Hibernate.orgCommunity Documentation

Hibernate Developer Guide



Table of Contents

1. Get Involved
2. Getting Started Guide
1. Database access
1.1. Connecting
1.1.1. Configuration
1.1.2. Obtaining a JDBC connection
1.2. Connection pooling
1.2.1. c3p0 connection pool
1.2.2. Proxool connection pool
1.2.3. Obtaining connections from an application server, using JNDI
1.2.4. Other connection-specific configuration
1.2.5. Optional configuration properties
1.3. Dialects
1.3.1. Specifying the Dialect to use
1.3.2. Dialect resolution
1.4. Automatic schema generation with SchemaExport
1.4.1. Customizing the mapping files
1.4.2. Running the SchemaExport tool
2. Transactions and concurrency control
2.1. Defining Transaction
2.2. Physical Transactions
2.2.1. Physical Transactions - JDBC
2.2.2. Physical Transactions - JTA
2.2.3. Physical Transactions - CMT
2.2.4. Physical Transactions - Custom
2.2.5. Physical Transactions - Legacy
2.3. Hibernate Transaction Usage
2.4. Transactional patterns (and anti-patterns)
2.4.1. Session-per-operation anti-pattern
2.4.2. Session-per-request pattern
2.4.3. Conversations
2.4.4. Session-per-application
2.5. Object identity
2.6. Common issues
3. Persistence Contexts
3.1. Making entities persistent
3.2. Deleting entities
3.3. Obtain an entity reference without initializing its data
3.4. Obtain an entity with its data initialized
3.5. Obtain an entity by natural-id
3.6. Refresh entity state
3.7. Modifying managed/persistent state
3.8. Working with detached data
3.8.1. Reattaching detached data
3.8.2. Merging detached data
3.9. Checking persistent state
3.10. Accessing Hibernate APIs from JPA
4. Batch Processing
4.1. Batch inserts
4.2. Batch updates
4.3. StatelessSession
4.4. Hibernate Query Language for DML
4.4.1. HQL for UPDATE and DELETE
4.4.2. HQL syntax for INSERT
4.4.3. More information on HQL
5. Locking
5.1. Optimistic
5.1.1. Dedicated version number
5.1.2. Timestamp
5.2. Pessimistic
5.2.1. The LockMode class
6. Caching
6.1. The query cache
6.1.1. Query cache regions
6.2. Second-level cache providers
6.2.1. Configuring your cache providers
6.2.2. Caching strategies
6.2.3. Second-level cache providers for Hibernate
6.3. Managing the cache
6.3.1. Moving items into and out of the cache
7. Services
7.1. What are services?
7.2. Service contracts
7.3. Service dependencies
7.3.1. @org.hibernate.service.spi.InjectService
7.3.2. org.hibernate.service.spi.ServiceRegistryAwareService
7.4. ServiceRegistry
7.5. Standard services
7.5.1. org.hibernate.engine.jdbc.batch.spi.BatchBuilder
7.5.2. org.hibernate.engine.config.spi.ConfigurationService
7.5.3. ConnectionProvider
7.5.4. org.hibernate.engine.jdbc.dialect.spi.DialectFactory
7.5.5. org.hibernate.engine.jdbc.dialect.spi.DialectResolver
7.5.6. org.hibernate.engine.jdbc.spi.JdbcServices
7.5.7. org.hibernate.jmx.spi.JmxService
7.5.8. org.hibernate.engine.jndi.spi.JndiService
7.5.9. org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.spi.JtaPlatform
7.5.10. MultiTenantConnectionProvider
7.5.11. org.hibernate.persister.spi.PersisterClassResolver
7.5.12. org.hibernate.persister.spi.PersisterFactory
7.5.13. org.hibernate.cache.spi.RegionFactory
7.5.14. org.hibernate.service.spi.SessionFactoryServiceRegistryFactory
7.5.15. org.hibernate.stat.Statistics
7.5.16. org.hibernate.engine.transaction.spi.TransactionFactory
7.5.17. org.hibernate.tool.hbm2ddl.ImportSqlCommandExtractor
7.6. Custom services
7.7. Special service registries
7.7.1. Boot-strap registry
7.7.2. SessionFactory registry
7.8. Using services and registries
7.9. Integrators
7.9.1. Integrator use-cases
8. Data categorizations
8.1. Value types
8.1.1. Basic types
8.1.2. National Character Types
8.1.3. Composite types
8.1.4. Collection types
8.2. Entity Types
8.3. Implications of different data categorizations
9. Mapping entities
9.1. Hierarchies
10. Mapping associations
11. HQL and JPQL
11.1. Case Sensitivity
11.2. Statement types
11.2.1. Select statements
11.2.2. Update statements
11.2.3. Delete statements
11.2.4. Insert statements
11.3. The FROM clause
11.3.1. Identification variables
11.3.2. Root entity references
11.3.3. Explicit joins
11.3.4. Implicit joins (path expressions)
11.3.5. Collection member references
11.3.6. Polymorphism
11.4. Expressions
11.4.1. Identification variable
11.4.2. Path expressions
11.4.3. Literals
11.4.4. Parameters
11.4.5. Arithmetic
11.4.6. Concatenation (operation)
11.4.7. Aggregate functions
11.4.8. Scalar functions
11.4.9. Collection-related expressions
11.4.10. Entity type
11.4.11. CASE expressions
11.5. The SELECT clause
11.6. Predicates
11.6.1. Relational comparisons
11.6.2. Nullness predicate
11.6.3. Like predicate
11.6.4. Between predicate
11.6.5. In predicate
11.6.6. Exists predicate
11.6.7. Empty collection predicate
11.6.8. Member-of collection predicate
11.6.9. NOT predicate operator
11.6.10. AND predicate operator
11.6.11. OR predicate operator
11.7. The WHERE clause
11.8. Grouping
11.9. Ordering
11.10. Query API
12. Criteria
12.1. Typed criteria queries
12.1.1. Selecting an entity
12.1.2. Selecting an expression
12.1.3. Selecting multiple values
12.1.4. Selecting a wrapper
12.2. Tuple criteria queries
12.3. FROM clause
12.3.1. Roots
12.3.2. Joins
12.3.3. Fetches
12.4. Path expressions
12.5. Using parameters
13. Native SQL Queries
13.1. Using a SQLQuery
13.1.1. Scalar queries
13.1.2. Entity queries
13.1.3. Handling associations and collections
13.1.4. Returning multiple entities
13.1.5. Returning non-managed entities
13.1.6. Handling inheritance
13.1.7. Parameters
13.2. Named SQL queries
13.2.1. Using return-property to explicitly specify column/alias names
13.2.2. Using stored procedures for querying
13.3. Custom SQL for create, update and delete
13.4. Custom SQL for loading
14. JMX
15. Envers
15.1. Basics
15.2. Configuration
15.3. Additional mapping annotations
15.4. Choosing an audit strategy
15.5. Revision Log
15.5.1. Tracking entity names modified during revisions
15.6. Tracking entity changes at property level
15.7. Queries
15.7.1. Querying for entities of a class at a given revision
15.7.2. Querying for revisions, at which entities of a given class changed
15.7.3. Querying for revisions of entity that modified given property
15.7.4. Querying for entities modified in a given revision
15.8. Conditional auditing
15.9. Understanding the Envers Schema
15.10. Generating schema with Ant
15.11. Mapping exceptions
15.11.1. What isn't and will not be supported
15.11.2. What isn't and will be supported
15.11.3. @OneToMany+@JoinColumn
15.12. Advanced: Audit table partitioning
15.12.1. Benefits of audit table partitioning
15.12.2. Suitable columns for audit table partitioning
15.12.3. Audit table partitioning example
15.13. Envers links
16. Multi-tenancy
16.1. What is multi-tenancy?
16.2. Multi-tenant data approaches
16.2.1. Separate database
16.2.2. Separate schema
16.2.3. Partitioned (discriminator) data
16.3. Multi-tenancy in Hibernate
16.3.1. MultiTenantConnectionProvider
16.3.2. CurrentTenantIdentifierResolver
16.3.3. Caching
16.3.4. Odds and ends
16.4. Strategies for MultiTenantConnectionProvider implementors
17. OSGi
17.1. OSGi Specification and Environment
17.2. hibernate-osgi
17.3. Container-Managed JPA
17.3.1. Client bundle imports
17.3.2. JPA 2.1
17.3.3. DataSource
17.3.4. Bundle Ordering
17.3.5. Obtaining an EntityManger
17.4. Unmanaged JPA
17.4.1. Client bundle imports
17.4.2. Bundle Ordering
17.4.3. Obtaining an EntityMangerFactory
17.5. Unmanaged Native
17.5.1. Client bundle imports
17.5.2. Bundle Ordering
17.5.3. Obtaining an SessionFactory
17.6. Optional Modules
17.7. Extension Points
17.8. Caveats
A. Configuration properties
A.1. Strategy configurations
A.2. General Configuration
A.3. Database configuration
A.4. Connection pool properties
B. Legacy Hibernate Criteria Queries
B.1. Creating a Criteria instance
B.2. Narrowing the result set
B.3. Ordering the results
B.4. Associations
B.5. Dynamic association fetching
B.6. Components
B.7. Collections
B.8. Example queries
B.9. Projections, aggregation and grouping
B.10. Detached queries and subqueries
B.11. Queries by natural identifier

List of Tables

1.1. Important configuration properties for the Proxool connection pool
1.2. Supported database dialects
1.3. Elements and attributes provided for customizing mapping files
1.4. SchemaExport Options
6.1. Possible values for Shared Cache Mode
8.1. Basic Type Mappings
8.2. National Character Type Mappings
13.1. Alias injection names
15.1. Envers Configuration Properties
15.2. Salaries table
15.3. Salaries - audit table
A.1. JDBC properties
A.2. Cache Properties
A.3. Transactions properties
A.4. Miscellaneous properties
A.5. Proxool connection pool properties

List of Examples

1.1. hibernate.properties for a c3p0 connection pool
1.2. hibernate.cfg.xml for a connection to the bundled HSQL database
1.3. Specifying the mapping files directly
1.4. Letting Hibernate find the mapping files for you
1.5. Specifying configuration properties
1.6. Specifying configuration properties
1.7. SchemaExport syntax
1.8. Embedding SchemaExport into your application
2.1. Database identity
2.2. JVM identity
3.1. Example of making an entity persistent
3.2. Example of deleting an entity
3.3. Example of obtaining an entity reference without initializing its data
3.4. Example of obtaining an entity reference with its data initialized
3.5. Example of simple natural-id access
3.6. Example of natural-id access
3.7. Example of refreshing entity state
3.8. Example of modifying managed state
3.9. Example of reattaching a detached entity
3.10. Visualizing merge
3.11. Example of merging a detached entity
3.12. Examples of verifying managed state
3.13. Examples of verifying laziness
3.14. Alternative JPA means to verify laziness
3.15. Usage of EntityManager.unwrap
4.1. Naive way to insert 100000 lines with Hibernate
4.2. Flushing and clearing the Session
4.3. Using scroll()
4.4. Using a StatelessSession
4.5. Psuedo-syntax for UPDATE and DELETE statements using HQL
4.6. Executing an HQL UPDATE, using the Query.executeUpdate() method
4.7. Updating the version of timestamp
4.8. A HQL DELETE statement
4.9. Pseudo-syntax for INSERT statements
4.10. HQL INSERT statement
5.1. The @Version annotation
5.2. Declaring a version property in hbm.xml
5.3. Using timestamps for optimistic locking
5.4. The timestamp element in hbm.xml
6.1. Method setCacheRegion
6.2. Configuring cache providers using annotations
6.3. Configuring cache providers using mapping files
6.4. Evicting an item from the first-level cache
6.5. Second-level cache eviction
6.6. Browsing the second-level cache entries via the Statistics API
7.1. Using BootstrapServiceRegistryBuilder
7.2. Registering event listeners
11.1. Example UPDATE query statements
11.2. Example INSERT query statements
11.3. Simple query example
11.4. Simple query using entity name for root entity reference
11.5. Simple query using multiple root entity references
11.6. Explicit inner join examples
11.7. Explicit left (outer) join examples
11.8. Fetch join example
11.9. with-clause join example
11.10. Simple implicit join example
11.11. Reused implicit join
11.12. Collection references example
11.13. Qualified collection references example
11.14. String literal examples
11.15. Numeric literal examples
11.16. Named parameter examples
11.17. Positional (JPQL) parameter examples
11.18. Numeric arithmetic examples
11.19. Concatenation operation example
11.20. Aggregate function examples
11.21. Collection-related expressions examples
11.22. Index operator examples
11.23. Entity type expression examples
11.24. Simple case expression example
11.25. Searched case expression example
11.26. NULLIF example
11.27. Dynamic instantiation example - constructor
11.28. Dynamic instantiation example - list
11.29. Dynamic instantiation example - map
11.30. Relational comparison examples
11.31. ALL subquery comparison qualifier example
11.32. Nullness checking examples
11.33. Like predicate examples
11.34. Between predicate examples
11.35. In predicate examples
11.36. Empty collection expression examples
11.37. Member-of collection expression examples
11.38. Group-by illustration
11.39. Having illustration
11.40. Order-by examples
12.1. Selecting the root entity
12.2. Selecting an attribute
12.3. Selecting an array
12.4. Selecting an array (2)
12.5. Selecting an wrapper
12.6. Selecting a tuple
12.7. Adding a root
12.8. Adding multiple roots
12.9. Example with Embedded and ManyToOne
12.10. Example with Collections
12.11. Example with Embedded and ManyToOne
12.12. Example with Collections
12.13. Using parameters
13.1. Named sql query using the <sql-query> maping element
13.2. Execution of a named query
13.3. Named sql query with association
13.4. Named query returning a scalar
13.5. <resultset> mapping used to externalize mapping information
13.6. Programmatically specifying the result mapping information
13.7. Named SQL query using @NamedNativeQuery together with @SqlResultSetMapping
13.8. Implicit result set mapping
13.9. Using dot notation in @FieldResult for specifying associations
13.10. Scalar values via @ColumnResult
13.11. Custom CRUD via annotations
13.12. Custom CRUD XML
13.13. Overriding SQL statements for collections using annotations
13.14. Overriding SQL statements for secondary tables
13.15. Stored procedures and their return value
15.1. Example of storing username with revision
15.2. Custom implementation of tracking entity classes modified during revisions
16.1. Specifying tenant identifier from SessionFactory
16.2. Implementing MultiTenantConnectionProvider using different connection pools
16.3. Implementing MultiTenantConnectionProvider using single connection pool
17.1. Example extension point registrations in blueprint.xml

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 from an object model representation to a relational data model representation (and visa versa). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Object-relational_mapping for a good high-level discussion.


While having a strong background in SQL is not required to use Hibernate, having a basic understanding of the concepts can greatly help you understand Hibernate more fully and quickly. Probably the single best background is an understanding of data modeling principles. You might want to consider these resources as a good starting point:

Hibernate not only takes care of the mapping from Java classes to database tables (and from Java data types to SQL data types), but also 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 will help with the common task of result set translation from a tabular representation to a graph of objects.

Hibernate connects to databases on behalf of your application. It can connect through a variety of mechanisms, including:

  • Stand-alone built-in connection pool

  • javax.sql.DataSource

  • Connection pools, including support for two different third-party opensource JDBC connection pools:

    • c3p0

    • proxool

  • Application-supplied JDBC connections. This is not a recommended approach and exists for legacy reasons


The built-in connection pool is not intended for production environments.

Hibernate obtains JDBC connections as needed though the ConnectionProvider interface which is a service contract. Applications may also supply their own ConnectionProvider implementation to define a custom approach for supplying connections to Hibernate (from a different connection pool implementation, for example).

You can configure database connections using a properties file, an XML deployment descriptor or programmatically.

Example 1.2. hibernate.cfg.xml for a connection to the bundled HSQL database

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>

  ~ Hibernate, Relational Persistence for Idiomatic Java
  ~ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 2.1 or later.
  ~ See the lgpl.txt file in the root directory or <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1.html>.
        xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.hibernate.org/xsd/hibernate-configuration hibernate-configuration-4.0.xsd"
    <!-- Database connection settings -->
    <property name="connection.driver_class">org.hsqldb.jdbcDriver</property>
    <property name="connection.url">jdbc:hsqldb:hsql://localhost</property>
    <property name="connection.username">sa</property>
    <property name="connection.password"></property>

    <!-- JDBC connection pool (use the built-in) -->
    <property name="connection.pool_size">1</property>

    <!-- SQL dialect -->
    <property name="dialect">org.hibernate.dialect.HSQLDialect</property>

    <!-- Enable Hibernate's automatic session context management -->
    <property name="current_session_context_class">thread</property>

    <!-- Disable the second-level cache  -->
    <property name="cache.provider_class">org.hibernate.cache.internal.NoCacheProvider</property>

    <!-- Echo all executed SQL to stdout -->
    <property name="show_sql">true</property>

    <!-- Drop and re-create the database schema on startup -->
    <property name="hbm2ddl.auto">update</property>
    <mapping resource="org/hibernate/tutorial/domain/Event.hbm.xml"/>

An instance of object org.hibernate.cfg.Configuration represents an entire set of mappings of an application's Java types to an SQL database. The org.hibernate.cfg.Configuration builds an immutable org.hibernate.SessionFactory, and compiles the mappings from various XML mapping files. You can specify the mapping files directly, or Hibernate can find them for you.

Other ways to configure Hibernate programmatically

  • Pass an instance of java.util.Properties to Configuration.setProperties().

  • Set System properties using java -Dproperty=value

Hibernate's internal connection pooling algorithm is rudimentary, and is provided for development and testing purposes. Use a third-party pool for best performance and stability. To use a third-party pool, replace the hibernate.connection.pool_size property with settings specific to your connection pool of choice. This disables Hibernate's internal connection pool.

Although SQL is relatively standardized, each database vendor uses a subset of supported syntax. This is referred to as a dialect. Hibernate handles variations across these dialects through its org.hibernate.dialect.Dialect class and the various subclasses for each vendor dialect.

Table 1.2. Supported database dialects

CUBRID 8.3 and later org.hibernate.dialect.CUBRIDDialect
DB2 org.hibernate.dialect.DB2Dialect
DB2 AS/400 org.hibernate.dialect.DB2400Dialect
DB2 OS390 org.hibernate.dialect.DB2390Dialect
Firebird org.hibernate.dialect.FirebirdDialect
FrontBase org.hibernate.dialect.FrontbaseDialect
H2 org.hibernate.dialect.H2Dialect
HyperSQL (HSQL) org.hibernate.dialect.HSQLDialect
Informix org.hibernate.dialect.InformixDialect
Ingres org.hibernate.dialect.IngresDialect
Ingres 9 org.hibernate.dialect.Ingres9Dialect
Ingres 10 org.hibernate.dialect.Ingres10Dialect
Interbase org.hibernate.dialect.InterbaseDialect
InterSystems Cache 2007.1 org.hibernate.dialect.Cache71Dialect
JDataStore org.hibernate.dialect.JDataStoreDialect
Mckoi SQL org.hibernate.dialect.MckoiDialect
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 org.hibernate.dialect.SQLServerDialect
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 org.hibernate.dialect.SQLServer2005Dialect
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 org.hibernate.dialect.SQLServer2008Dialect
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 org.hibernate.dialect.SQLServer2012Dialect
Mimer SQL org.hibernate.dialect.MimerSQLDialect
MySQL org.hibernate.dialect.MySQLDialect
MySQL with InnoDB org.hibernate.dialect.MySQLInnoDBDialect
MySQL with MyISAM org.hibernate.dialect.MySQLMyISAMDialect
MySQL5 org.hibernate.dialect.MySQL5Dialect
MySQL5 with InnoDB org.hibernate.dialect.MySQL5InnoDBDialect
Oracle 8i org.hibernate.dialect.Oracle8iDialect
Oracle 9i org.hibernate.dialect.Oracle9iDialect
Oracle 10g and later org.hibernate.dialect.Oracle10gDialect
Oracle TimesTen org.hibernate.dialect.TimesTenDialect
Pointbase org.hibernate.dialect.PointbaseDialect
PostgreSQL 8.1 org.hibernate.dialect.PostgreSQL81Dialect
PostgreSQL 8.2 org.hibernate.dialect.PostgreSQL82Dialect
PostgreSQL 9 and later org.hibernate.dialect.PostgreSQL9Dialect
Progress org.hibernate.dialect.ProgressDialect
SAP DB org.hibernate.dialect.SAPDBDialect
SAP HANA (column store) org.hibernate.dialect.HANAColumnStoreDialect
SAP HANA (row store) org.hibernate.dialect.HANARowStoreDialect
Sybase org.hibernate.dialect.SybaseDialect
Sybase 11 org.hibernate.dialect.Sybase11Dialect
Sybase ASE 15.5 org.hibernate.dialect.SybaseASE15Dialect
Sybase ASE 15.7 org.hibernate.dialect.SybaseASE157Dialect
Sybase Anywhere org.hibernate.dialect.SybaseAnywhereDialect
Teradata org.hibernate.dialect.TeradataDialect
Unisys OS 2200 RDMS org.hibernate.dialect.RDMSOS2200Dialect

SchemaExport is a Hibernate utility which generates DDL from your mapping files. The generated schema includes referential integrity constraints, primary and foreign keys, for entity and collection tables. It also creates tables and sequences for mapped identifier generators.

Before Hibernate can generate your schema, you must customize your mapping files.

Hibernate provides several elements and attributes to customize your mapping files. They are listed in Table 1.3, “Elements and attributes provided for customizing mapping files”, and a logical order of customization is presented in Procedure 1.1, “Customizing the schema”.

Procedure 1.1. Customizing the schema

  1. Set the length, precision, and scale of mapping elements.

    Many Hibernate mapping elements define optional attributes named length, precision, and scale.

      ~ Hibernate, Relational Persistence for Idiomatic Java
      ~ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 2.1 or later.
      ~ See the lgpl.txt file in the root directory or <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1.html>.
    <property name="zip" length="5"/>
    <property name="balance" precision="12" scale="2"/>
  2. Set the not-null, UNIQUE, unique-key attributes.

    The not-null and UNIQUE attributes generate constraints on table columns.

    The unique-key attribute groups columns in a single, unique key constraint. The attribute overrides the name of any generated unique key constraint.

      ~ Hibernate, Relational Persistence for Idiomatic Java
      ~ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 2.1 or later.
      ~ See the lgpl.txt file in the root directory or <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1.html>.
    <many-to-one name="bar" column="barId" not-null="true"/>
    <element column="serialNumber" type="long" not-null="true" unique="true"/>

    <many-to-one name="org" column="orgId" unique-key="OrgEmployeeId"/>
    <property name="employeeId" unique-key="OrgEmployee"/>
  3. Set the index and foreign-key attributes.

    The index attribute specifies the name of an index for Hibernate to create using the mapped column or columns. You can group multiple columns into the same index by assigning them the same index name.

    A foreign-key attribute overrides the name of any generated foreign key constraint.

      ~ Hibernate, Relational Persistence for Idiomatic Java
      ~ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 2.1 or later.
      ~ See the lgpl.txt file in the root directory or <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1.html>.
    <many-to-one name="bar" column="barId" foreign-key="FKFooBar"/>
  4. Set child <column> elements.

    Many mapping elements accept one or more child <column> elements. This is particularly useful for mapping types involving multiple columns.

      ~ Hibernate, Relational Persistence for Idiomatic Java
      ~ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 2.1 or later.
      ~ See the lgpl.txt file in the root directory or <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1.html>.
    <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"/>
  5. Set the default attribute.

    The default attribute represents a default value for a column. Assign the same value to the mapped property before saving a new instance of the mapped class.

      ~ Hibernate, Relational Persistence for Idiomatic Java
      ~ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 2.1 or later.
      ~ See the lgpl.txt file in the root directory or <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1.html>.
    <property name="credits" type="integer" insert="false">
        <column name="credits" default="10"/>
    <version name="version" type="integer" insert="false">
        <column name="version" default="0"/>
  6. Set the sql-type attribure.

    Use the sql-type attribute to override the default mapping of a Hibernate type to SQL datatype.

      ~ Hibernate, Relational Persistence for Idiomatic Java
      ~ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 2.1 or later.
      ~ See the lgpl.txt file in the root directory or <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1.html>.
    <property name="balance" type="float">
        <column name="balance" sql-type="decimal(13,3)"/>
  7. Set the check attribute.

    use the check attribute to specify a check constraint.

      ~ Hibernate, Relational Persistence for Idiomatic Java
      ~ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 2.1 or later.
      ~ See the lgpl.txt file in the root directory or <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1.html>.
    <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"/>
  8. Add <comment> elements to your schema.

    Use the <comment> element to specify comments for the generated schema.

      ~ Hibernate, Relational Persistence for Idiomatic Java
      ~ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 2.1 or later.
      ~ See the lgpl.txt file in the root directory or <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1.html>.
    <class name="Customer" table="CurCust">
      <comment>Current customers only</comment>

Hibernate uses the JDBC API for persistence. In the world of Java there are 2 well defined mechanism for dealing with transactions in JDBC: JDBC itself and JTA. Hibernate supports both mechanisms for integrating with transactions and allowing applications to manage physical transactions.

The first concept in understanding Hibernate transaction support is the org.hibernate.engine.transaction.spi.TransactionFactory interface which serves 2 main functions:

  • It allows Hibernate to understand the transaction semantics of the environment. Are we operating in a JTA environment? Is a physical transaction already currently active? etc.

  • It acts as a factory for org.hibernate.Transaction instances which are used to allow applications to manage and check the state of transactions. org.hibernate.Transaction is Hibernate's notion of a logical transaction. JPA has a similar notion in the javax.persistence.EntityTransaction interface.


javax.persistence.EntityTransaction is only available when using resource-local transactions. Hibernate allows access to org.hibernate.Transaction regardless of environment.

org.hibernate.engine.transaction.spi.TransactionFactory is a standard Hibernate service. See Section 7.5.16, “org.hibernate.engine.transaction.spi.TransactionFactory for details.

This is the most common transaction pattern. The term request here relates to the concept of a system that reacts to a series of requests from a client/user. Web applications are a prime example of this type of system, though certainly not the only one. At the beginning of handling such a request, the application opens a Hibernate Session, starts a transaction, performs all data related work, ends the transaction and closes the Session. The crux of the pattern is the one-to-one relationship between the transaction and the Session.

Within this pattern there is a common technique of defining a current session to simplify the need of passing this Session around to all the application components that may need access to it. Hibernate provides support for this technique through the getCurrentSession method of the SessionFactory. The concept of a "current" session has to have a scope that defines the bounds in which the notion of "current" is valid. This is purpose of the org.hibernate.context.spi.CurrentSessionContext contract. There are 2 reliable defining scopes:

  • First is a JTA transaction because it allows a callback hook to know when it is ending which gives Hibernate a chance to close the Session and clean up. This is represented by the org.hibernate.context.internal.JTASessionContext implementation of the org.hibernate.context.spi.CurrentSessionContext contract. Using this implementation, a Session will be opened the first time getCurrentSession is called within that transaction.

  • Secondly is this application request cycle itself. This is best represented with the org.hibernate.context.internal.ManagedSessionContext implementation of the org.hibernate.context.spi.CurrentSessionContext contract. Here an external component is responsible for managing the lifecycle and scoping of a "current" session. At the start of such a scope, ManagedSessionContext's bind method is called passing in the Session. At the end, its unbind method is called.

    Some common examples of such "external components" include:

    • javax.servlet.Filter implementation

    • AOP interceptor with a pointcut on the service methods

    • A proxy/interception container


The getCurrentSession() method has one downside in a JTA environment. If you use it, after_statement connection release mode is also used by default. Due to a limitation of the JTA specification, Hibernate cannot automatically clean up any unclosed ScrollableResults or Iterator instances returned by scroll() or iterate(). Release the underlying database cursor by calling ScrollableResults.close() or Hibernate.close(Iterator) explicitly from a finally block.

The session-per-request pattern is not the only valid way of designing units of work. Many business processes require a whole series of interactions with the user that are interleaved with database accesses. In web and enterprise applications, it is not acceptable for a database transaction to span a user interaction. Consider the following example:

Even though we have multiple databases access here, from the point of view of the user, this series of steps represents a single unit of work. There are many ways to implement this in your application.

A first naive implementation might keep the Session and database transaction open while the user is editing, using database-level locks to prevent other users from modifying the same data and to guarantee isolation and atomicity. This is an anti-pattern, because lock contention is a bottleneck which will prevent scalability in the future.

Several database transactions are used to implement the conversation. In this case, maintaining isolation of business processes becomes the partial responsibility of the application tier. A single conversation usually spans several database transactions. These multiple database accesses can only be atomic as a whole if only one of these database transactions (typically the last one) stores the updated data. All others only read data. A common way to receive this data is through a wizard-style dialog spanning several request/response cycles. Hibernate includes some features which make this easy to implement.

Automatic Versioning

Hibernate can perform automatic optimistic concurrency control for you. It can automatically detect if a concurrent modification occurred during user think time. Check for this at the end of the conversation.

Detached Objects

If you decide to use the session-per-request pattern, all loaded instances will be in the detached state during user think time. Hibernate allows you to reattach the objects and persist the modifications. The pattern is called session-per-request-with-detached-objects. Automatic versioning is used to isolate concurrent modifications.

Extended Session

The Hibernate Session can be disconnected from the underlying JDBC connection after the database transaction has been committed and reconnected when a new client request occurs. This pattern is known as session-per-conversation and makes even reattachment unnecessary. Automatic versioning is used to isolate concurrent modifications and the Session will not be allowed to flush automatically, only explicitly.

Session-per-request-with-detached-objects and session-per-conversation each have advantages and disadvantages.

An application can concurrently access the same persistent state (database row) in two different Sessions. However, an instance of a persistent class is never shared between two Session instances. Two different notions of identity exist and come into play here: Database identity and JVM identity.

For objects attached to a particular Session, the two notions are equivalent, and JVM identity for database identity is guaranteed by Hibernate. The application might concurrently access a business object with the same identity in two different sessions, the two instances are actually different, in terms of JVM identity. Conflicts are resolved using an optimistic approach and automatic versioning at flush/commit time.

This approach places responsibility for concurrency on Hibernate and the database. It also provides the best scalability, since expensive locking is not needed to guarantee identity in single-threaded units of work. The application does not need to synchronize on any business object, as long as it maintains a single thread per anti-patterns. While not recommended, within a Session the application could safely use the == operator to compare objects.

However, an application that uses the == operator outside of a Session may introduce problems.. If you put two detached instances into the same Set, they might use the same database identity, which means they represent the same row in the database. They would not be guaranteed to have the same JVM identity if they are in a detached state. Override the equals and hashCode methods in persistent classes, so that they have their own notion of object equality. Never use the database identifier to implement equality. Instead, use a business key that is a combination of unique, typically immutable, attributes. The database identifier changes if a transient object is made persistent. If the transient instance, together with detached instances, is held in a Set, changing the hash-code breaks the contract of the Set. Attributes for business keys can be less stable than database primary keys. You only need to guarantee stability as long as the objects are in the same Set.This is not a Hibernate issue, but relates to Java's implementation of object identity and equality.

Both the session-per-user-session and session-per-application anti-patterns are susceptible to the following issues. Some of the issues might also arise within the recommended patterns, so ensure that you understand the implications before making a design decision:

Both the org.hibernate.Session API and javax.persistence.EntityManager API represent a context for dealing with persistent data. This concept is called a persistence context. Persistent data has a state in relation to both a persistence context and the underlying database.

Entity states

  • new, or transient - the entity has just been instantiated and is not associated with a persistence context. It has no persistent representation in the database and no identifier value has been assigned.

  • managed, or persistent - the entity has an associated identifier and is associated with a persistence context.

  • detached - the entity has an associated identifier, but is no longer associated with a persistence context (usually because the persistence context was closed or the instance was evicted from the context)

  • removed - the entity has an associated identifier and is associated with a persistence context, however it is scheduled for removal from the database.

In Hibernate native APIs, the persistence context is defined as the org.hibernate.Session. In JPA, the persistence context is defined by javax.persistence.EntityManager. Much of the org.hibernate.Session and javax.persistence.EntityManager methods deal with moving entities between these states.

In addition to allowing to load by identifier, Hibernate allows applications to load by declared natural identifier.

Just like we saw above, access entity data by natural id allows both the load and getReference forms, with the same semantics.

Accessing persistent data by identifier and by natural-id is consistent in the Hibernate API. Each defines the same 2 data access methods:


Should be used in cases where the identifier is assumed to exist, where non-existence would be an actual error. Should never be used to test existence. That is because this method will prefer to create and return a proxy if the data is not already associated with the Session rather than hit the database. The quintessential use-case for using this method is to create foreign-key based associations.


Will return the persistent data associated with the given identifier value or null if that identifier does not exist.

In addition to those 2 methods, each also defines the method with accepting a org.hibernate.LockOptions argument. Locking is discussed in a separate chapter.

Detachment is the process of working with data outside the scope of any persistence context. Data becomes detached in a number of ways. Once the persistence context is closed, all data that was associated with it becomes detached. Clearing the persistence context has the same effect. Evicting a particular entity from the persistence context makes it detached. And finally, serialization will make the deserialized form be detached (the original instance is still managed).

Detached data can still be manipulated, however the persistence context will no longer automatically know about these modification and the application will need to intervene to make the changes persistent.

An application can verify the state of entities and collections in relation to the persistence context.

In JPA there is an alternative means to check laziness using the following javax.persistence.PersistenceUtil pattern. However, the javax.persistence.PersistenceUnitUtil is recommended where ever possible

The following example shows an antipattern for batch inserts.

Before batch processing, enable JDBC batching. To enable JDBC batching, set the property hibernate.jdbc.batch_size to an integer between 10 and 50.


Hibernate disables insert batching at the JDBC level transparently if you use an identity identifier generator.

If the above approach is not appropriate, you can disable the second-level cache, by setting hibernate.cache.use_second_level_cache to false.

StatelessSession is a command-oriented API provided by Hibernate. Use it to stream data to and from the database in the form of detached objects. A StatelessSession has no persistence context associated with it and does not provide many of the higher-level life cycle semantics. Some of the things not provided by a StatelessSession include:

Features and behaviors not provided by StatelessSession

  • a first-level cache

  • interaction with any second-level or query cache

  • transactional write-behind or automatic dirty checking

Limitations of StatelessSession

  • Operations performed using a stateless session never cascade to associated instances.

  • Collections are ignored by a stateless session.

  • Operations performed via a stateless session bypass Hibernate's event model and interceptors.

  • Due to the lack of a first-level cache, Stateless sessions are vulnerable to data aliasing effects.

  • A stateless session is a lower-level abstraction that is much closer to the underlying JDBC.

The insert(), update(), and delete() operations defined by the StatelessSession interface operate directly on database rows. They cause the corresponding SQL operations to be executed immediately. They have different semantics from the save(), saveOrUpdate(), and delete() operations defined by the Session interface.

DML, or Data Markup Language, refers to SQL statements such as INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE. Hibernate provides methods for bulk SQL-style DML statement execution, in the form of Hibernate Query Language (HQL).

The FROM clause can only refer to a single entity, which can be aliased. If the entity name is aliased, any property references must be qualified using that alias. If the entity name is not aliased, then it is illegal for any property references to be qualified.

Joins, either implicit or explicit, are prohibited in a bulk HQL query. You can use sub-queries in the WHERE clause, and the sub-queries themselves can contain joins.

In keeping with the EJB3 specification, HQL UPDATE statements, by default, do not effect the version or the timestamp property values for the affected entities. You can use a versioned update to force Hibernate to reset the version or timestamp property values, by adding the VERSIONED keyword after the UPDATE keyword.


If you use the VERSIONED statement, you cannot use custom version types, which use class org.hibernate.usertype.UserVersionType.

Method Query.executeUpdate() returns an int value, which indicates the number of entities effected by the operation. This may or may not correlate to the number of rows effected in the database. An HQL bulk operation might result in multiple SQL statements being executed, such as for joined-subclass. In the example of joined-subclass, a DELETE against one of the subclasses may actually result in deletes in the tables underlying the join, or further down the inheritance hierarchy.

Only the INSERT INTO ... SELECT ... form is supported. You cannot specify explicit values to insert.

The properties_list is analogous to the column specification in the SQL INSERT statement. For entities involved in mapped inheritance, you can only use properties directly defined on that given class-level in the properties_list. Superclass properties are not allowed and subclass properties are irrelevant. In other words, INSERT statements are inherently non-polymorphic.

The select_statement can be any valid HQL select query, but the return types must match the types expected by the INSERT. Hibernate verifies the return types during query compilation, instead of expecting the database to check it. Problems might result from Hibernate types which are equivalent, rather than equal. One such example is a mismatch between a property defined as an org.hibernate.type.DateType and a property defined as an org.hibernate.type.TimestampType, even though the database may not make a distinction, or may be capable of handling the conversion.

If id property is not specified in the properties_list, Hibernate generates a value automatically. Automatic generation is only available if you use ID generators which operate on the database. Otherwise, Hibernate throws an exception during parsing. Available in-database generators are org.hibernate.id.SequenceGenerator and its subclasses, and objects which implement org.hibernate.id.PostInsertIdentifierGenerator. The most notable exception is org.hibernate.id.TableHiLoGenerator, which does not expose a selectable way to get its values.

For properties mapped as either version or timestamp, the insert statement gives you two options. You can either specify the property in the properties_list, in which case its value is taken from the corresponding select expressions, or omit it from the properties_list, in which case the seed value defined by the org.hibernate.type.VersionType is used.

Locking refers to actions taken to prevent data in a relational database from changing between the time it is read and the time that it is used.

Your locking strategy can be either optimistic or pessimistic.

Locking strategies


Optimistic locking assumes that multiple transactions can complete without affecting each other, and that therefore transactions can proceed without locking the data resources that they affect. Before committing, each transaction verifies that no other transaction has modified its data. If the check reveals conflicting modifications, the committing transaction rolls back[1].


Pessimistic locking assumes that concurrent transactions will conflict with each other, and requires resources to be locked after they are read and only unlocked after the application has finished using the data.

Hibernate provides mechanisms for implementing both types of locking in your applications.

When your application uses long transactions or conversations that span several database transactions, you can store versioning data, so that if the same entity is updated by two conversations, the last to commit changes is informed of the conflict, and does not override the other conversation's work. This approach guarantees some isolation, but scales well and works particularly well in Read-Often Write-Sometimes situations.

Hibernate provides two different mechanisms for storing versioning information, a dedicated version number or a timestamp.

Version number



A version or timestamp property can never be null for a detached instance. Hibernate detects any instance with a null version or timestamp as transient, regardless of other unsaved-value strategies that you specify. Declaring a nullable version or timestamp property is an easy way to avoid problems with transitive reattachment in Hibernate, especially useful if you use assigned identifiers or composite keys.

The version number mechanism for optimistic locking is provided through a @Version annotation.

The version column can be any kind of type, as long as you define and implement the appropriate UserVersionType.

Your application is forbidden from altering the version number set by Hibernate. To artificially increase the version number, see the documentation for properties LockModeType.OPTIMISTIC_FORCE_INCREMENT or LockModeType.PESSIMISTIC_FORCE_INCREMENTcheck in the Hibernate Entity Manager reference documentation.

Database-generated version numbers

If the version number is generated by the database, such as a trigger, use the annotation @org.hibernate.annotations.Generated(GenerationTime.ALWAYS).

Example 5.2. Declaring a version property in hbm.xml

  ~ Hibernate, Relational Persistence for Idiomatic Java
  ~ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 2.1 or later.
  ~ See the lgpl.txt file in the root directory or <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1.html>.

The name of the column holding the version number. Optional, defaults to the property name.


The name of a property of the persistent class.


The type of the version number. Optional, defaults to integer.


Hibernate's strategy for accessing the property value. Optional, defaults to property.


Indicates that an instance is newly instantiated and thus unsaved. This distinguishes it from detached instances that were saved or loaded in a previous session. The default value, undefined, indicates that the identifier property value should be used. Optional.


Indicates that the version property value is generated by the database. Optional, defaults to never.


Whether or not to include the version column in SQL insert statements. Defaults to true, but you can set it to false if the database column is defined with a default value of 0.

Timestamps are a less reliable way of optimistic locking than version numbers, but can be used by applications for other purposes as well. Timestamping is automatically used if you the @Version annotation on a Date or Calendar.

Hibernate can retrieve the timestamp value from the database or the JVM, by reading the value you specify for the @org.hibernate.annotations.Source annotation. The value can be either org.hibernate.annotations.SourceType.DB or org.hibernate.annotations.SourceType.VM. The default behavior is to use the database, and is also used if you don't specify the annotation at all.

The timestamp can also be generated by the database instead of Hibernate, if you use the @org.hibernate.annotations.Generated(GenerationTime.ALWAYS) annotation.

Example 5.4. The timestamp element in hbm.xml

  ~ Hibernate, Relational Persistence for Idiomatic Java
  ~ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 2.1 or later.
  ~ See the lgpl.txt file in the root directory or <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1.html>.

The name of the column which holds the timestamp. Optional, defaults to the property namel


The name of a JavaBeans style property of Java type Date or Timestamp of the persistent class.


The strategy Hibernate uses to access the property value. Optional, defaults to property.


A version property which indicates than instance is newly instantiated, and unsaved. This distinguishes it from detached instances that were saved or loaded in a previous session. The default value of undefined indicates that Hibernate uses the identifier property value.


Whether Hibernate retrieves the timestamp from the database or the current JVM. Database-based timestamps incur an overhead because Hibernate needs to query the database each time to determine the incremental next value. However, database-derived timestamps are safer to use in a clustered environment. Not all database dialects are known to support the retrieval of the database's current timestamp. Others may also be unsafe for locking, because of lack of precision.


Whether the timestamp property value is generated by the database. Optional, defaults to never.

Typically, you only need to specify an isolation level for the JDBC connections and let the database handle locking issues. If you do need to obtain exclusive pessimistic locks or re-obtain locks at the start of a new transaction, Hibernate gives you the tools you need.


Hibernate always uses the locking mechanism of the database, and never lock objects in memory.

The LockMode class defines the different lock levels that Hibernate can acquire.


acquired automatically when Hibernate updates or inserts a row.


acquired upon explicit user request using SELECT ... FOR UPDATE on databases which support that syntax.


acquired upon explicit user request using a SELECT ... FOR UPDATE NOWAIT in Oracle.


acquired upon explicit user request using a SELECT ... FOR UPDATE SKIP LOCKED in Oracle, or SELECT ... with (rowlock,updlock,readpast) in SQL Server.


acquired automatically when Hibernate reads data under Repeatable Read or Serializable isolation level. It can be re-acquired by explicit user request.


The absence of a lock. All objects switch to this lock mode at the end of a Transaction. Objects associated with the session via a call to update() or saveOrUpdate() also start out in this lock mode.

The explicit user request mentioned above occurs as a consequence of any of the following actions:

  • A call to Session.load(), specifying a LockMode.

  • A call to Session.lock().

  • A call to Query.setLockMode().

If you call Session.load() with option UPGRADE, UPGRADE_NOWAIT or UPGRADE_SKIPLOCKED, and the requested object is not already loaded by the session, the object is loaded using SELECT ... FOR UPDATE. If you call load() for an object that is already loaded with a less restrictive lock than the one you request, Hibernate calls lock() for that object.

Session.lock() performs a version number check if the specified lock mode is READ, UPGRADE, UPGRADE_NOWAIT or UPGRADE_SKIPLOCKED. In the case of UPGRADE, UPGRADE_NOWAIT or UPGRADE_SKIPLOCKED, SELECT ... FOR UPDATE syntax is used.

If the requested lock mode is not supported by the database, Hibernate uses an appropriate alternate mode instead of throwing an exception. This ensures that applications are portable.

If you have queries that run over and over, with the same parameters, query caching provides performance gains.

Caching introduces overhead in the area of transactional processing. For example, if you cache results of a query against an object, Hibernate needs to keep track of whether any changes have been committed against the object, and invalidate the cache accordingly. In addition, the benefit from caching query results is limited, and highly dependent on the usage patterns of your application. For these reasons, Hibernate disables the query cache by default.

The query cache does not cache the state of the actual entities in the cache. It caches identifier values and results of value type. Therefore, always use the query cache in conjunction with the second-level cache for those entities which should be cached as part of a query result cache.

Hibernate is compatible with several second-level cache providers. None of the providers support all of Hibernate's possible caching strategies. Section 6.2.3, “Second-level cache providers for Hibernate” lists the providers, along with their interfaces and supported caching strategies. For definitions of caching strategies, see Section 6.2.2, “Caching strategies”.

You can configure your cache providers using either annotations or mapping files.

Entities.  By default, entities are not part of the second-level cache, and their use is not recommended. If you absolutely must use entities, set the shared-cache-mode element in persistence.xml, or use property javax.persistence.sharedCache.mode in your configuration. Use one of the values in Table 6.1, “Possible values for Shared Cache Mode”.

Set the global default cache concurrency strategy The cache concurrency strategy with the hibernate.cache.default_cache_concurrency_strategy configuration property. See Section 6.2.2, “Caching strategies” for possible values.


When possible, define the cache concurrency strategy per entity rather than globally. Use the @org.hibernate.annotations.Cache annotation.

Example 6.3. Configuring cache providers using mapping files

  ~ Hibernate, Relational Persistence for Idiomatic Java
  ~ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 2.1 or later.
  ~ See the lgpl.txt file in the root directory or <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1.html>.

Just as in the Example 6.2, “Configuring cache providers using annotations”, you can provide attributes in the mapping file. There are some specific differences in the syntax for the attributes in a mapping file.


The caching strategy. This attribute is required, and can be any of the following values.

  • transactional

  • read-write

  • nonstrict-read-write

  • read-only


The name of the second-level cache region. This optional attribute defaults to the class or collection role name.


Whether properties of the entity mapped with lazy=true can be cached when attribute-level lazy fetching is enabled. Defaults to all and can also be non-lazy.

Instead of <cache>, you can use <class-cache> and <collection-cache> elements in hibernate.cfg.xml.


A read-only cache is good for data that needs to be read often but not modified. It is simple, performs well, and is safe to use in a clustered environment.


Some applications only rarely need to modify data. This is the case if two transactions are unlikely to try to update the same item simultaneously. In this case, you do not need strict transaction isolation, and a nonstrict-read-write cache might be appropriate. If the cache is used in a JTA environment, you must specify hibernate.transaction.manager_lookup_class. In other environments, ensore that the transaction is complete before you call Session.close() or Session.disconnect().


A read-write cache is appropriate for an application which needs to update data regularly. Do not use a read-write strategy if you need serializable transaction isolation. In a JTA environment, specify a strategy for obtaining the JTA TransactionManager by setting the property hibernate.transaction.manager_lookup_class. In non-JTA environments, be sure the transaction is complete before you call Session.close() or Session.disconnect().


To use the read-write strategy in a clustered environment, the underlying cache implementation must support locking. The build-in cache providers do not support locking.


The transactional cache strategy provides support for transactional cache providers such as JBoss TreeCache. You can only use such a cache in a JTA environment, and you must first specify hibernate.transaction.manager_lookup_class.

Actions that add an item to internal cache of the Session

Saving or updating an item
  • save()

  • update()

  • saveOrUpdate()

Retrieving an item
  • load()

  • get()

  • list()

  • iterate()

  • scroll()

Syncing or removing a cached item.  The state of an object is synchronized with the database when you call method flush(). To avoid this synchronization, you can remove the object and all collections from the first-level cache with the evict() method. To remove all items from the Session cache, use method Session.clear().

Determining whether an item belongs to the Session cache.  The Session provides a contains() method to determine if an instance belongs to the session cache.


Provides an abstraction from the underlying JTA platform when JTA features are used.




As of 5.0 support has been completely removed for mapping against legacy org.hibernate.transaction.TransactionManagerLookup names and custom implementations. Applications implementing org.hibernate.transaction.TransactionManagerLookup or using the hibernate.transaction.manager_lookup_class setting should update to use JtaPlatform.

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.internal.BitronixJtaPlatform - Integration with the Bitronix stand-alone transaction manager. Can also be referenced using the Bitronix configuration short name

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.internal.BorlandEnterpriseServerJtaPlatform - Integration with the transaction manager as deployed within a Borland Enterprise Server. Can also be referenced using the Borland configuration short name

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.internal.JBossAppServerJtaPlatform - Integration with the transaction manager as deployed within a JBoss Application Server. Can also be referenced using the JBossAS configuration short name

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.internal.JBossStandAloneJtaPlatform - Integration with the JBoss Transactions stand-alone transaction manager. Can also be referenced using the JBossTS configuration short name

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.internal.JOTMJtaPlatform - Integration with the JOTM stand-alone transaction manager. Can also be referenced using the JOTM configuration short name

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.internal.JOnASJtaPlatform - Integration with the JOnAS transaction manager. Can also be referenced using the JOnAS configuration short name

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.internal.JRun4JtaPlatform - Integration with the transaction manager as deployed in a JRun 4 application server. Can also be referenced using the JRun4 configuration short name

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.internal.NoJtaPlatform - No-op version when no JTA set up is configured

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.internal.OC4JJtaPlatform - Integration with transaction manager as deployed in an OC4J (Oracle) application Can also be referenced using the OC4J configuration short name server.

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.internal.OrionJtaPlatform - Integration with transaction manager as deployed in an Orion application server. Can also be referenced using the Orion configuration short name

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.internal.ResinJtaPlatform - Integration with transaction manager as deployed in a Resin application server. Can also be referenced using the Resin configuration short name

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.internal.SunOneJtaPlatform - Integration with transaction manager as deployed in a Sun ONE (7 and above) application server. Can also be referenced using the SunOne configuration short name

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.internal.WebSphereExtendedJtaPlatform - Integration with transaction manager as deployed in a WebSphere Application Server (6 and above). Can also be referenced using the WebSphereExtended configuration short name

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.internal.WebSphereJtaPlatform - Integration with transaction manager as deployed in a WebSphere Application Server (4, 5.0 and 5.1). Can also be referenced using the WebSphere configuration short name

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.jta.platform.internal.WeblogicJtaPlatform - Integration with transaction manager as deployed in a Weblogic application server. Can also be referenced using the Weblogic configuration short name


A variation of Section 7.5.3, “ConnectionProvider providing access to JDBC connections in multi-tenant environments.




Intended that users provide appropriate implementation if needed.


Strategy defining how Hibernate's org.hibernate.Transaction API maps to the underlying transaction approach.



Defines a hibernate.transaction.factory_class setting to allow configuring which TransactionFactory to use. hibernate.transaction.factory_class follows the rules set forth under Section A.1, “Strategy configurations”.

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.internal.jdbc.JdbcTransactionFactory - A non-JTA strategy in which the transactions are managed using the JDBC java.sql.Connection. This implementation's short name is jdbc.

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.internal.jta.CMTTransactionFactory - A JTA-based strategy in which Hibernate is not controlling the transactions. An important distinction here is that interaction with the underlying JTA implementation is done through the javax.transaction.TransactionManager. This implementation's short name is cmt.

  • org.hibernate.engine.transaction.internal.jta.JtaTransactionFactory - A JTA-based strategy in which Hibernate *may* be controlling the transactions. An important distinction here is that interaction with the underlying JTA implementation is done through the javax.transaction.UserTransaction. This implementation's short name is jta.

The boot-strap registry holds services that absolutely have to be available for most things to work. The main service here is the Section, “org.hibernate.boot.registry.classloading.spi.ClassLoaderService which is a perfect example. Even resolving configuration files needs access to class loading services (resource look ups). This is the root registry (no parent) in normal use.

Instances of boot-strap registries are built using the org.hibernate.boot.registry.BootstrapServiceRegistryBuilder class.

The org.hibernate.integrator.spi.Integrator is intended to provide a simple means for allowing developers to hook into the process of building a functioning SessionFactory. The The org.hibernate.integrator.spi.Integrator interface defines 2 methods of interest: integrate allows us to hook into the building process; disintegrate allows us to hook into a SessionFactory shutting down.


There is a 3rd method defined on org.hibernate.integrator.spi.Integrator, an overloaded form of integrate accepting a org.hibernate.metamodel.source.MetadataImplementor instead of org.hibernate.cfg.Configuration. This form is intended for use with the new metamodel code scheduled for completion in 5.0

See Section, “org.hibernate.integrator.spi.IntegratorService

In addition to the discovery approach provided by the IntegratorService, applications can manually register Integrator implementations when building the BootstrapServiceRegistry. See Example 7.1, “Using BootstrapServiceRegistryBuilder”

The main use cases for an org.hibernate.integrator.spi.Integrator right now are registering event listeners and providing services (see org.hibernate.integrator.spi.ServiceContributingIntegrator). With 5.0 we plan on expanding that to allow altering the metamodel describing the mapping between object and relational models.

Hibernate understands both the Java and JDBC representations of application data. The ability to read and write object data to a database is called marshalling, and is the function of a Hibernate type. A type is an implementation of the org.hibernate.type.Type interface. A Hibernate type describes various aspects of behavior of the Java type such as how to check for equality and how to clone values.

Usage of the word type

A Hibernate type is neither a Java type nor a SQL datatype. It provides information about both of these.

When you encounter the term type in regards to Hibernate, it may refer to the Java type, the JDBC type, or the Hibernate type, depending on context.

Hibernate categorizes types into two high-level groups: Section 8.1, “Value types” and Section 8.2, “Entity Types”.

A value type does not define its own lifecycle. It is, in effect, owned by an Section 8.2, “Entity Types”, which defines its lifecycle. Value types are further classified into three sub-categories.

Basic value types usually map a single database value, or column, to a single, non-aggregated Java type. Hibernate provides a number of built-in basic types, which follow the natural mappings recommended in the JDBC specifications. You can override these mappings and provide and use alternative mappings. These topics are discussed further on.

Table 8.1. Basic Type Mappings

Hibernate typeDatabase typeJDBC typeType registry
org.hibernate.type.StringTypestringVARCHARstring, java.lang.String
org.hibernate.type.CharacterTypechar, java.lang.CharacterCHARchar, java.lang.Character
org.hibernate.type.BooleanTypebooleanBITboolean, java.lang.Boolean
org.hibernate.type.NumericBooleanTypebooleanINTEGER, 0 is false, 1 is truenumeric_boolean
org.hibernate.type.YesNoTypebooleanCHAR, 'N'/'n' is false, 'Y'/'y' is true. The uppercase value is written to the database.yes_no
org.hibernate.type.TrueFalseTypebooleanCHAR, 'F'/'f' is false, 'T'/'t' is true. The uppercase value is written to the database.true_false
org.hibernate.type.ByteTypebyte, java.lang.ByteTINYINTbyte, java.lang.Byte
org.hibernate.type.ShortTypeshort, java.lang.ShortSMALLINTshort, java.lang.Short
org.hibernate.type.IntegerTypesint, java.lang.IntegerINTEGERint, java.lang.Integer
org.hibernate.type.LongTypelong, java.lang.LongBIGINTlong, java.lang.Long
org.hibernate.type.FloatTypefloat, java.lang.FloatFLOATfloat, java.lang.Float
org.hibernate.type.DoubleTypedouble, java.lang.DoubleDOUBLEdouble, java.lang.Double
org.hibernate.type.BigDecimalTypejava.math.BigDecimalNUMERICbig_decimal, java.math.bigDecimal
org.hibernate.type.TimestampTypejava.sql.TimestampTIMESTAMPtimestamp, java.sql.Timestamp
org.hibernate.type.TimeTypejava.sql.TimeTIMEtime, java.sql.Time
org.hibernate.type.DateTypejava.sql.DateDATEdate, java.sql.Date
org.hibernate.type.CalendarTypejava.util.CalendarTIMESTAMPcalendar, java.util.Calendar
org.hibernate.type.CurrencyTypejava.util.CurrencyVARCHARcurrency, java.util.Currency
org.hibernate.type.LocaleTypejava.util.LocaleVARCHARlocale, java.utility.locale
org.hibernate.type.TimeZoneTypejava.util.TimeZoneVARCHAR, using the TimeZone IDtimezone, java.util.TimeZone
org.hibernate.type.UrlTypejava.net.URLVARCHARurl, java.net.URL
org.hibernate.type.ClassTypejava.lang.ClassVARCHAR, using the class nameclass, java.lang.Class
org.hibernate.type.BlobTypejava.sql.BlobBLOBblog, java.sql.Blob
org.hibernate.type.ClobTypejava.sql.ClobCLOBclob, java.sql.Clob
org.hibernate.type.BinaryTypeprimitive byte[]VARBINARYbinary, byte[]
org.hibernate.type.MaterializedBlobTypeprimitive byte[]BLOBmaterized_blob
org.hibernate.type.ImageTypeprimitive byte[]LONGVARBINARYimage
org.hibernate.type.CharArrayTypechar[]VARCHARcharacters, char[]
org.hibernate.type.CharacterArrayTypejava.lang.Character[]VARCHARwrapper-characters, Character[], java.lang.Character[]
org.hibernate.type.UUIDBinaryTypejava.util.UUIDBINARYuuid-binary, java.util.UUID
org.hibernate.type.UUIDCharTypejava.util.UUIDCHAR, can also read VARCHARuuid-char
org.hibernate.type.PostgresUUIDTypejava.util.UUIDPostgreSQL UUID, through Types#OTHER, which complies to the PostgreSQL JDBC driver definitionpg-uuid
org.hibernate.type.SerializableTypeimplementors of java.lang.SerializableVARBINARY Unlike the other value types, multiple instances of this type are registered. It is registered once under java.io.Serializable, and registered under the specific java.io.Serializable implementation class names.

National Character types, which is a new feature since JDBC 4.0 API, now available in hibernate type system. National Language Support enables you retrieve data or insert data into a database in any character set that the underlying database supports.

Depending on your environment, you might want to set the configuration option hibernate.use_nationalized_character_data to true and having all string or clob based attributes having this national character support automatically. There is nothing else to be changed, and you don't have to use any hibernate specific mapping, so it is portable ( though the national character support feature is not required and may not work on other JPA provider impl ).

The other way of using this feature is having the @Nationalized annotation on the attribute that should be nationalized. This only works on string based attributes, including string, char, char array and clob.

                @Entity( name="NationalizedEntity")
                public static class NationalizedEntity {
                    private Integer id;

                    private String nvarcharAtt;

                    private String materializedNclobAtt;

                    private NClob nclobAtt;

                    private Character ncharacterAtt;

                    private Character[] ncharArrAtt;

                    @Type(type = "ntext")
                    private String nlongvarcharcharAtt;

The most basic form of mapping in Hibernate is mapping a persistent entity class to a database table. You can expand on this concept by mapping associated classes together. ??? shows a Person class with a

The Hibernate Query Language (HQL) and Java Persistence Query Language (JPQL) are both object model focused query languages similar in nature to SQL. JPQL is a heavily-inspired-by subset of HQL. A JPQL query is always a valid HQL query, the reverse is not true however.

Both HQL and JPQL are non-type-safe ways to perform query operations. Criteria queries offer a type-safe approach to querying. See ??? for more information.

Both HQL and JPQL allow SELECT, UPDATE and DELETE statements to be performed. HQL additionally allows INSERT statements, in a form similar to a SQL INSERT-SELECT.


Care should be taken as to when a UPDATE or DELETE statement is executed.


Caution should be used when executing bulk update or delete operations because they may result in inconsistencies between the database and the entities in the active persistence context. In general, bulk update and delete operations should only be performed within a transaction in a new persistence con- text or before fetching or accessing entities whose state might be affected by such operations.

 --Section 4.10 of the JPA 2.0 Specification

The BNF for UPDATE statements is the same in HQL and JPQL:

update_statement ::= update_clause [where_clause]

update_clause ::= UPDATE entity_name [[AS] identification_variable]
        SET update_item {, update_item}*

update_item ::= [identification_variable.]{state_field | single_valued_object_field}
        = new_value

new_value ::= scalar_expression |
                simple_entity_expression |

UPDATE statements, by default, do not effect the version or the timestamp attribute values for the affected entities. However, you can force Hibernate to set the version or timestamp attribute values through the use of a versioned update. This is achieved by adding the VERSIONED keyword after the UPDATE keyword. Note, however, that this is a Hibernate specific feature and will not work in a portable manner. Custom version types, org.hibernate.usertype.UserVersionType, are not allowed in conjunction with a update versioned statement.

An UPDATE statement is executed using the executeUpdate of either org.hibernate.Query or javax.persistence.Query. The method is named for those familiar with the JDBC executeUpdate on java.sql.PreparedStatement. The int value returned by the executeUpdate() method indicates the number of entities effected by the operation. This may or may not correlate to the number of rows effected in the database. An HQL bulk operation might result in multiple actual SQL statements being executed (for joined-subclass, for example). The returned number indicates the number of actual entities affected by the statement. Using a JOINED inheritance hierarchy, a delete against one of the subclasses may actually result in deletes against not just the table to which that subclass is mapped, but also the "root" table and tables in between


Neither UPDATE nor DELETE statements are allowed to result in what is called an implicit join. Their form already disallows explicit joins.

HQL adds the ability to define INSERT statements as well. There is no JPQL equivalent to this. The BNF for an HQL INSERT statement is:

insert_statement ::= insert_clause select_statement

insert_clause ::= INSERT INTO entity_name (attribute_list)

attribute_list ::= state_field[, state_field ]*

The attribute_list is analogous to the column specification in the SQL INSERT statement. For entities involved in mapped inheritance, only attributes directly defined on the named entity can be used in the attribute_list. Superclass properties are not allowed and subclass properties do not make sense. In other words, INSERT statements are inherently non-polymorphic.

select_statement can be any valid HQL select query, with the caveat that the return types must match the types expected by the insert. Currently, this is checked during query compilation rather than allowing the check to relegate to the database. This may cause problems between Hibernate Types which are equivalent as opposed to equal. For example, this might cause lead to issues with mismatches between an attribute mapped as a org.hibernate.type.DateType and an attribute defined as a org.hibernate.type.TimestampType, even though the database might not make a distinction or might be able to handle the conversion.

For the id attribute, the insert statement gives you two options. You can either explicitly specify the id property in the attribute_list, in which case its value is taken from the corresponding select expression, or omit it from the attribute_list in which case a generated value is used. This latter option is only available when using id generators that operate in the database; attempting to use this option with any in memory type generators will cause an exception during parsing.

For optimistic locking attributes, the insert statement again gives you two options. You can either specify the attribute in the attribute_list in which case its value is taken from the corresponding select expressions, or omit it from the attribute_list in which case the seed value defined by the corresponding org.hibernate.type.VersionType is used.

The FROM clause is responsible defining the scope of object model types available to the rest of the query. It also is responsible for defining all the identification variables available to the rest of the query.

A root entity reference, or what JPA calls a range variable declaration, is specifically a reference to a mapped entity type from the application. It cannot name component/ embeddable types. And associations, including collections, are handled in a different manner discussed later.

The BNF for a root entity reference is:

root_entity_reference ::= entity_name [AS] identification_variable

We see that the query is defining a root entity reference to the com.acme.Cat object model type. Additionally, it declares an alias of c to that com.acme.Cat reference; this is the identification variable.

Usually the root entity reference just names the entity name rather than the entity class FQN. By default the entity name is the unqualified entity class name, here Cat

Multiple root entity references can also be specified. Even naming the same entity!

The FROM clause can also contain explicit relationship joins using the join keyword. These joins can be either inner or left outer style joins.

An important use case for explicit joins is to define FETCH JOINS which override the laziness of the joined association. As an example, given an entity named Customer with a collection-valued association named orders

As you can see from the example, a fetch join is specified by injecting the keyword fetch after the keyword join. In the example, we used a left outer join because we want to return customers who have no orders also. Inner joins can also be fetched. But inner joins still filter. In the example, using an inner join instead would have resulted in customers without any orders being filtered out of the result.


Fetch joins are not valid in sub-queries.

Care should be taken when fetch joining a collection-valued association which is in any way further restricted; the fetched collection will be restricted too! For this reason it is usually considered best practice to not assign an identification variable to fetched joins except for the purpose of specifying nested fetch joins.

Fetch joins should not be used in paged queries (aka, setFirstResult/ setMaxResults). Nor should they be used with the HQL scroll or iterate features.

HQL also defines a WITH clause to qualify the join conditions. Again, this is specific to HQL; JPQL does not define this feature.

The important distinction is that in the generated SQL the conditions of the with clause are made part of the on clause in the generated SQL as opposed to the other queries in this section where the HQL/JPQL conditions are made part of the where clause in the generated SQL. The distinction in this specific example is probably not that significant. The with clause is sometimes necessary in more complicated queries.

Explicit joins may reference association or component/embedded attributes. For further information about collection-valued association references, see Section 11.3.5, “Collection member references”. In the case of component/embedded attributes, the join is simply logical and does not correlate to a physical (SQL) join.

Another means of adding to the scope of object model types available to the query is through the use of implicit joins, or path expressions.

An implicit join always starts from an identification variable, followed by the navigation operator (.), followed by an attribute for the object model type referenced by the initial identification variable. In the example, the initial identification variable is c which refers to the Customer entity. The c.chiefExecutive reference then refers to the chiefExecutive attribute of the Customer entity. chiefExecutive is an association type so we further navigate to its age attribute.


If the attribute represents an entity association (non-collection) or a component/embedded, that reference can be further navigated. Basic values and collection-valued associations cannot be further navigated.

As shown in the example, implicit joins can appear outside the FROM clause. However, they affect the FROM clause. Implicit joins are always treated as inner joins. Multiple references to the same implicit join always refer to the same logical and physical (SQL) join.

Just as with explicit joins, implicit joins may reference association or component/embedded attributes. For further information about collection-valued association references, see Section 11.3.5, “Collection member references”. In the case of component/embedded attributes, the join is simply logical and does not correlate to a physical (SQL) join. Unlike explicit joins, however, implicit joins may also reference basic state fields as long as the path expression ends there.

References to collection-valued associations actually refer to the values of that collection.

In the example, the identification variable o actually refers to the object model type Order which is the type of the elements of the Customer#orders association.

The example also shows the alternate syntax for specifying collection association joins using the IN syntax. Both forms are equivalent. Which form an application chooses to use is simply a matter of taste.

We said earlier that collection-valued associations actually refer to the values of that collection. Based on the type of collection, there are also available a set of explicit qualification expressions.


Refers to the collection value. Same as not specifying a qualifier. Useful to explicitly show intent. Valid for any type of collection-valued reference.


According to HQL rules, this is valid for both Maps and Lists which specify a javax.persistence.OrderColumn annotation to refer to the Map key or the List position (aka the OrderColumn value). JPQL however, reserves this for use in the List case and adds KEY for the MAP case. Applications interested in JPA provider portability should be aware of this distinction.


Valid only for Maps. Refers to the map's key. If the key is itself an entity, can be further navigated.


Only valid only for Maps. Refers to the Map's logical java.util.Map.Entry tuple (the combination of its key and value). ENTRY is only valid as a terminal path and only valid in the select clause.

See Section 11.4.9, “Collection-related expressions” for additional details on collection related expressions.

Essentially expressions are references that resolve to basic or tuple values.

String literals are enclosed in single-quotes. To escape a single-quote within a string literal, use double single-quotes.

Numeric literals are allowed in a few different forms.

In the scientific notation form, the E is case insensitive.

Specific typing can be achieved through the use of the same suffix approach specified by Java. So, L denotes a long; D denotes a double; F denotes a float. The actual suffix is case insensitive.

The boolean literals are TRUE and FALSE, again case-insensitive.

Enums can even be referenced as literals. The fully-qualified enum class name must be used. HQL can also handle constants in the same manner, though JPQL does not define that as supported.

Entity names can also be used as literal. See Section 11.4.10, “Entity type”.

Date/time literals can be specified using the JDBC escape syntax: {d 'yyyy-mm-dd'} for dates, {t 'hh:mm:ss'} for times and {ts 'yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss[.millis]'} (millis optional) for timestamps. These literals only work if you JDBC drivers supports them.

HQL supports all 3 of the following forms. JPQL does not support the HQL-specific positional parameters notion. It is good practice to not mix forms in a given query.

Both HQL and JPQL define some standard functions that are available regardless of the underlying database in use. HQL can also understand additional functions defined by the Dialect as well as the application.

There are a few specialized expressions for working with collection-valued associations. Generally these are just abbreviated forms or other expressions for the sake of conciseness.


Calculate the size of a collection. Equates to a subquery!


Available for use on collections of basic type. Refers to the maximum value as determined by applying the max SQL aggregation.


Available for use on indexed collections. Refers to the maximum index (key/position) as determined by applying the max SQL aggregation.


Available for use on collections of basic type. Refers to the minimum value as determined by applying the min SQL aggregation.


Available for use on indexed collections. Refers to the minimum index (key/position) as determined by applying the min SQL aggregation.


Used to refer to the elements of a collection as a whole. Only allowed in the where clause. Often used in conjunction with ALL, ANY or SOME restrictions.


Similar to elements except that indices refers to the collections indices (keys/positions) as a whole.

Elements of indexed collections (arrays, lists, and maps) can be referred to by index operator.

See also Section, “Special case - qualified path expressions” as there is a good deal of overlap.

Both the simple and searched forms are supported, as well as the 2 SQL defined abbreviated forms (NULLIF and COALESCE)

The SELECT clause identifies which objects and values to return as the query results. The expressions discussed in Section 11.4, “Expressions” are all valid select expressions, except where otherwise noted. See the section Section 11.10, “Query API” for information on handling the results depending on the types of values specified in the SELECT clause.

There is a particular expression type that is only valid in the select clause. Hibernate calls this dynamic instantiation. JPQL supports some of that feature and calls it a constructor expression

So rather than dealing with the Object[] (again, see Section 11.10, “Query API”) here we are wrapping the values in a type-safe java object that will be returned as the results of the query. The class reference must be fully qualified and it must have a matching constructor.

The class here need not be mapped. If it does represent an entity, the resulting instances are returned in the NEW state (not managed!).

That is the part JPQL supports as well. HQL supports additional dynamic instantiation features. First, the query can specify to return a List rather than an Object[] for scalar results:

The results from this query will be a List<List> as opposed to a List<Object[]>

HQL also supports wrapping the scalar results in a Map.

The results from this query will be a List<Map<String,Object>> as opposed to a List<Object[]>. The keys of the map are defined by the aliases given to the select expressions.

Predicates form the basis of the where clause, the having clause and searched case expressions. They are expressions which resolve to a truth value, generally TRUE or FALSE, although boolean comparisons involving NULLs generally resolve to UNKNOWN.

Comparisons involve one of the comparison operators - =, >, >=, <, <=, <>]>. HQL also defines <![CDATA[!= as a comparison operator synonymous with <>. The operands should be of the same type.

Comparisons can also involve subquery qualifiers - ALL, ANY, SOME. SOME and ANY are synonymous.

The ALL qualifier resolves to true if the comparison is true for all of the values in the result of the subquery. It resolves to false if the subquery result is empty.

The ANY/SOME qualifier resolves to true if the comparison is true for some of (at least one of) the values in the result of the subquery. It resolves to false if the subquery result is empty.

IN predicates performs a check that a particular value is in a list of values. Its syntax is:

in_expression ::= single_valued_expression
            [NOT] IN single_valued_list

single_valued_list ::= constructor_expression |
            (subquery) |

constructor_expression ::= (expression[, expression]*)

The types of the single_valued_expression and the individual values in the single_valued_list must be consistent. JPQL limits the valid types here to string, numeric, date, time, timestamp, and enum types. In JPQL, single_valued_expression can only refer to:

In HQL, single_valued_expression can refer to a far more broad set of expression types. Single-valued association are allowed. So are component/embedded attributes, although that feature depends on the level of support for tuple or row value constructor syntax in the underlying database. Additionally, HQL does not limit the value type in any way, though application developers should be aware that different types may incur limited support based on the underlying database vendor. This is largely the reason for the JPQL limitations.

The list of values can come from a number of different sources. In the constructor_expression and collection_valued_input_parameter, the list of values must not be empty; it must contain at least one value.

Criteria queries offer a type-safe alternative to HQL, JPQL and native-sql queries.


Hibernate offers an older, legacy org.hibernate.Criteria API which should be considered deprecated. No feature development will target those APIs. Eventually, Hibernate-specific criteria features will be ported as extensions to the JPA javax.persistence.criteria.CriteriaQuery. For details on the org.hibernate.Criteria API, see ???.

This chapter will focus on the JPA APIs for declaring type-safe criteria queries.

Criteria queries are a programmatic, type-safe way to express a query. They are type-safe in terms of using interfaces and classes to represent various structural parts of a query such as the query itself, or the select clause, or an order-by, etc. They can also be type-safe in terms of referencing attributes as we will see in a bit. Users of the older Hibernate org.hibernate.Criteria query API will recognize the general approach, though we believe the JPA API to be superior as it represents a clean look at the lessons learned from that API.

Criteria queries are essentially an object graph, where each part of the graph represents an increasing (as we navigate down this graph) more atomic part of query. The first step in performing a criteria query is building this graph. The javax.persistence.criteria.CriteriaBuilder interface is the first thing with which you need to become acquainted to begin using criteria queries. Its role is that of a factory for all the individual pieces of the criteria. You obtain a javax.persistence.criteria.CriteriaBuilder instance by calling the getCriteriaBuilder method of either javax.persistence.EntityManagerFactory or javax.persistence.EntityManager.

The next step is to obtain a javax.persistence.criteria.CriteriaQuery. This is accomplished using one of the 3 methods on javax.persistence.criteria.CriteriaBuilder for this purpose:

<T> CriteriaQuery<T> createQuery(Class<T> resultClass);
CriteriaQuery<Tuple> createTupleQuery();
CriteriaQuery<Object> createQuery();

Each serves a different purpose depending on the expected type of the query results.


Chapter 6 Criteria API of the JPA Specification already contains a decent amount of reference material pertaining to the various parts of a criteria query. So rather than duplicate all that content here, lets instead look at some of the more widely anticipated usages of the API.

The type of the criteria query (aka the <T>) indicates the expected types in the query result. This might be an entity, an Integer, or any other object.

There are actually a few different ways to select multiple values using criteria queries. We will explore 2 options here, but an alternative recommended approach is to use tuples as described in Section 12.2, “Tuple criteria queries”. Or consider a wrapper query; see Section 12.1.4, “Selecting a wrapper” for details.

Technically this is classified as a typed query, but you can see from handling the results that this is sort of misleading. Anyway, the expected result type here is an array.

The example then uses the array method of javax.persistence.criteria.CriteriaBuilder which explicitly combines individual selections into a javax.persistence.criteria.CompoundSelection.

Just as we saw in Example 12.3, “Selecting an array” we have a typed criteria query returning an Object array. Both queries are functionally equivalent. This second example uses the multiselect method which behaves slightly differently based on the type given when the criteria query was first built, but in this case it says to select and return an Object[].

Another alternative to Section 12.1.3, “Selecting multiple values” is to instead select an object that will wrap the multiple values. Going back to the example query there, rather than returning an array of [Person#id, Person#age] instead declare a class that holds these values and instead return that.

First we see the simple definition of the wrapper object we will be using to wrap our result values. Specifically notice the constructor and its argument types. Since we will be returning PersonWrapper objects, we use PersonWrapper as the type of our criteria query.

This example illustrates the use of the javax.persistence.criteria.CriteriaBuilder method construct which is used to build a wrapper expression. For every row in the result we are saying we would like a PersonWrapper instantiated with the remaining arguments by the matching constructor. This wrapper expression is then passed as the select.

A better approach to Section 12.1.3, “Selecting multiple values” is to use either a wrapper (which we just saw in Section 12.1.4, “Selecting a wrapper”) or using the javax.persistence.Tuple contract.

This example illustrates accessing the query results through the javax.persistence.Tuple interface. The example uses the explicit createTupleQuery of javax.persistence.criteria.CriteriaBuilder. An alternate approach is to use createQuery passing Tuple.class.

Again we see the use of the multiselect method, just like in Example 12.4, “Selecting an array (2)”. The difference here is that the type of the javax.persistence.criteria.CriteriaQuery was defined as javax.persistence.Tuple so the compound selections in this case are interpreted to be the tuple elements.

The javax.persistence.Tuple contract provides 3 forms of access to the underlying elements:


The Example 12.6, “Selecting a tuple” example illustrates this form of access in the tuple.get( idPath ) and tuple.get( agePath ) calls. This allows typed access to the underlying tuple values based on the javax.persistence.TupleElement expressions used to build the criteria.


Allows access to the underlying tuple values based on the position. The simple Object get(int position) form is very similar to the access illustrated in Example 12.3, “Selecting an array” and Example 12.4, “Selecting an array (2)”. The <X> X get(int position, Class<X> type form allows typed positional access, but based on the explicitly supplied type which the tuple value must be type-assignable to.


Allows access to the underlying tuple values based an (optionally) assigned alias. The example query did not apply an alias. An alias would be applied via the alias method on javax.persistence.criteria.Selection. Just like positional access, there is both a typed (Object get(String alias)) and an untyped (<X> X get(String alias, Class<X> type form.


A CriteriaQuery object defines a query over one or more entity, embeddable, or basic abstract schema types. The root objects of the query are entities, from which the other types are reached by navigation.

 --JPA Specification, section 6.5.2 Query Roots, pg 262


All the individual parts of the FROM clause (roots, joins, paths) implement the javax.persistence.criteria.From interface.

You may also express queries in the native SQL dialect of your database. This is useful if you want to utilize database specific features such as query hints or the CONNECT BY option in Oracle. It also provides a clean migration path from a direct SQL/JDBC based application to Hibernate/JPA. Hibernate also allows you to specify handwritten SQL (including stored procedures) for all create, update, delete, and load operations.

Execution of native SQL queries is controlled via the SQLQuery interface, which is obtained by calling Session.createSQLQuery(). The following sections describe how to use this API for querying.

The most basic SQL query is to get a list of scalars (values).

sess.createSQLQuery("SELECT * FROM CATS").list();
sess.createSQLQuery("SELECT ID, NAME, BIRTHDATE FROM CATS").list();

These will return a List of Object arrays (Object[]) with scalar values for each column in the CATS table. Hibernate will use ResultSetMetadata to deduce the actual order and types of the returned scalar values.

To avoid the overhead of using ResultSetMetadata, or simply to be more explicit in what is returned, one can use addScalar():

sess.createSQLQuery("SELECT * FROM CATS")
 .addScalar("ID", Hibernate.LONG)
 .addScalar("NAME", Hibernate.STRING)
 .addScalar("BIRTHDATE", Hibernate.DATE)

This query specified:

  • the SQL query string

  • the columns and types to return

This will return Object arrays, but now it will not use ResultSetMetadata but will instead explicitly get the ID, NAME and BIRTHDATE column as respectively a Long, String and a Short from the underlying resultset. This also means that only these three columns will be returned, even though the query is using * and could return more than the three listed columns.

It is possible to leave out the type information for all or some of the scalars.

sess.createSQLQuery("SELECT * FROM CATS")
 .addScalar("ID", Hibernate.LONG)

This is essentially the same query as before, but now ResultSetMetaData is used to determine the type of NAME and BIRTHDATE, where as the type of ID is explicitly specified.

How the java.sql.Types returned from ResultSetMetaData is mapped to Hibernate types is controlled by the Dialect. If a specific type is not mapped, or does not result in the expected type, it is possible to customize it via calls to registerHibernateType in the Dialect.

Until now, the result set column names are assumed to be the same as the column names specified in the mapping document. This can be problematic for SQL queries that join multiple tables, since the same column names can appear in more than one table.

Column alias injection is needed in the following query (which most likely will fail):

sess.createSQLQuery("SELECT c.*, m.*  FROM CATS c, CATS m WHERE c.MOTHER_ID = c.ID")
 .addEntity("cat", Cat.class)
 .addEntity("mother", Cat.class)

The query was intended to return two Cat instances per row: a cat and its mother. The query will, however, fail because there is a conflict of names; the instances are mapped to the same column names. Also, on some databases the returned column aliases will most likely be on the form "c.ID", "c.NAME", etc. which are not equal to the columns specified in the mappings ("ID" and "NAME").

The following form is not vulnerable to column name duplication:

sess.createSQLQuery("SELECT {cat.*}, {m.*}  FROM CATS c, CATS m WHERE c.MOTHER_ID = m.ID")
 .addEntity("cat", Cat.class)
 .addEntity("mother", Cat.class)

This query specified:

  • the SQL query string, with placeholders for Hibernate to inject column aliases

  • the entities returned by the query

The {cat.*} and {mother.*} notation used above is a shorthand for "all properties". Alternatively, you can list the columns explicitly, but even in this case Hibernate injects the SQL column aliases for each property. The placeholder for a column alias is just the property name qualified by the table alias. In the following example, you retrieve Cats and their mothers from a different table (cat_log) to the one declared in the mapping metadata. You can even use the property aliases in the where clause.

String sql = "SELECT ID as {c.id}, NAME as {c.name}, " +
         "BIRTHDATE as {c.birthDate}, MOTHER_ID as {c.mother}, {mother.*} " +
         "FROM CAT_LOG c, CAT_LOG m WHERE {c.mother} = c.ID";

List loggedCats = sess.createSQLQuery(sql)
        .addEntity("cat", Cat.class)
        .addEntity("mother", Cat.class).list()

Named SQL queries can also be defined in the mapping document and called in exactly the same way as a named HQL query (see ???). In this case, you do not need to call addEntity().

The <return-join> element is use to join associations and the <load-collection> element is used to define queries which initialize collections,

A named SQL query may return a scalar value. You must declare the column alias and Hibernate type using the <return-scalar> element:

You can externalize the resultset mapping information in a <resultset> element which will allow you to either reuse them across several named queries or through the setResultSetMapping() API.

You can, alternatively, use the resultset mapping information in your hbm files directly in java code.

So far we have only looked at externalizing SQL queries using Hibernate mapping files. The same concept is also available with anntations and is called named native queries. You can use @NamedNativeQuery (@NamedNativeQueries) in conjunction with @SqlResultSetMapping (@SqlResultSetMappings). Like @NamedQuery, @NamedNativeQuery and @SqlResultSetMapping can be defined at class level, but their scope is global to the application. Lets look at a view examples.

Example 13.7, “Named SQL query using @NamedNativeQuery together with @SqlResultSetMapping shows how a resultSetMapping parameter is defined in @NamedNativeQuery. It represents the name of a defined @SqlResultSetMapping. The resultset mapping declares the entities retrieved by this native query. Each field of the entity is bound to an SQL alias (or column name). All fields of the entity including the ones of subclasses and the foreign key columns of related entities have to be present in the SQL query. Field definitions are optional provided that they map to the same column name as the one declared on the class property. In the example 2 entities, Night and Area, are returned and each property is declared and associated to a column name, actually the column name retrieved by the query.

In Example 13.8, “Implicit result set mapping” the result set mapping is implicit. We only describe the entity class of the result set mapping. The property / column mappings is done using the entity mapping values. In this case the model property is bound to the model_txt column.

Finally, if the association to a related entity involve a composite primary key, a @FieldResult element should be used for each foreign key column. The @FieldResult name is composed of the property name for the relationship, followed by a dot ("."), followed by the name or the field or property of the primary key. This can be seen in Example 13.9, “Using dot notation in @FieldResult for specifying associations ”.

Example 13.9. Using dot notation in @FieldResult for specifying associations


            fields = {
                    @FieldResult(name="name", column = "name"),
                    @FieldResult(name="model", column = "model"),
                    @FieldResult(name="speed", column = "speed"),
                    @FieldResult(name="captain.firstname", column = "firstn"),
                    @FieldResult(name="captain.lastname", column = "lastn"),
                    @FieldResult(name="dimensions.length", column = "length"),
                    @FieldResult(name="dimensions.width", column = "width")
        columns = { @ColumnResult(name = "surface"),
                    @ColumnResult(name = "volume") } )
    query="select name, model, speed, lname as lastn, fname as firstn, length, width, length * width as surface from SpaceShip",
} )
public class SpaceShip {
    private String name;
    private String model;
    private double speed;
    private Captain captain;
    private Dimensions dimensions;
    public String getName() {
        return name;
    public void setName(String name) {
        this.name = name;
    @ManyToOne(fetch= FetchType.LAZY)
    @JoinColumns( {
            @JoinColumn(name="fname", referencedColumnName = "firstname"),
            @JoinColumn(name="lname", referencedColumnName = "lastname")
            } )
    public Captain getCaptain() {
        return captain;
    public void setCaptain(Captain captain) {
        this.captain = captain;
    public String getModel() {
        return model;
    public void setModel(String model) {
        this.model = model;
    public double getSpeed() {
        return speed;
    public void setSpeed(double speed) {
        this.speed = speed;
    public Dimensions getDimensions() {
        return dimensions;
    public void setDimensions(Dimensions dimensions) {
        this.dimensions = dimensions;
public class Captain implements Serializable {
    private String firstname;
    private String lastname;
    public String getFirstname() {
        return firstname;
    public void setFirstname(String firstname) {
        this.firstname = firstname;
    public String getLastname() {
        return lastname;
    public void setLastname(String lastname) {
        this.lastname = lastname;


If you retrieve a single entity using the default mapping, you can specify the resultClass attribute instead of resultSetMapping:

@NamedNativeQuery(name="implicitSample", query="select * from SpaceShip", resultClass=SpaceShip.class)

public class SpaceShip {

In some of your native queries, you'll have to return scalar values, for example when building report queries. You can map them in the @SqlResultsetMapping through @ColumnResult. You actually can even mix, entities and scalar returns in the same native query (this is probably not that common though).

An other query hint specific to native queries has been introduced: org.hibernate.callable which can be true or false depending on whether the query is a stored procedure or not.

You can explicitly tell Hibernate what column aliases to use with <return-property>, instead of using the {}-syntax to let Hibernate inject its own aliases.For example:

<sql-query name="mySqlQuery">
    <return alias="person" class="eg.Person">
        <return-property name="name" column="myName"/>
        <return-property name="age" column="myAge"/>
        <return-property name="sex" column="mySex"/>
    SELECT person.NAME AS myName,
           person.AGE AS myAge,
           person.SEX AS mySex,
    FROM PERSON person WHERE person.NAME LIKE :name

<return-property> also works with multiple columns. This solves a limitation with the {}-syntax which cannot allow fine grained control of multi-column properties.

<sql-query name="organizationCurrentEmployments">
    <return alias="emp" class="Employment">
        <return-property name="salary">
            <return-column name="VALUE"/>
            <return-column name="CURRENCY"/>
        <return-property name="endDate" column="myEndDate"/>
        SELECT EMPLOYEE AS {emp.employee}, EMPLOYER AS {emp.employer},
        STARTDATE AS {emp.startDate}, ENDDATE AS {emp.endDate},
        REGIONCODE as {emp.regionCode}, EID AS {emp.id}, VALUE, CURRENCY

In this example <return-property> was used in combination with the {}-syntax for injection. This allows users to choose how they want to refer column and properties.

If your mapping has a discriminator you must use <return-discriminator> to specify the discriminator column.

Hibernate provides support for queries via stored procedures and functions. Most of the following documentation is equivalent for both. The stored procedure/function must return a resultset as the first out-parameter to be able to work with Hibernate. An example of such a stored function in Oracle 9 and higher is as follows:

    st_cursor SYS_REFCURSOR;
    OPEN st_cursor FOR
      RETURN  st_cursor;

To use this query in Hibernate you need to map it via a named query.

<sql-query name="selectAllEmployees_SP" callable="true">
    <return alias="emp" class="Employment">
        <return-property name="employee" column="EMPLOYEE"/>
        <return-property name="employer" column="EMPLOYER"/>
        <return-property name="startDate" column="STARTDATE"/>
        <return-property name="endDate" column="ENDDATE"/>
        <return-property name="regionCode" column="REGIONCODE"/>
        <return-property name="id" column="EID"/>
        <return-property name="salary">
            <return-column name="VALUE"/>
            <return-column name="CURRENCY"/>
    { ? = call selectAllEmployments() }

Stored procedures currently only return scalars and entities. <return-join> and <load-collection> are not supported.

Hibernate can use custom SQL for create, update, and delete operations. The SQL can be overridden at the statement level or inidividual column level. This section describes statement overrides. For columns, see ???. Example 13.11, “Custom CRUD via annotations” shows how to define custom SQL operatons using annotations.

@SQLInsert, @SQLUpdate, @SQLDelete, @SQLDeleteAll respectively override the INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, and DELETE all statement. The same can be achieved using Hibernate mapping files and the <sql-insert>, <sql-update> and <sql-delete> nodes. This can be seen in Example 13.12, “Custom CRUD XML”.

If you expect to call a store procedure, be sure to set the callable attribute to true. In annotations as well as in xml.

To check that the execution happens correctly, Hibernate allows you to define one of those three strategies:

  • none: no check is performed: the store procedure is expected to fail upon issues

  • count: use of rowcount to check that the update is successful

  • param: like COUNT but using an output parameter rather that the standard mechanism

To define the result check style, use the check parameter which is again available in annoations as well as in xml.

You can use the exact same set of annotations respectively xml nodes to override the collection related statements -see Example 13.13, “Overriding SQL statements for collections using annotations”.


The parameter order is important and is defined by the order Hibernate handles properties. You can see the expected order by enabling debug logging for the org.hibernate.persister.entity level. With this level enabled Hibernate will print out the static SQL that is used to create, update, delete etc. entities. (To see the expected sequence, remember to not include your custom SQL through annotations or mapping files as that will override the Hibernate generated static sql)

Overriding SQL statements for secondary tables is also possible using @org.hibernate.annotations.Table and either (or all) attributes sqlInsert, sqlUpdate, sqlDelete:

The previous example also shows that you can give a comment to a given table (primary or secondary): This comment will be used for DDL generation.


The SQL is directly executed in your database, so you can use any dialect you like. This will, however, reduce the portability of your mapping if you use database specific SQL.

Last but not least, stored procedures are in most cases required to return the number of rows inserted, updated and deleted. Hibernate always registers the first statement parameter as a numeric output parameter for the CUD operations:

You can also declare your own SQL (or HQL) queries for entity loading. As with inserts, updates, and deletes, this can be done at the individual column level as described in ??? or at the statement level. Here is an example of a statement level override:

<sql-query name="person">
    <return alias="pers" class="Person" lock-mode="upgrade"/>
    SELECT NAME AS {pers.name}, ID AS {pers.id}
    WHERE ID=?

This is just a named query declaration, as discussed earlier. You can reference this named query in a class mapping:

<class name="Person">
    <id name="id">
        <generator class="increment"/>
    <property name="name" not-null="true"/>
    <loader query-ref="person"/>

This even works with stored procedures.

You can even define a query for collection loading:

<set name="employments" inverse="true">
    <one-to-many class="Employment"/>
    <loader query-ref="employments"/>
<sql-query name="employments">
    <load-collection alias="emp" role="Person.employments"/>
    SELECT {emp.*}

You can also define an entity loader that loads a collection by join fetching:

<sql-query name="person">
    <return alias="pers" class="Person"/>
    <return-join alias="emp" property="pers.employments"/>
    SELECT NAME AS {pers.*}, {emp.*}
    FROM PERSON pers
        ON pers.ID = emp.PERSON_ID
    WHERE ID=?

The annotation equivalent <loader> is the @Loader annotation as seen in Example 13.11, “Custom CRUD via annotations”.

To audit changes that are performed on an entity, you only need two things: the hibernate-envers jar on the classpath and an @Audited annotation on the entity.


Unlike in previous versions, you no longer need to specify listeners in the Hibernate configuration file. Just putting the Envers jar on the classpath is enough - listeners will be registered automatically.

And that's all - you can create, modify and delete the entities as always. If you look at the generated schema for your entities, or at the data persisted by Hibernate, you will notice that there are no changes. However, for each audited entity, a new table is introduced - entity_table_AUD, which stores the historical data, whenever you commit a transaction. Envers automatically creates audit tables if hibernate.hbm2ddl.auto option is set to create, create-drop or update. Otherwise, to export complete database schema programatically, use org.hibernate.envers.tools.hbm2ddl.EnversSchemaGenerator. Appropriate DDL statements can be also generated with Ant task described later in this manual.

Instead of annotating the whole class and auditing all properties, you can annotate only some persistent properties with @Audited. This will cause only these properties to be audited.

The audit (history) of an entity can be accessed using the AuditReader interface, which can be obtained having an open EntityManager or Session via the AuditReaderFactory. See the javadocs for these classes for details on the functionality offered.

It is possible to configure various aspects of Hibernate Envers behavior, such as table names, etc.

Table 15.1. Envers Configuration Properties

Property nameDefault valueDescription
org.hibernate.envers.audit_table_prefix String that will be prepended to the name of an audited entity to create the name of the entity, that will hold audit information.
org.hibernate.envers.audit_table_suffix _AUD String that will be appended to the name of an audited entity to create the name of the entity, that will hold audit information. If you audit an entity with a table name Person, in the default setting Envers will generate a Person_AUD table to store historical data.
org.hibernate.envers.revision_field_name REV Name of a field in the audit entity that will hold the revision number.
org.hibernate.envers.revision_type_field_name REVTYPE Name of a field in the audit entity that will hold the type of the revision (currently, this can be: add, mod, del).
org.hibernate.envers.revision_on_collection_change true Should a revision be generated when a not-owned relation field changes (this can be either a collection in a one-to-many relation, or the field using "mappedBy" attribute in a one-to-one relation).
org.hibernate.envers.do_not_audit_optimistic_locking_field true When true, properties to be used for optimistic locking, annotated with @Version, will be automatically not audited (their history won't be stored; it normally doesn't make sense to store it).
org.hibernate.envers.store_data_at_delete false Should the entity data be stored in the revision when the entity is deleted (instead of only storing the id and all other properties as null). This is not normally needed, as the data is present in the last-but-one revision. Sometimes, however, it is easier and more efficient to access it in the last revision (then the data that the entity contained before deletion is stored twice).
org.hibernate.envers.default_schema null (same schema as table being audited) The default schema name that should be used for audit tables. Can be overridden using the @AuditTable(schema="...") annotation. If not present, the schema will be the same as the schema of the table being audited.
org.hibernate.envers.default_catalog null (same catalog as table being audited) The default catalog name that should be used for audit tables. Can be overridden using the @AuditTable(catalog="...") annotation. If not present, the catalog will be the same as the catalog of the normal tables.
org.hibernate.envers.audit_strategy org.hibernate.envers.strategy.DefaultAuditStrategy The audit strategy that should be used when persisting audit data. The default stores only the revision, at which an entity was modified. An alternative, the org.hibernate.envers.strategy.ValidityAuditStrategy stores both the start revision and the end revision. Together these define when an audit row was valid, hence the name ValidityAuditStrategy.
org.hibernate.envers.audit_strategy_validity_end_rev_field_name REVEND The column name that will hold the end revision number in audit entities. This property is only valid if the validity audit strategy is used.
org.hibernate.envers.audit_strategy_validity_store_revend_timestamp false Should the timestamp of the end revision be stored, until which the data was valid, in addition to the end revision itself. This is useful to be able to purge old Audit records out of a relational database by using table partitioning. Partitioning requires a column that exists within the table. This property is only evaluated if the ValidityAuditStrategy is used.
org.hibernate.envers.audit_strategy_validity_revend_timestamp_field_name REVEND_TSTMP Column name of the timestamp of the end revision until which the data was valid. Only used if the ValidityAuditStrategy is used, and org.hibernate.envers.audit_strategy_validity_store_revend_timestamp evaluates to true
org.hibernate.envers.use_revision_entity_with_native_id true Boolean flag that determines the strategy of revision number generation. Default implementation of revision entity uses native identifier generator. If current database engine does not support identity columns, users are advised to set this property to false. In this case revision numbers are created by preconfigured org.hibernate.id.enhanced.SequenceStyleGenerator. See:
  1. org.hibernate.envers.DefaultRevisionEntity
  2. org.hibernate.envers.enhanced.SequenceIdRevisionEntity
org.hibernate.envers.track_entities_changed_in_revision false Should entity types, that have been modified during each revision, be tracked. The default implementation creates REVCHANGES table that stores entity names of modified persistent objects. Single record encapsulates the revision identifier (foreign key to REVINFO table) and a string value. For more information refer to Section 15.5.1, “Tracking entity names modified during revisions” and Section 15.7.4, “Querying for entities modified in a given revision”.
org.hibernate.envers.global_with_modified_flag false, can be individually overriden with @Audited(withModifiedFlag=true) Should property modification flags be stored for all audited entities and all properties. When set to true, for all properties an additional boolean column in the audit tables will be created, filled with information if the given property changed in the given revision. When set to false, such column can be added to selected entities or properties using the @Audited annotation. For more information refer to Section 15.6, “Tracking entity changes at property level” and Section 15.7.3, “Querying for revisions of entity that modified given property”.
org.hibernate.envers.modified_flag_suffix _MOD The suffix for columns storing "Modified Flags". For example: a property called "age", will by default get modified flag with column name "age_MOD".
org.hibernate.envers.embeddable_set_ordinal_field_name SETORDINAL Name of column used for storing ordinal of the change in sets of embeddable elements.
org.hibernate.envers.cascade_delete_revision false While deleting revision entry, remove data of associated audited entities. Requires database support for cascade row removal.
org.hibernate.envers.allow_identifier_reuse false Guarantees proper validity audit strategy behavior when application reuses identifiers of deleted entities. Exactly one row with null end date exists for each identifier.


The following configuration options have been added recently and should be regarded as experimental:

  1. org.hibernate.envers.track_entities_changed_in_revision
  2. org.hibernate.envers.using_modified_flag
  3. org.hibernate.envers.modified_flag_suffix

The name of the audit table can be set on a per-entity basis, using the @AuditTable annotation. It may be tedious to add this annotation to every audited entity, so if possible, it's better to use a prefix/suffix.

If you have a mapping with secondary tables, audit tables for them will be generated in the same way (by adding the prefix and suffix). If you wish to overwrite this behaviour, you can use the @SecondaryAuditTable and @SecondaryAuditTables annotations.

If you'd like to override auditing behaviour of some fields/properties inherited from @Mappedsuperclass or in an embedded component, you can apply the @AuditOverride(s) annotation on the subtype or usage site of the component.

If you want to audit a relation mapped with @OneToMany+@JoinColumn, please see Section 15.11, “Mapping exceptions” for a description of the additional @AuditJoinTable annotation that you'll probably want to use.

If you want to audit a relation, where the target entity is not audited (that is the case for example with dictionary-like entities, which don't change and don't have to be audited), just annotate it with @Audited(targetAuditMode = RelationTargetAuditMode.NOT_AUDITED). Then, while reading historic versions of your entity, the relation will always point to the "current" related entity. By default Envers throws javax.persistence.EntityNotFoundException when "current" entity does not exist in the database. Apply @NotFound(action = NotFoundAction.IGNORE) annotation to silence the exception and assign null value instead. Hereby solution causes implicit eager loading of to-one relations.

If you'd like to audit properties of a superclass of an entity, which are not explicitly audited (which don't have the @Audited annotation on any properties or on the class), you can list the superclasses in the auditParents attribute of the @Audited annotation. Please note that auditParents feature has been deprecated. Use @AuditOverride(forClass = SomeEntity.class, isAudited = true/false) instead.

After the basic configuration it is important to choose the audit strategy that will be used to persist and retrieve audit information. There is a trade-off between the performance of persisting and the performance of querying the audit information. Currently there two audit strategies.

  1. The default audit strategy persists the audit data together with a start revision. For each row inserted, updated or deleted in an audited table, one or more rows are inserted in the audit tables, together with the start revision of its validity. Rows in the audit tables are never updated after insertion. Queries of audit information use subqueries to select the applicable rows in the audit tables. These subqueries are notoriously slow and difficult to index.

  2. The alternative is a validity audit strategy. This strategy stores the start-revision and the end-revision of audit information. For each row inserted, updated or deleted in an audited table, one or more rows are inserted in the audit tables, together with the start revision of its validity. But at the same time the end-revision field of the previous audit rows (if available) are set to this revision. Queries on the audit information can then use 'between start and end revision' instead of subqueries as used by the default audit strategy.

    The consequence of this strategy is that persisting audit information will be a bit slower, because of the extra updates involved, but retrieving audit information will be a lot faster. This can be improved by adding extra indexes.

When Envers starts a new revision, it creates a new revision entity which stores information about the revision. By default, that includes just

  1. revision number - An integral value (int/Integer or long/Long). Essentially the primary key of the revision

  2. revision timestamp - either a long/Long or java.util.Date value representing the instant at which the revision was made. When using a java.util.Date, instead of a long/Long for the revision timestamp, take care not to store it to a column data type which will loose precision.

Envers handles this information as an entity. By default it uses its own internal class to act as the entity, mapped to the REVINFO table. You can, however, supply your own approach to collecting this information which might be useful to capture additional details such as who made a change or the ip address from which the request came. There are 2 things you need to make this work.

  1. First, you will need to tell Envers about the entity you wish to use. Your entity must use the @org.hibernate.envers.RevisionEntity annotation. It must define the 2 attributes described above annotated with @org.hibernate.envers.RevisionNumber and @org.hibernate.envers.RevisionTimestamp, respectively. You can extend from org.hibernate.envers.DefaultRevisionEntity, if you wish, to inherit all these required behaviors.

    Simply add the custom revision entity as you do your normal entities. Envers will "find it". Note that it is an error for there to be multiple entities marked as @org.hibernate.envers.RevisionEntity

  2. Second, you need to tell Envers how to create instances of your revision entity which is handled by the newRevision method of the org.jboss.envers.RevisionListener interface.

    You tell Envers your custom org.hibernate.envers.RevisionListener implementation to use by specifying it on the @org.hibernate.envers.RevisionEntity annotation, using the value attribute. If your RevisionListener class is inaccessible from @RevisionEntity (e.g. exists in a different module), set org.hibernate.envers.revision_listener property to it's fully qualified name. Class name defined by the configuration parameter overrides revision entity's value attribute.

@RevisionEntity( MyCustomRevisionListener.class )
public class MyCustomRevisionEntity {

public class MyCustomRevisionListener implements RevisionListener {
    public void newRevision(Object revisionEntity) {
        ( (MyCustomRevisionEntity) revisionEntity )...;

An alternative method to using the org.hibernate.envers.RevisionListener is to instead call the getCurrentRevision method of the org.hibernate.envers.AuditReader interface to obtain the current revision, and fill it with desired information. The method accepts a persist parameter indicating whether the revision entity should be persisted prior to returning from this method. true ensures that the returned entity has access to its identifier value (revision number), but the revision entity will be persisted regardless of whether there are any audited entities changed. false means that the revision number will be null, but the revision entity will be persisted only if some audited entities have changed.

By default entity types that have been changed in each revision are not being tracked. This implies the necessity to query all tables storing audited data in order to retrieve changes made during specified revision. Envers provides a simple mechanism that creates REVCHANGES table which stores entity names of modified persistent objects. Single record encapsulates the revision identifier (foreign key to REVINFO table) and a string value.

Tracking of modified entity names can be enabled in three different ways:

  1. Set org.hibernate.envers.track_entities_changed_in_revision parameter to true. In this case org.hibernate.envers.DefaultTrackingModifiedEntitiesRevisionEntity will be implicitly used as the revision log entity.

  2. Create a custom revision entity that extends org.hibernate.envers.DefaultTrackingModifiedEntitiesRevisionEntity class.

    public class ExtendedRevisionEntity
                 extends DefaultTrackingModifiedEntitiesRevisionEntity {
  3. Mark an appropriate field of a custom revision entity with @org.hibernate.envers.ModifiedEntityNames annotation. The property is required to be of Set<String> type.

    public class AnnotatedTrackingRevisionEntity {
        @JoinTable(name = "REVCHANGES", joinColumns = @JoinColumn(name = "REV"))
        @Column(name = "ENTITYNAME")
        private Set<String> modifiedEntityNames;

Users, that have chosen one of the approaches listed above, can retrieve all entities modified in a specified revision by utilizing API described in Section 15.7.4, “Querying for entities modified in a given revision”.

Users are also allowed to implement custom mechanism of tracking modified entity types. In this case, they shall pass their own implementation of org.hibernate.envers.EntityTrackingRevisionListener interface as the value of @org.hibernate.envers.RevisionEntity annotation. EntityTrackingRevisionListener interface exposes one method that notifies whenever audited entity instance has been added, modified or removed within current revision boundaries.

Example 15.2. Custom implementation of tracking entity classes modified during revisions


public class CustomEntityTrackingRevisionListener
             implements EntityTrackingRevisionListener {
    public void entityChanged(Class entityClass, String entityName,
                              Serializable entityId, RevisionType revisionType,
                              Object revisionEntity) {
        String type = entityClass.getName();

    public void newRevision(Object revisionEntity) {

public class CustomTrackingRevisionEntity {
    private int customId;

    private long customTimestamp;

    @OneToMany(mappedBy="revision", cascade={CascadeType.PERSIST, CascadeType.REMOVE})
    private Set<ModifiedEntityTypeEntity> modifiedEntityTypes =
                                              new HashSet<ModifiedEntityTypeEntity>();
    public void addModifiedEntityType(String entityClassName) {
        modifiedEntityTypes.add(new ModifiedEntityTypeEntity(this, entityClassName));

public class ModifiedEntityTypeEntity {
    private Integer id;

    private CustomTrackingRevisionEntity revision;
    private String entityClassName;
CustomTrackingRevisionEntity revEntity =
    getAuditReader().findRevision(CustomTrackingRevisionEntity.class, revisionNumber);
Set<ModifiedEntityTypeEntity> modifiedEntityTypes = revEntity.getModifiedEntityTypes()

By default the only information stored by Envers are revisions of modified entities. This approach lets user create audit queries based on historical values of entity's properties. Sometimes it is useful to store additional metadata for each revision, when you are interested also in the type of changes, not only about the resulting values. The feature described in Section 15.5.1, “Tracking entity names modified during revisions” makes it possible to tell which entities were modified in given revision. Feature described here takes it one step further. "Modification Flags" enable Envers to track which properties of audited entities were modified in a given revision.

Tracking entity changes at property level can be enabled by:

  1. setting org.hibernate.envers.global_with_modified_flag configuration property to true. This global switch will cause adding modification flags for all audited properties in all audited entities.

  2. using @Audited(withModifiedFlag=true) on a property or on an entity.

The trade-off coming with this functionality is an increased size of audit tables and a very little, almost negligible, performance drop during audit writes. This is due to the fact that every tracked property has to have an accompanying boolean column in the schema that stores information about the property's modifications. Of course it is Envers' job to fill these columns accordingly - no additional work by the developer is required. Because of costs mentioned, it is recommended to enable the feature selectively, when needed with use of the granular configuration means described above.

To see how "Modified Flags" can be utilized, check out the very simple query API that uses them: Section 15.7.3, “Querying for revisions of entity that modified given property”.

You can think of historic data as having two dimension. The first - horizontal - is the state of the database at a given revision. Thus, you can query for entities as they were at revision N. The second - vertical - are the revisions, at which entities changed. Hence, you can query for revisions, in which a given entity changed.

The queries in Envers are similar to Hibernate Criteria queries, so if you are common with them, using Envers queries will be much easier.

The main limitation of the current queries implementation is that you cannot traverse relations. You can only specify constraints on the ids of the related entities, and only on the "owning" side of the relation. This however will be changed in future releases.

Please note, that queries on the audited data will be in many cases much slower than corresponding queries on "live" data, as they involve correlated subselects.

In the future, queries will be improved both in terms of speed and possibilities, when using the valid-time audit strategy, that is when storing both start and end revisions for entities. See Section 15.2, “Configuration”.

The entry point for this type of queries is:

AuditQuery query = getAuditReader().createQuery()
    .forRevisionsOfEntity(MyEntity.class, false, true);

You can add constraints to this query in the same way as to the previous one. There are some additional possibilities:

  1. using AuditEntity.revisionNumber() you can specify constraints, projections and order on the revision number, in which the audited entity was modified

  2. similarly, using AuditEntity.revisionProperty(propertyName) you can specify constraints, projections and order on a property of the revision entity, corresponding to the revision in which the audited entity was modified

  3. AuditEntity.revisionType() gives you access as above to the type of the revision (ADD, MOD, DEL).

Using these methods, you can order the query results by revision number, set projection or constraint the revision number to be greater or less than a specified value, etc. For example, the following query will select the smallest revision number, at which entity of class MyEntity with id entityId has changed, after revision number 42:

Number revision = (Number) getAuditReader().createQuery()
    .forRevisionsOfEntity(MyEntity.class, false, true)

The second additional feature you can use in queries for revisions is the ability to maximalize/minimize a property. For example, if you want to select the revision, at which the value of the actualDate for a given entity was larger then a given value, but as small as possible:

Number revision = (Number) getAuditReader().createQuery()
    .forRevisionsOfEntity(MyEntity.class, false, true)
    // We are only interested in the first revision

The minimize() and maximize() methods return a criteria, to which you can add constraints, which must be met by the entities with the maximized/minimized properties. AggregatedAuditExpression#computeAggregationInInstanceContext() enables the possibility to compute aggregated expression in the context of each entity instance separately. It turns out useful when querying for latest revisions of all entities of a particular type.

You probably also noticed that there are two boolean parameters, passed when creating the query. The first one, selectEntitiesOnly, is only valid when you don't set an explicit projection. If true, the result of the query will be a list of entities (which changed at revisions satisfying the specified constraints).

If false, the result will be a list of three element arrays. The first element will be the changed entity instance. The second will be an entity containing revision data (if no custom entity is used, this will be an instance of DefaultRevisionEntity). The third will be the type of the revision (one of the values of the RevisionType enumeration: ADD, MOD, DEL).

The second parameter, selectDeletedEntities, specifies if revisions, in which the entity was deleted should be included in the results. If yes, such entities will have the revision type DEL and all fields, except the id, null.

For the two types of queries described above it's possible to use special Audit criteria called hasChanged() and hasNotChanged() that makes use of the functionality described in Section 15.6, “Tracking entity changes at property level”. They're best suited for vertical queries, however existing API doesn't restrict their usage for horizontal ones. Let's have a look at following examples:

AuditQuery query = getAuditReader().createQuery()
    .forRevisionsOfEntity(MyEntity.class, false, true)

This query will return all revisions of MyEntity with given id, where the actualDate property has been changed. Using this query we won't get all other revisions in which actualDate wasn't touched. Of course nothing prevents user from combining hasChanged condition with some additional criteria - add method can be used here in a normal way.

AuditQuery query = getAuditReader().createQuery()
    .forEntitiesAtRevision(MyEntity.class, revisionNumber)

This query will return horizontal slice for MyEntity at the time revisionNumber was generated. It will be limited to revisions that modified prop1 but not prop2. Note that the result set will usually also contain revisions with numbers lower than the revisionNumber, so we cannot read this query as "Give me all MyEntities changed in revisionNumber with prop1 modified and prop2 untouched". To get such result we have to use the forEntitiesModifiedAtRevision query:

AuditQuery query = getAuditReader().createQuery()
    .forEntitiesModifiedAtRevision(MyEntity.class, revisionNumber)

For each audited entity (that is, for each entity containing at least one audited field), an audit table is created. By default, the audit table's name is created by adding a "_AUD" suffix to the original table name, but this can be overridden by specifying a different suffix/prefix in the configuration or per-entity using the @org.hibernate.envers.AuditTable annotation.

Audit table columns

  1. id of the original entity (this can be more then one column in the case of composite primary keys)

  2. revision number - an integer. Matches to the revision number in the revision entity table.

  3. revision type - a small integer

  4. audited fields from the original entity

The primary key of the audit table is the combination of the original id of the entity and the revision number - there can be at most one historic entry for a given entity instance at a given revision.

The current entity data is stored in the original table and in the audit table. This is a duplication of data, however as this solution makes the query system much more powerful, and as memory is cheap, hopefully this won't be a major drawback for the users. A row in the audit table with entity id ID, revision N and data D means: entity with id ID has data D from revision N upwards. Hence, if we want to find an entity at revision M, we have to search for a row in the audit table, which has the revision number smaller or equal to M, but as large as possible. If no such row is found, or a row with a "deleted" marker is found, it means that the entity didn't exist at that revision.

The "revision type" field can currently have three values: 0, 1, 2, which means ADD, MOD and DEL, respectively. A row with a revision of type DEL will only contain the id of the entity and no data (all fields NULL), as it only serves as a marker saying "this entity was deleted at that revision".

Additionally, there is a revision entity table which contains the information about the global revision. By default the generated table is named REVINFO and contains just 2 columns: ID and TIMESTAMP. A row is inserted into this table on each new revision, that is, on each commit of a transaction, which changes audited data. The name of this table can be configured, the name of its columns as well as adding additional columns can be achieved as discussed in Section 15.5, “Revision Log”.

While global revisions are a good way to provide correct auditing of relations, some people have pointed out that this may be a bottleneck in systems, where data is very often modified. One viable solution is to introduce an option to have an entity "locally revisioned", that is revisions would be created for it independently. This wouldn't enable correct versioning of relations, but wouldn't also require the REVINFO table. Another possibility is to introduce a notion of "revisioning groups": groups of entities which share revision numbering. Each such group would have to consist of one or more strongly connected component of the graph induced by relations between entities. Your opinions on the subject are very welcome on the forum! :)

If you'd like to generate the database schema file with the Hibernate Tools Ant task, you'll probably notice that the generated file doesn't contain definitions of audit tables. To generate also the audit tables, you simply need to use org.hibernate.tool.ant.EnversHibernateToolTask instead of the usual org.hibernate.tool.ant.HibernateToolTask. The former class extends the latter, and only adds generation of the version entities. So you can use the task just as you used to.

For example:

<target name="schemaexport" depends="build-demo"
  description="Exports a generated schema to DB and file">
  <taskdef name="hibernatetool"

  <hibernatetool destdir=".">
      <fileset refid="lib.hibernate" />
      <path location="${build.demo.dir}" />
      <path location="${build.main.dir}" />
    <jpaconfiguration persistenceunit="ConsolePU" />

Will generate the following schema:

    create table Address (
        id integer generated by default as identity (start with 1),
        flatNumber integer,
        houseNumber integer,
        streetName varchar(255),
        primary key (id)

    create table Address_AUD (
        id integer not null,
        REV integer not null,
        flatNumber integer,
        houseNumber integer,
        streetName varchar(255),
        REVTYPE tinyint,
        primary key (id, REV)

    create table Person (
        id integer generated by default as identity (start with 1),
        name varchar(255),
        surname varchar(255),
        address_id integer,
        primary key (id)

    create table Person_AUD (
        id integer not null,
        REV integer not null,
        name varchar(255),
        surname varchar(255),
        REVTYPE tinyint,
        address_id integer,
        primary key (id, REV)

    create table REVINFO (
        REV integer generated by default as identity (start with 1),
        REVTSTMP bigint,
        primary key (REV)

    alter table Person
        add constraint FK8E488775E4C3EA63
        foreign key (address_id)
        references Address;

Generally SQL tables must be partitioned on a column that exists within the table. As a rule it makes sense to use either the end revision or the end revision timestamp column for partioning of audit tables.

The reason why the end revision information should be used for audit table partioning is based on the assumption that audit tables should be partionioned on an 'increasing level of interestingness', like so:

  1. A couple of partitions with audit data that is not very (or no longer) interesting. This can be stored on slow media, and perhaps even be purged eventually.

  2. Some partitions for audit data that is potentially interesting.

  3. One partition for audit data that is most likely to be interesting. This should be stored on the fastest media, both for reading and writing.

In order to determine a suitable column for the 'increasing level of interestingness', consider a simplified example of a salary registration for an unnamed agency.

Currently, the salary table contains the following rows for a certain person X:

The salary for the current fiscal year (2010) is unknown. The agency requires that all changes in registered salaries for a fiscal year are recorded (i.e. an audit trail). The rationale behind this is that decisions made at a certain date are based on the registered salary at that time. And at any time it must be possible reproduce the reason why a certain decision was made at a certain date.

The following audit information is available, sorted on in order of occurrence:

  1. Hibernate main page

  2. Forum

  3. JIRA issue tracker (when adding issues concerning Envers, be sure to select the "envers" component!)

  4. IRC channel

  5. Envers Blog

  6. FAQ

There are 3 main approaches to isolating information in these multi-tenant systems which goes hand-in-hand with different database schema definitions and JDBC setups.

Using Hibernate with multi-tenant data comes down to both an API and then integration piece(s). As usual Hibernate strives to keep the API simple and isolated from any underlying integration complexities. The API is really just defined by passing the tenant identifier as part of opening any session.

Additionally, when specifying configuration, a org.hibernate.MultiTenancyStrategy should be named using the hibernate.multiTenancy setting. Hibernate will perform validations based on the type of strategy you specify. The strategy here correlates to the isolation approach discussed above.


(the default) No multi-tenancy is expected. In fact, it is considered an error if a tenant identifier is specified when opening a session using this strategy.


Correlates to the separate schema approach. It is an error to attempt to open a session without a tenant identifier using this strategy. Additionally, a MultiTenantConnectionProvider must be specified.


Correlates to the separate database approach. It is an error to attempt to open a session without a tenant identifier using this strategy. Additionally, a MultiTenantConnectionProvider must be specified.


Correlates to the partitioned (discriminator) approach. It is an error to attempt to open a session without a tenant identifier using this strategy. This strategy is not yet implemented in Hibernate as of 4.0 and 4.1. Its support is planned for 5.0.

org.hibernate.context.spi.CurrentTenantIdentifierResolver is a contract for Hibernate to be able to resolve what the application considers the current tenant identifier. The implementation to use is either passed directly to Configuration via its setCurrentTenantIdentifierResolver method. It can also be specified via the hibernate.tenant_identifier_resolver setting.

There are 2 situations where CurrentTenantIdentifierResolver is used:

Additionally, if the CurrentTenantIdentifierResolver implementation returns true for its validateExistingCurrentSessions method, Hibernate will make sure any existing sessions that are found in scope have a matching tenant identifier. This capability is only pertinent when the CurrentTenantIdentifierResolver is used in current-session settings.

The approach above is valid for the DATABASE approach. It is also valid for the SCHEMA approach provided the underlying database allows naming the schema to which to connect in the connection URL.

Example 16.3. Implementing MultiTenantConnectionProvider using single connection pool

 * Simplisitc implementation for illustration purposes showing a single connection pool used to serve
 * multiple schemas using "connection altering".  Here we use the T-SQL specific USE command; Oracle
 * users might use the ALTER SESSION SET SCHEMA command; etc.
public class MultiTenantConnectionProviderImpl
		implements MultiTenantConnectionProvider, Stoppable {
	private final ConnectionProvider connectionProvider = ConnectionProviderUtils.buildConnectionProvider( "master" );

	public Connection getAnyConnection() throws SQLException {
		return connectionProvider.getConnection();

	public void releaseAnyConnection(Connection connection) throws SQLException {
		connectionProvider.closeConnection( connection );

	public Connection getConnection(String tenantIdentifier) throws SQLException {
		final Connection connection = getAnyConnection();
		try {
			connection.createStatement().execute( "USE " + tenanantIdentifier );
		catch ( SQLException e ) {
			throw new HibernateException(
					"Could not alter JDBC connection to specified schema [" +
							tenantIdentifier + "]",
		return connection;

	public void releaseConnection(String tenantIdentifier, Connection connection) throws SQLException {
		try {
			connection.createStatement().execute( "USE master" );
		catch ( SQLException e ) {
			// on error, throw an exception to make sure the connection is not returned to the pool.
			// your requirements may differ
			throw new HibernateException(
					"Could not alter JDBC connection to specified schema [" +
							tenantIdentifier + "]",
		connectionProvider.closeConnection( connection );


This approach is only relevant to the SCHEMA approach.

The Enterprise OSGi specification includes container-managed JPA. The container is responsible for discovering persistence units and creating the EntityManagerFactory (one EMF per PU). It uses the JPA provider (hibernate-osgi) that has registered itself with the OSGi PersistenceProvider service.

Quickstart tutorial project, demonstrating a container-managed JPA client bundle: managed-jpa

The unmanaged-native QuickStart project demonstrates the use of optional Hibernate modules. Each module adds additional dependency bundles that must first be activated (see features.xml). As of ORM 4.2, Envers is fully supported. Support for C3P0, Proxool, EhCache, and Infinispan were added in 4.3, however none of their 3rd party libraries currently work in OSGi (lots of ClassLoader problems, etc.). We're tracking the issues in JIRA.

Multiple contracts exist to allow applications to integrate with and extend Hibernate capabilities. Most apps utilize JDK services to provide their implementations. hibernate-osgi supports the same extensions through OSGi services. Implement and register them in any of the three configurations. hibernate-osgi will discover and integrate them during EMF/SF bootstrapping. Supported extension points are as follows. The specified interface should be used during service registration.

  • org.hibernate.integrator.spi.Integrator (as of 4.2)
  • org.hibernate.boot.registry.selector.StrategyRegistrationProvider (as of 4.3)
  • org.hibernate.boot.model.TypeContributor (as of 4.3)
  • JTA's javax.transaction.TransactionManager and javax.transaction.UserTransaction (as of 4.2), however these are typically provided by the OSGi container.

The easiest way to register extension point implementations is through a blueprint.xml file. Add OSGI-INF/blueprint/blueprint.xml to your classpath. Envers' blueprint is a great example:

Extension points can also be registered programmatically with BundleContext#registerService, typically within your BundleActivator#start.

hibernate.dialectA fully-qualified classname

The classname of a Hibernate org.hibernate.dialect.Dialect from which Hibernate can generate SQL optimized for a particular relational database.

In most cases Hibernate can choose the correct org.hibernate.dialect.Dialect implementation based on the JDBC metadata returned by the JDBC driver.


true or false

Write all SQL statements to the console. This is an alternative to setting the log category org.hibernate.SQL to debug.

true or false

Pretty-print the SQL in the log and console.
hibernate.default_schemaA schema nameQualify unqualified table names with the given schema or tablespace in generated SQL.
hibernate.default_catalogA catalog nameQualifies unqualified table names with the given catalog in generated SQL.
hibernate.session_factory_nameA JNDI nameThe org.hibernate.SessionFactory is automatically bound to this name in JNDI after it is created.
hibernate.max_fetch_depthA value between 0 and 3Sets a maximum depth for the outer join fetch tree for single-ended associations. A single-ended assocation is a one-to-one or many-to-one assocation. A value of 0 disables default outer join fetching.

4,8, or 16

Default size for Hibernate batch fetching of associations.

dynamic-map or pojo

Default mode for entity representation for all sessions opened from this SessionFactory, defaults to pojo.

true or false

Forces Hibernate to order SQL updates by the primary key value of the items being updated. This reduces the likelihood of transaction deadlocks in highly-concurrent systems.

none, first or last

Defines precedence of null values in ORDER BY clause. Defaults to none which varies between RDBMS implementation.

true or false

Causes Hibernate to collect statistics for performance tuning.

true or false

If true, generated identifier properties are reset to default values when objects are deleted.

true or false

If true, Hibernate generates comments inside the SQL, for easier debugging.

Table A.2. Cache Properties

hibernate.cache.provider_classFully-qualified classnameThe classname of a custom CacheProvider.

true or false

Optimizes second-level cache operation to minimize writes, at the cost of more frequent reads. This is most useful for clustered caches and is enabled by default for clustered cache implementations.

true or false

Enables the query cache. You still need to set individual queries to be cachable.

true or false

Completely disable the second level cache, which is enabled by default for classes which specify a <cache> mapping.
hibernate.cache.query_cache_factoryFully-qualified classnameA custom QueryCache interface. The default is the built-in StandardQueryCache.
hibernate.cache.region_prefixA stringA prefix for second-level cache region names.

true or false

Forces Hibernate to store data in the second-level cache in a more human-readable format.

true or false (default: false)

Enables the automatic eviction of a bi-directional association's collection cache when an element in the ManyToOne collection is added/updated/removed without properly managing the change on the OneToMany side.

true or false

Optimizes second-level cache operation to store immutable entities (aka "reference") which do not have associations into cache directly, this case, lots of disasseble and deep copy operations can be avoid. Default value of this property is false.


Each of the properties in the following table are prefixed by hibernate.. It has been removed in the table to conserve space.


This appendix covers the legacy Hibernate org.hibernate.Criteria API, which should be considered deprecated. New development should focus on the JPA javax.persistence.criteria.CriteriaQuery API. Eventually, Hibernate-specific criteria features will be ported as extensions to the JPA javax.persistence.criteria.CriteriaQuery. For details on the JPA APIs, see ???.

This information is copied as-is from the older Hibernate documentation.

Hibernate features an intuitive, extensible criteria query API.

An individual query criterion is an instance of the interface org.hibernate.criterion.Criterion. The class org.hibernate.criterion.Restrictions defines factory methods for obtaining certain built-in Criterion types.

List cats = sess.createCriteria(Cat.class)
    .add( Restrictions.like("name", "Fritz%") )
    .add( Restrictions.between("weight", minWeight, maxWeight) )

Restrictions can be grouped logically.

List cats = sess.createCriteria(Cat.class)
    .add( Restrictions.like("name", "Fritz%") )
    .add( Restrictions.or(
        Restrictions.eq( "age", new Integer(0) ),
    ) )
List cats = sess.createCriteria(Cat.class)
    .add( Restrictions.in( "name", new String[] { "Fritz", "Izi", "Pk" } ) )
    .add( Restrictions.disjunction()
        .add( Restrictions.isNull("age") )
        .add( Restrictions.eq("age", new Integer(0) ) )
        .add( Restrictions.eq("age", new Integer(1) ) )
        .add( Restrictions.eq("age", new Integer(2) ) )
    ) )

There are a range of built-in criterion types (Restrictions subclasses). One of the most useful allows you to specify SQL directly.

List cats = sess.createCriteria(Cat.class)
    .add( Restrictions.sqlRestriction("lower({alias}.name) like lower(?)", "Fritz%", Hibernate.STRING) )

The {alias} placeholder will be replaced by the row alias of the queried entity.

You can also obtain a criterion from a Property instance. You can create a Property by calling Property.forName():

Property age = Property.forName("age");
List cats = sess.createCriteria(Cat.class)
    .add( Restrictions.disjunction()
        .add( age.isNull() )
        .add( age.eq( new Integer(0) ) )
        .add( age.eq( new Integer(1) ) )
        .add( age.eq( new Integer(2) ) )
    ) )
    .add( Property.forName("name").in( new String[] { "Fritz", "Izi", "Pk" } ) )

By navigating associations using createCriteria() you can specify constraints upon related entities:

List cats = sess.createCriteria(Cat.class)
    .add( Restrictions.like("name", "F%") )
        .add( Restrictions.like("name", "F%") )

The second createCriteria() returns a new instance of Criteria that refers to the elements of the kittens collection.

There is also an alternate form that is useful in certain circumstances:

List cats = sess.createCriteria(Cat.class)
    .createAlias("kittens", "kt")
    .createAlias("mate", "mt")
    .add( Restrictions.eqProperty("kt.name", "mt.name") )

(createAlias() does not create a new instance of Criteria.)

The kittens collections held by the Cat instances returned by the previous two queries are not pre-filtered by the criteria. If you want to retrieve just the kittens that match the criteria, you must use a ResultTransformer.

List cats = sess.createCriteria(Cat.class)
    .createCriteria("kittens", "kt")
        .add( Restrictions.eq("name", "F%") )
Iterator iter = cats.iterator();
while ( iter.hasNext() ) {
    Map map = (Map) iter.next();
    Cat cat = (Cat) map.get(Criteria.ROOT_ALIAS);
    Cat kitten = (Cat) map.get("kt");

Additionally you may manipulate the result set using a left outer join:

		List cats = session.createCriteria( Cat.class )
                       .createAlias("mate", "mt", Criteria.LEFT_JOIN, Restrictions.like("mt.name", "good%") )

This will return all of the Cats with a mate whose name starts with "good" ordered by their mate's age, and all cats who do not have a mate. This is useful when there is a need to order or limit in the database prior to returning complex/large result sets, and removes many instances where multiple queries would have to be performed and the results unioned by java in memory.

Without this feature, first all of the cats without a mate would need to be loaded in one query.

A second query would need to retreive the cats with mates who's name started with "good" sorted by the mates age.

Thirdly, in memory; the lists would need to be joined manually.

When using criteria against collections, there are two distinct cases. One is if the collection contains entities (eg. <one-to-many/> or <many-to-many/>) or components (<composite-element/> ), and the second is if the collection contains scalar values (<element/>). In the first case, the syntax is as given above in the section Section B.4, “Associations” where we restrict the kittens collection. Essentially we create a Criteria object against the collection property and restrict the entity or component properties using that instance.

For queryng a collection of basic values, we still create the Criteria object against the collection, but to reference the value, we use the special property "elements". For an indexed collection, we can also reference the index property using the special property "indices".

		List cats = session.createCriteria(Cat.class)
				.add(Restrictions.eq("elements", "BadBoy"))

The class org.hibernate.criterion.Projections is a factory for Projection instances. You can apply a projection to a query by calling setProjection().

List results = session.createCriteria(Cat.class)
    .setProjection( Projections.rowCount() )
    .add( Restrictions.eq("color", Color.BLACK) )
List results = session.createCriteria(Cat.class)
    .setProjection( Projections.projectionList()
        .add( Projections.rowCount() )
        .add( Projections.avg("weight") )
        .add( Projections.max("weight") )
        .add( Projections.groupProperty("color") )

There is no explicit "group by" necessary in a criteria query. Certain projection types are defined to be grouping projections, which also appear in the SQL group by clause.

An alias can be assigned to a projection so that the projected value can be referred to in restrictions or orderings. Here are two different ways to do this:

List results = session.createCriteria(Cat.class)
    .setProjection( Projections.alias( Projections.groupProperty("color"), "colr" ) )
    .addOrder( Order.asc("colr") )
List results = session.createCriteria(Cat.class)
    .setProjection( Projections.groupProperty("color").as("colr") )
    .addOrder( Order.asc("colr") )

The alias() and as() methods simply wrap a projection instance in another, aliased, instance of Projection. As a shortcut, you can assign an alias when you add the projection to a projection list:

List results = session.createCriteria(Cat.class)
    .setProjection( Projections.projectionList()
        .add( Projections.rowCount(), "catCountByColor" )
        .add( Projections.avg("weight"), "avgWeight" )
        .add( Projections.max("weight"), "maxWeight" )
        .add( Projections.groupProperty("color"), "color" )
    .addOrder( Order.desc("catCountByColor") )
    .addOrder( Order.desc("avgWeight") )
List results = session.createCriteria(Domestic.class, "cat")
    .createAlias("kittens", "kit")
    .setProjection( Projections.projectionList()
        .add( Projections.property("cat.name"), "catName" )
        .add( Projections.property("kit.name"), "kitName" )
    .addOrder( Order.asc("catName") )
    .addOrder( Order.asc("kitName") )

You can also use Property.forName() to express projections:

List results = session.createCriteria(Cat.class)
    .setProjection( Property.forName("name") )
    .add( Property.forName("color").eq(Color.BLACK) )
List results = session.createCriteria(Cat.class)
    .setProjection( Projections.projectionList()
        .add( Projections.rowCount().as("catCountByColor") )
        .add( Property.forName("weight").avg().as("avgWeight") )
        .add( Property.forName("weight").max().as("maxWeight") )
        .add( Property.forName("color").group().as("color" )
    .addOrder( Order.desc("catCountByColor") )
    .addOrder( Order.desc("avgWeight") )

The DetachedCriteria class allows you to create a query outside the scope of a session and then execute it using an arbitrary Session.

DetachedCriteria query = DetachedCriteria.forClass(Cat.class)
    .add( Property.forName("sex").eq('F') );
Session session = ....;
Transaction txn = session.beginTransaction();
List results = query.getExecutableCriteria(session).setMaxResults(100).list();

A DetachedCriteria can also be used to express a subquery. Criterion instances involving subqueries can be obtained via Subqueries or Property.

DetachedCriteria avgWeight = DetachedCriteria.forClass(Cat.class)
    .setProjection( Property.forName("weight").avg() );
    .add( Property.forName("weight").gt(avgWeight) )
DetachedCriteria weights = DetachedCriteria.forClass(Cat.class)
    .setProjection( Property.forName("weight") );
    .add( Subqueries.geAll("weight", weights) )

Correlated subqueries are also possible:

DetachedCriteria avgWeightForSex = DetachedCriteria.forClass(Cat.class, "cat2")
    .setProjection( Property.forName("weight").avg() )
    .add( Property.forName("cat2.sex").eqProperty("cat.sex") );
session.createCriteria(Cat.class, "cat")
    .add( Property.forName("weight").gt(avgWeightForSex) )

Example of multi-column restriction based on a subquery:

DetachedCriteria sizeQuery = DetachedCriteria.forClass( Man.class )
    .setProjection( Projections.projectionList().add( Projections.property( "weight" ) )
                                                .add( Projections.property( "height" ) ) )
    .add( Restrictions.eq( "name", "John" ) );
session.createCriteria( Woman.class )
    .add( Subqueries.propertiesEq( new String[] { "weight", "height" }, sizeQuery ) )