Hibernate.orgCommunity Documentation


Working with both Object-Oriented software and Relational Databases can be cumbersome and time consuming. Development costs are significantly higher due to a paradigm mismatch between how data is represented in objects versus relational databases. Hibernate is an Object/Relational Mapping solution for Java environments. The term Object/Relational Mapping refers to the technique of mapping data between an object model representation to a relational data model representation. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Object-relational_mapping for a good high-level discussion.


You do not need a strong background in SQL to use Hibernate, but having a basic understanding of the concepts can help you understand Hibernate more fully and quickly. An understanding of data modeling principles is especially important. You might want to consider these resources as a good starting point:

Hibernate takes care of the mapping from Java classes to database tables, and from Java data types to SQL data types. In addition, it provides data query and retrieval facilities. It can significantly reduce development time otherwise spent with manual data handling in SQL and JDBC. Hibernate’s design goal is to relieve the developer from 95% of common data persistence-related programming tasks by eliminating the need for manual, hand-crafted data processing using SQL and JDBC. However, unlike many other persistence solutions, Hibernate does not hide the power of SQL from you and guarantees that your investment in relational technology and knowledge is as valid as always.

Hibernate may not be the best solution for data-centric applications that only use stored-procedures to implement the business logic in the database, it is most useful with object-oriented domain models and business logic in the Java-based middle-tier. However, Hibernate can certainly help you to remove or encapsulate vendor-specific SQL code and streamlines the common task of translating result sets from a tabular representation to a graph of objects.

The referenced projects and code for the tutorials in this guide are available at files/hibernate-tutorials.zip.