name = "custmer_id") //Column in the database
    private String custmer_id;

    @Column(name = "customer_email") //Column in the database
    private customer_email;

    @OneToOne(cascade = CascadeType.ALL) // Creating a one-to-one relationship
    @JoinColumn(name = "location_id", referencedColumnName = "id") // Joining the two tables
    private Location location;

//This is location.java class
//import  the same packages as the one imported in customer.java class
public class Location {
    @GeneratedValue(strategy = GenerationType.AUTO) //Generating an ID automatically
    private Long id;

    @Column(name = "state") //Column in the database
    private String state;

    @Column(name = "state_number") //Column in the database
    private String state_number;

    @OneToOne(cascade = CascadeType.ALL, mappedBy = "location") // A one-to-one relationship
    private Customer customer;


//main class
public class Main {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        SessionFactory factory = null; //Initializing the sessionFactory to null
        Session session = null; //Initializing the session to null
        Configuration configuration = new Configuration().configure();
        try { // Adding new values to database
            factory = configuration.buildSessionFactory();
            session = factory.openSession();
            Transaction k = session.beginTransaction(); // Starting the transaction
            Customer customer1 = new Customer(); // Creating a new object and adding values
            Customer customer2 = new Customer(); // Creating a new object and adding values
            Location location1 = new Location(); // Creating a new object and adding values
            Location location2 = new Location();
            customer1.setLocation(location1); //Joining tables
            session.save(customer1); //Saves the customer details 
            k.commit();//commit the transaction
        } catch (Exception e) {
            e.printStackTrace(); //Message is printed incase of an error

        } finally {
            //Closing the session and sessionFactory


In the Customer class, we have customer_id, customer_name, and customer_email variables. The Location class, on the other hand, has state and state_number which are all private variables.

We then created session objects for the two classes (Customer and Location) in the Main class. We also joined the two columns using @JoinColumn() annotation.


Hibernate is an ORM technology that is used to map database structures to Java objects in real-time.

The use of Hibernate, a persistent framework, lets developers concentrate solely on developing business logic code.

Further Reading

Peer Review Contributions by: Wanja Mike