Chapter 20. Toolset Guide

Roundtrip engineering with Hibernate is possible using a set of Eclipse plugins, commandline tools, as well as Ant tasks.

The Hibernate Tools currently include plugins for the Eclipse IDE as well as Ant tasks for reverse engineering of existing databases:

Please refer to the Hibernate Tools package and it's documentation for more information.

However, the Hibernate main package comes bundled with an integrated tool (it can even be used from "inside" Hibernate on-the-fly): SchemaExport aka hbm2ddl.

20.1. Automatic schema generation

DDL may be generated from your mapping files by a Hibernate utility. The generated schema includes referential integrity constraints (primary and foreign keys) for entity and collection tables. Tables and sequences are also created for mapped identifier generators.

You must specify a SQL Dialect via the hibernate.dialect property when using this tool, as DDL is highly vendor specific.

First, customize your mapping files to improve the generated schema.

20.1.1. Customizing the schema

Many Hibernate mapping elements define optional attributes named length, precision and scale. You may set the length, precision and scale of a column with this attribute.

<property name="zip" length="5"/>
<property name="balance" precision="12" scale="2"/>

Some tags also accept a not-null attribute (for generating a NOT NULL constraint on table columns) and a unique attribute (for generating UNIQUE constraint on table columns).

<many-to-one name="bar" column="barId" not-null="true"/>
<element column="serialNumber" type="long" not-null="true" unique="true"/>

A unique-key attribute may be used to group columns in a single unique key constraint. Currently, the specified value of the unique-key attribute is not used to name the constraint in the generated DDL, only to group the columns in the mapping file.

<many-to-one name="org" column="orgId" unique-key="OrgEmployeeId"/>
<property name="employeeId" unique-key="OrgEmployee"/>

An index attribute specifies the name of an index that will be created using the mapped column or columns. Multiple columns may be grouped into the same index, simply by specifying the same index name.

<property name="lastName" index="CustName"/>
<property name="firstName" index="CustName"/>

A foreign-key attribute may be used to override the name of any generated foreign key constraint.

<many-to-one name="bar" column="barId" foreign-key="FKFooBar"/>

Many mapping elements also accept a child <column> element. This is particularly useful for mapping multi-column types:

<property name="name" type="my.customtypes.Name"/>
    <column name="last" not-null="true" index="bar_idx" length="30"/>
    <column name="first" not-null="true" index="bar_idx" length="20"/>
    <column name="initial"/>

The default attribute lets you specify a default value for a column (you should assign the same value to the mapped property before saving a new instance of the mapped class).

<property name="credits" type="integer" insert="false">
    <column name="credits" default="10"/>
<version name="version" type="integer" insert="false">
    <column name="version" default="0"/>

The sql-type attribute allows the user to override the default mapping of a Hibernate type to SQL datatype.

<property name="balance" type="float">
    <column name="balance" sql-type="decimal(13,3)"/>

The check attribute allows you to specify a check constraint.

<property name="foo" type="integer">
    <column name="foo" check="foo > 10"/>
<class name="Foo" table="foos" check="bar < 100.0">
    <property name="bar" type="float"/>

Table 20.1. Summary

lengthnumbercolumn length
precisionnumbercolumn decimal precision
scalenumbercolumn decimal scale
not-nulltrue|falsespecfies that the column should be non-nullable
uniquetrue|falsespecifies that the column should have a unique constraint
indexindex_namespecifies the name of a (multi-column) index
unique-keyunique_key_namespecifies the name of a multi-column unique constraint
foreign-keyforeign_key_name specifies the name of the foreign key constraint generated for an association, for a <one-to-one>, <many-to-one>, <key>, or <many-to-many> mapping element. Note that inverse="true" sides will not be considered by SchemaExport.
sql-typeSQL column type overrides the default column type (attribute of <column> element only)
defaultSQL expression specify a default value for the column
checkSQL expression create an SQL check constraint on either column or table

The <comment> element allows you to specify comments for the generated schema.

<class name="Customer" table="CurCust">
    <comment>Current customers only</comment>
<property name="balance">
    <column name="bal">
        <comment>Balance in USD</comment>

This results in a comment on table or comment on column statement in the generated DDL (where supported).

20.1.2. Running the tool

The SchemaExport tool writes a DDL script to standard out and/or executes the DDL statements.

java -cp hibernate_classpaths org.hibernate.tool.hbm2ddl.SchemaExport options mapping_files

Table 20.2. SchemaExport Command Line Options

--quietdon't output the script to stdout
--droponly drop the tables
--createonly create the tables
--textdon't export to the database
--output=my_schema.ddloutput the ddl script to a file
--naming=eg.MyNamingStrategyselect a NamingStrategy
--config=hibernate.cfg.xmlread Hibernate configuration from an XML file
--properties=hibernate.propertiesread database properties from a file
--formatformat the generated SQL nicely in the script
--delimiter=;set an end of line delimiter for the script

You may even embed SchemaExport in your application:

Configuration cfg = ....;
new SchemaExport(cfg).create(false, true);

20.1.3. Properties

Database properties may be specified

  • as system properties with -D<property>

  • in

  • in a named properties file with --properties

The needed properties are:

Table 20.3. SchemaExport Connection Properties

Property NameDescription
hibernate.connection.driver_classjdbc driver class
hibernate.connection.urljdbc url
hibernate.connection.usernamedatabase user
hibernate.connection.passworduser password

20.1.4. Using Ant

You can call SchemaExport from your Ant build script:

<target name="schemaexport">
    <taskdef name="schemaexport"
        <fileset dir="src">
            <include name="**/*.hbm.xml"/>

20.1.5. Incremental schema updates

The SchemaUpdate tool will update an existing schema with "incremental" changes. Note that SchemaUpdate depends heavily upon the JDBC metadata API, so it will not work with all JDBC drivers.

java -cp hibernate_classpaths org.hibernate.tool.hbm2ddl.SchemaUpdate options mapping_files

Table 20.4. SchemaUpdate Command Line Options

--quietdon't output the script to stdout
--textdon't export the script to the database
--naming=eg.MyNamingStrategyselect a NamingStrategy
--properties=hibernate.propertiesread database properties from a file
--config=hibernate.cfg.xmlspecify a .cfg.xml file

You may embed SchemaUpdate in your application:

Configuration cfg = ....;
new SchemaUpdate(cfg).execute(false);

20.1.6. Using Ant for incremental schema updates

You can call SchemaUpdate from the Ant script:

<target name="schemaupdate">
    <taskdef name="schemaupdate"
        <fileset dir="src">
            <include name="**/*.hbm.xml"/>

20.1.7. Schema validation

The SchemaValidator tool will validate that the existing database schema "matches" your mapping documents. Note that SchemaValidator depends heavily upon the JDBC metadata API, so it will not work with all JDBC drivers. This tool is extremely useful for testing.

java -cp hibernate_classpaths org.hibernate.tool.hbm2ddl.SchemaValidator options mapping_files

Table 20.5. SchemaValidator Command Line Options

--naming=eg.MyNamingStrategyselect a NamingStrategy
--properties=hibernate.propertiesread database properties from a file
--config=hibernate.cfg.xmlspecify a .cfg.xml file

You may embed SchemaValidator in your application:

Configuration cfg = ....;
new SchemaValidator(cfg).validate();

20.1.8. Using Ant for schema validation

You can call SchemaValidator from the Ant script:

<target name="schemavalidate">
    <taskdef name="schemavalidator"
        <fileset dir="src">
            <include name="**/*.hbm.xml"/>